Lamb au Poivre
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
3 (3/4- to 1-inch-thick) rib lamb chops (1 lb total), bones frenched
if desired and fat trimmed
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium shallot, finely chopped
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon Cognac or balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon unsalted butter
Coarsely crush peppercorns with a mortar and pestle or wrap in a kitchen
towel and press on peppercorns with bottom of a heavy skillet.
Pat chops dry and season with salt. Rub one side of each chop with peppercorns,
pressing peppercorns into meat to adhere.
Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until
hot but not smoking, then cook chops, peppered sides up, 2 minutes.
Turn chops over with tongs and cook, pressing down on each chop with
side of tongs to help pepper adhere to meat, about 2 minutes more (for
medium-rare). Transfer chops with tongs to a plate and let stand while
Pour off all but 2 teaspoons of fat from skillet if necessary, then
sauté shallot, stirring, until golden brown, about 30 seconds.
Add broth and Cognac and boil until reduced to about 1/4 cup, 2 to 3
minutes. Remove skillet from heat and swirl in butter. Add any meat
juices that have accumulated on plate and season with salt. Serve sauce
Makes 1 serving
Gourmet, February 2003