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Lamb Chops with Blackberry Pan Sauce and Arugula

Pair with Tom Gore Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon


8 lamb loin chops, about 2 1/2 pounds
kosher salt for sprinkling, plus 1 teaspoon, divided
freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
1 large shallot, diced (about 1/3 cup)
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary leaves
1 6 oz. package blackberries, halved (or quartered if very large), divided
1/2 cup red wine
2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
6 cups (about 4 oz.) loosely packed arugula
5 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tablespoons olive oil

Yields: 4 servings


Preheat oven to 350°. Season lamb chops with a 5-finger pinch of salt on all sides as well as black pepper. Heat a large sauté pan (not non-stick) over high heat and add canola oil. Once the oil shimmers when you tilt the pan (this means it's sizzling hot), add the chops in a single layer (sear in 2 batches, if necessary, to avoid overcrowding the pan). Sear until chops are well browned, and beginning to char around edges, about 3 minutes. Flip and repeat on the other side. Transfer to a baking sheet (reserve pan and drippings) and continue to cook in oven until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of the chop registers 145° for medium-rare, about 5 minutes.

If necessary, pour off excess fat from pan to equal about two tablespoons (this might not be necessary, depending on the fat content of the chops). Add shallot and rosemary to pan over medium-low heat and cook, frequently stirring to scrape up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan, until starting to soften, about 3 minutes. Add about 1 cup of the blackberries (reserving a few for the salad), and cook until softening and releasing their juice, about 3 minutes. Add wine and increase heat to medium. Cook until wine is reduced by half, about 4 minutes. Reduce heat to low and swirl in butter and season with scant 1/2-teaspoon salt.

Arrange arugula on a large platter. Mix lemon juice with olive oil in a small bowl with the remaining 1/2-teaspoon salt. Drizzle over arugula and toss gently with reserved blackberries. Place lamb chop on top of the arugula and spoon the pan sauce over the chops and some of the arugula.

Pair with a rich and full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon from Tom Gore Vineyards.