You guys! This is the best dinner I’ve ever made. Seriously! It is not healthy, but it’s fucking delicious, and you have to indulge every once in a while, lest die of boredom. The inspiration for this meal started with a very fall flavor combo of pistachios and cherries (which I now want to put in everything: slaw! ice cream! brekkie yogurt! bread! the possibilities are endless!), but I wanted it to be extra jzsuzsjzsy (PS I have no idea how to spell this made up word, but if you know me IRL, you’ve heard me say it a million times), wherein comes the BOURBON.
Bourbon cherries are a beautiful thing and I pinky swear promise you will fall in love with this sauce. Needless to say, this is a sexy dinner. A perfect date night-in meal to make together with your boo, if you are lucky enough to have a boo who likes to cook. If you are preparing this solo for your lovebug, there are a few things you can do ahead of time to make life easier: make the mashed potatoes, halve and pit the cherries, and prepare the pistachio mixture for crusting. This dish is definitely time consuming, but worth it.
Please someone make this for Valentine’s Day and let me know how your date fell in lurve with you upon first bite, ok? Thanks!
Also, I would serve this with a first course of simple mixed baby greens tossed in a homemade lemony mustard vinaigrette. If you’d like to see some salad dressing recipes on perfect! (almost), let me know in the comments below.
Serves 2 to 4 (Standard serving size is 2 lamb chops per person, but I always want 3, so…up to you!)
Ingredients (95% organic)
1 Lamb Rib Rack, Frenched (1 lb.-ish)
3/4 cup pistachios, shelled
4 cloves garlic
3 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
pinch of kosher salt
(For Mashed Potatoes)
2 lbs. potato
3/4 cup half and half
4 ounces goat cheese, sliced into discs
4 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves, stems discarded
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly cracked pepper
3 tbsp. table salt, for boiling water
(For Bourbon Cherry Sauce)
1 cup Bourbon
1 cup fresh cherries, halved and pitted
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. butter
Jammed to while cooking: “Awaken, My Love!”, Childish Gambino (who, btw, I would make this for every night <3)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
In a large pot, bring salty water to boil. Wash, peel, and cut potatoes into small cubes and boil for 30 minutes. While potatoes are boiling, in a medium pan over medium heat, combine half and half, butter, goat cheese, thyme, and freshly cracked pepper, stirring well. The goat cheese mixture will eventually get slightly frothy, at which point turn heat down to low until the potatoes are finished boiling. Drain potatoes and return to pot, off the burner, adding goat cheese mixture. Stir then mash the potatoes and set aside to reach room temperature.
In a medium pan, stir to combine bourbon, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, cherries, and butter then turn on medium heat. *Do not place ingredients into already hot pan, as the alcohol in the bourbon will cook off too fast and you will be left with just cherries and no sauce.* Bring to a boil then simmer for 30 minutes or until sauce is reduced by half, stirring occasionally. As the sauce cooks down, gently mash the cherries with the back of a spoon. You can leave the sauce on the lowest heat until you are ready to plate, unless it’s taking you forevs to finish the lamb – in which case, remove the sauce from the heat and 2 minutes before plating, heat it again so as to make it warm and easy to spoon out.
In a food processor, pulse 1/2 cup of pistachios until it becomes “dust” then pour into small mixing bowl. Coarsely chop 1/4 cup pistachios by hand and add to bowl. In food processor, pulse garlic and 1 tbsp. olive oil then add to bowl along with freshly chopped rosemary and remaining 2 tbsp. olive oil. Stir to combine.
In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, add a drizzle of olive oil and sear rack of lamb for 2 minutes on each side then transfer to a rimmed sheet pan, fat-side down first. Using your hands, pat a generous amount of the pistachio mixture onto the bone-side of the rack of lamb, flip over then coat the fatty side, as well. Roast lamb in oven for 20 minutes. Set on cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing between ribs.
To plate, place a generous mound of goat cheese mashed potatoes in the center of the plate. Drizzle bourbon cherry sauce around the perimeter of the potatoes, making sure to include several chunks of cherries. Prop two lamb chops against the potatoes, pour another glass of wine (hopefully you had one while cooking!) and enjoy a loverly dins.