These pan-seared lamb chops are a wonderful treat with homemade tzatziki and aubergine done two ways – the spiced moroccan ratatouille and crispy aubergine chips add flavour and depth to the simply prepared lamb. Garnished with a bit of chopped parsley and mint, this is an easily prepared dish that elevates classic North African and Middle Eastern flavours into a dinner party favourite. Pair it with a delicious Aglianico vintage from southern Italy (a black grape originally brought over by Greek colonists – and, a principal component of the Falernian wine extolled by Catullus, Pliny the Elder and the fictional Trimalchio), as the acidity and ripened fruit notes will both complement the lamb and hold up to the aubergine accompaniments. If you’re looking for something a bit more upscale try a Taurasi, the only Aglianico with a DOCG designation – trust me, it’s totally worth it.
Lamb Chops (Serves 4)
8 lamb chops
1 1/2 tbl butter
drizzle of olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, crushed with the heel of your knife
2 sprigs ea. of parsley and mint, finely chopped for garnish
salt and pepper
- Place the aubergine strips in a large bowl and cover with ice water. Place a plate on top of the aubergine so that it is weighted down. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (up to 10), this will prevent the aubergine from soaking up too much oil during frying.
- Pour vegetable oil in a thick bottomed deep pot and heat up to 325F (162 C). Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, spices and lemon zest, drain the aubergine and toss them in the mixture.
- Season the lamb chops with salt and pepper and pan-sear in a large saute pan over medium high heat in the butter, drizzle of olive oil and crushed garlic for about 2-3 min on each side. Keep warm in the oven whilst frying off the aubergine chips.
- Fry the aubergine chips in batches, making sure to bring the temperature back up before each round. Drain on kitchen towel and season immediately with sea salt and a drizzle of lemon juice.
- Serve the lamb chops with the moroccan ratatouille, aubergine chips, tzatziki and pita bread. Garnish with the chopped parsley and mint – and, don’t forget your glass of Aglianico!