Friday, 16 March 2012

Lamb chops baked in the oven

I've been making this dish so long, a sort of one-portion hotpot, I have totally forgotten if it came from a recipe in a book or a magazine or if I just made it up to see what happened. It's a staple of my winter repertoire of warm, filling standards and it's pretty foolproof - it takes less than 10 minutes to assemble and then you can just pop it in the oven and leave it to do its thing, although it's not one for a week night if you're coming home from work and want food quickly.

It's also not a dish for warm weather so March/April is about the latest I trot this out until the weather cools in October and it's time for comfort food again.

What you need: 
A couple of lamb chops
1 large potato (or 2 medium), thinly sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 large clove of garlic, thinly sliced
About 1/2 litre of stock
A little fresh rosemary
Olive oil
Butter
Seasoning

What to do: 
Heat a little oil and a small knob of butter in a frying pan. Fry the lamb chops until they are brown on both sides and set aside.

In the bottom of a small casserole dish, make a layer of half the potato slices, then cover it with a layer of half the onions and all the garlic. Sprinkle over the rosemary, and season. Put the lamb chops on top, then make another layer of onion and top it with the rest of the potato slices. Season the top of the potatoes.


Deglaze the frying pan with the stock then pour it into the casserole dish. It should be about 2/3 deep. Dot a little butter onto the top potato slices then put the dish in the oven for 90 minutes. Check it occasionally to make sure it's not drying out - top up with a little hot water if it is.


Cook's tips:
If you don't have lamb stock (fresh or from a cube), use vegetable stock. Any other meat stock will skew the flavours and you want the lamb to shine through. 

This benefits from some greens of some sort on the side to counteract the carbs. I like to dish up some green beans or a little braised savoy cabbage.