Grilled rosemary lamb chops with barley risotto ラムチョップと大麦のリソト

japanese cake

Well, I am, again, deviating from the Izakaya theme. This is a type of a Bistro cuisine but apparently some Japanese bars serve this type of dish. I used a rack of lamb and cut it into individual chops. This rack was not as well prepared as the ones we usually get and I had to remove some silver skin and excess fat but I left some fat just above the chop since the fat imparts a good lamb flavor (if you like lamb flavor).

I marinated the lamb chops in fresh rosemary (chopped up, 1 tbs, from our herb garden), crushed garlic (4-5 cloves), olive oil (3-4 tbs) and cracked pepper (1/2 tsp) in a Ziploc bag overnight in the refrigerator. Just before cooking, I removed the meat leaving the garlic and marinade in the bag (I noticed that one of the garlic cloves went with the meat to the grill judging from the picture below). I then salted the meat. I was too lazy to fire up the charcoal grill so I used an electric grill outside (see below left).

I cooked the chops 2-3 minutes for medium doneness (this grill cooks from both sides). I turned the chops 90 degree in the middle of the cooking time to make nice grill marks. This dish had a more assertive lamb flavor than the oven roasted rack of lamb but if you like lamb this is a very straightforward nice dish.

Barley risotto: My wife made this dish and I assisted by chopping up the ingredients. I finely chopped onion (large, half), shiitake mushroom (5 medium, stem removed), and garlic (3 cloves). In a small pot, add olive oil (1 tbs) and saute the above vegetables for 2-3 minutes on a medium flame, season with salt and pepper. Add one cup of pearled barley and saute to coat the grains with the oil. Add 2/3 cup white wine (we used sake) and cook until the wine is completely absorbed. Add 3 and 1/2 cups of chicken broth (our usual Swanson reduced salt no-fat version). After it comes to a boil, cover and turn the heat down to simmer and cook for 30 minutes or more, stirring once or twice during cooking, until done. (It should be creamy but all the liquid should be absorbed). Add crumbled fresh goat cheese (2 tbs) and fresh thyme (from our herb garden) to taste. Adjust seasoning if needed. We also added small cubes of oven roasted root vegetables (this was leftover from a previous dish. sweet potato, onion and carrot were tossed with olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper, roasted with garlic and onion at 350F for 45 minutes to one hour).

As an accompaniment, we served barley risotto and oven roasted green beans. This was a very satisfying “comfort” food type dish. The barley has a nutty flavor with a rich mouth feel and a slight “al dente” crunch. Of course, a good red wine is called for. We had a nice Spanish Temperanillo, Caro Dorum 2005.

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