Roasted or baked lamb chops start with a good searing in a frying pan then transfer to the oven for a short time. Then, the port sauce is prepared on the stove with the drippings and red wine. So, using an oven-proof skillet or two makes this dish a snap, a one-pan dish.
Port is a sweetish red wine that has been fortified
with brandy, which does wonderful things for the sauce, the chops and the senses.
This recipe calls for "double cut" chops, which means with 2 ribs, double thickness, as pictured above. Figure 2 lamb chops for each guest.
12 double-cut lamb rib chops or loin chops
Salt and ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 shallots, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 750 milliliter bottle ruby port
1 cup prepared beef stock
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons butter, chopped
First, prepare the lamb chops: If your butcher has not already done so, cut all the fat, meat and connective tissue from the ends of the bones down to the meat; this is called frenching. Score the edges of the chops a few times on both sides to prevent them from curling while cooking.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Brush 2 oven-proof frying pans (or 1 very large) with olive oil and heat over medium-high heat. Salt and pepper the lamb chops. When the skillet(s) are very hot, place the chops in the skillet(s) in a single layer. Sear for about 2 minutes on each side, until golden brown.
Insert an instant-read thermometer into the meaty part of one lamb chop, without touching the bone. Transfer the skillet(s) to the oven and bake until the thermometer reads 130˚, about 7 minutes. (They will be medium-rare at this point.) Transfer the roasted chops to a platter and cover loosely with aluminum foil.
If you used 2 skillets, combine the drippings. To make the port sauce, sauté the shallots and garlic in the drippings. Pour in the ruby port and beef stock; boil until the liquid is reduced by half. Whisk in the mustard and chopped butter. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if necessary.
To serve, tent 2 lamb chops on each plate and lavish with port sauce. Serves 6.