Garlic Braised Lamb Chops/Butter Beans & Tomatoes
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- 4 lamb shoulder chops, cut 1/2 inch thick (about 8 ounces each)
- 2 tbls unsalted butter
- 2 large onions, cut into 1/3-inch slices
- 6 cloves garlic, cut into thin silvers
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 medium-sized tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 1/3 cups fresh butter beans, cooked in lightly salted water until barely tender, about 20 minutes
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped parsley
1Shoulder lamb chops are one of those underappreciated cuts of meat which, if cooked properly, yield delicious flavor. Long, slow cooking is essential --the chops braise in wind with tomatoes, onion, and garlic for a couple of hours; then butter beans are added and cooked for an additional 1/2 hour. In summer, use fresh tomatoes and beans (or field peas). In winter, use canned tomatoes and cooked dried lima beans soaked with 1 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme. Should lamb chops don't yield that much meat,but they are inexpensive. Double the recipe for meat lovers.
2Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Trim the lamb chops of any visible excess fat. rinse the chops under cool running water, and pat thoroughly dry with paper towel. Heat the butter in a heavy skillet or frying pan until hot and foaming. Saute' the lamb on both sides over medium-high heat until deeply browned, about 6 minutes per side. Transfer the lamb to a casserole or baking dish just large enough to hold it in a single layer. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat. Add the onions to the pan, and stir well to coat in the cooking fat. Saute for 5 minutes. while the onions are cooking, use a wooden spoon to scrape the bottom of the skillet and dislodge any browned bits and lamb juices. Add the garlic slivers and stir well. Season with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and 1/2 teaspoon of the freshly ground black pepper. Cook for 10 minutes longer, stirring often, then stir in the chopped tomatoes and remove from the heat. While the onions and garlic are cooking, season both sides of the lamb chops with the remaining salt and pepper.
3Spoon the onions and garlic over the lamb chops, pour on the red win, and add the bay leaves. Place a piece of parchment paper directly over the lamb and onions, and place a piece of foil, shiny side down, directly on top of the paper. Cover the cooking vessel tightly with a double layer of foil, shiny side down, and if the dish has a lid put it on now. Bake in the preheated oven for 1 3/4 hours. Remove from the oven, and carefully uncover. Use a large, flat spoon to skim off the fat that has pooled on the surface. Carefully stir in the butter beans and re-cover with the parchment and foil. Return to the oven for 30 minutes.
4Taste the sauce carefully for seasoning, and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper as needed. Sprinkle the chopped parsley on top and serve.