COLORADO LAMB CHOPS with Parmesan-Pine Nut Crust
Adapted from West Coast Prime Meats Cooks © 2015
Parmesan-Pine Nut Crust
- Half-cup pine nuts
- One lb unsalted butter, room temperature
- Two cups (approximately 4 ounces) Parmesan cheese, grated fine
- Four cups panko (Japanese bread crumbs), ground coarse
- Two tablespoons fresh herbs (parsley, chives, thyme and tarragon, equal parts)
- Four large cloves garlic, peeled and minced, or three ounces bottled minced raw garlic
- One tablespoon black pepper
- Half-teaspoon salt
- Parchment paper or waxed paper
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place the pine nuts on a sheet pan and roast them in the oven until lightly brown, about five-eight minutes. Watch carefully so the pine nuts do not burn.
- Remove them from the oven, cool them completely, then grind them in a spice grinder or coffee grinder.
- Combine the ground pine nuts with all remaining ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer and, using the paddle attachment, blend on slow speed until evenly mixed.
- Remove the bowl and run a spatula all the way around it, folding in ingredients to make sure everything is mixed together.
- Place a piece of parchment or waxed paper on an area where you will be able to roll the crust mixture.
- Using the spatula, spread the crust just below the center of the paper. Roll the lower edge of the paper up over the mixture and press down tightly so the crust forms into a circle, then continue to roll the paper like a cigar. Remember the roll should be the same circular size as the eye of your lamb chops.
- Place the Parmesan-pine nut crust in the refrigerator and chill until firm.
- 3 Racks of Colorado lamb, frenched (to do this at home, see How to French-Trim or Crown a Rack)
- One tablespoon salt
- Pepper mill
- Two tablespoons olive oil
- Parmesan-Pine Nut Crust roll, cut in 16 even 1/4-inch slices (see recipe)
- Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and set aside.
- Season the lamb racks with the salt and turns of the pepper mill to evenly coat each rack.
- Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat.
- Place the racks, bone-side-up, in the pan and sear quickly, then turn the heat down to medium-low and continue to cook until the internal temperature reaches 135 degrees Fahrenheit on a meat thermometer.
- Remove the pan from the heat and set the racks on a cutting board to rest for five minutes.
- While the racks are resting, turn on the oven broiler and raise the rack to the highest position.
- Slicing carefully between the bones of the rack, cut each rack into individual chops and lay the chops on the cookie sheet.
- Place a slice of the Parmesan-pine nut crust on each chop, then place the cookie sheet under the broiler. Cook until the crust turn GBD—Golden Brown Delicious—then remove and serve, four chops per person, immediately. You will likely have two or more extra chops; those are the cook’s reward.
Copyright © 2015 by Amy and Craig Nickoloff and West Coast Prime Meats
Recipes reprinted with permission of the owners.
Photos courtesy of Palms Casino Resort
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