Lamb Chops with Pomegranate Sauce and Saffron Pilaf

Total Time:
1 hr 10 min
Prep:
30 min
Cook:
40 min

Yield:
4 servings
Level:
Easy

Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup orzo pasta
  • 1 cup white rice
  • 2 pinches saffron threads
  • 1 3/4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 to 2 large pomegranates or 1 cup store-bought pomegranate juice
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 6 peppercorns
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 12 rib lamb chops
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 pound farm spinach (available in bundles rather than bags in produce section), washed and dried
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
Directions

Preheat the broiler and arrange the oven rack 8 inches from the broiler.

Heat a large sauce pot over medium heat. Add the butter and let it melt, then add the orzo and stir. Toast the pasta until golden brown, 3 minutes, then add the rice and stir to combine. Add the saffron threads and stir in the stock. Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid. Cook the rice until tender, about 15 to 18 minutes.

Meanwhile, roll the pomegranate on the counter while applying pressure for a minute. Hold the pomegranate over a small pot and cut into it with a small sharp knife; the juice will come rushing out. Squeeze the pomegranate until 3/4 to 1 cup of juice is produced. Stir in the wine, Worcestershire, peppercorns, cloves, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer and reduce the liquid by half, about 6 minutes. Pour a little sauce into a small bowl, stir in the cornstarch, and then pour the mixture into the sauce. Cook until thickened, about 1 minute. Remove and discard the peppercorns, whole cloves and the bay leaf.

Arrange the chops on a broiler pan and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Broil for 3 to 4 minutes, or only 1 minute on each side for pink centers.

When the chops go into the broiler, heat the extra-virgin olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and stir for 2 minutes, then add the spinach and let it wilt. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg, to taste.

Arrange 3 chops on each serving plate. Drizzle with pomegranate sauce, and serve the saffron pilaf and wilted spinach alongside.


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