Pinot Noir braised Lamb chops with couscous & gremolata | by Unna Burch

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Pinot Noir braised Lamb chops with couscous & gremolata | by Unna Burch

When cheap secondary cuts of meats are given time to get nice and soft they become such a delicious thing and any time meat is cooked on the bone, you are going to get so much more flavour too. The lamb has been served with a Fair Trade couscous salad, gremolada and yoghurt. It's a great dish for a dinner party as all the components can be made ahead of time before your guests arrive, all you have to do is serve up once the lamb is cooked. This could be serve with a piping hot mash in winter as an alternative to the cousocus. Also, sometimes I make double the amount of lamb and the next day, pull it from the bone and toss the leftovers though home pasta, topping with parmesan, pine nuts and herbs.

Serves 4
Time: Takes time

Wine Matches:

Huia Pinot Noir 2013 // Hunky Dory Pinot Noir 2014

For the lamb
1/2 cup flour
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
1kg lamb forequarter chops
3 large carrots, peeled and chopped chunky
2 onions, cut in half and thinly sliced
5 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup Hunky Dory Pinot Noir
3 cups lamb or beef stock
1 small bunch rosemary, tied with string
Zest of 1x lemon

For the couscous
1 cup Fair Trade couscous
1 large roasted red pepper (from a jar), diced
1 x 400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3 tablespoons pine nuts
3 tablespoons currants
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil

To serve
1 small bunch parsley, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
Zest of 1x lemon, finely chopped

1 small tub of natural thick Greek yoghurt.

Method
Pre-heat oven to 180C (350F)

Heat a cast iron skillet or frying pan on a medium/high heat. Once that is heating, in a large bowl, whisk the flour, curry powder, salt and pepper together and coat each chop well, shaking off any excess. This flour mix will season the meat, help give it a nice crust and also thicken the sauce a little during the cooking process. Add the oil to the pan and pan fry the chops in batches until they have coloured nicely on each side. You don't want to over crowd the pan, otherwise they will start to steam rather than fry, so take your time doing it in batches. Once browned, remove and add to a casserole pot or oven proof dish, layering the chops with the carrots, onions and garlic. Pour over the pinot noir and stock and put the rosemary and lemon on top. Season with salt and pepper. Cover with a lid or tin foil and bake in the oven for 3-4 hours or until the meat is falling off the bone. Remove and discard rosemary.

While the meat is slow cooking, make the couscous salad. (Note: this cooking method is for Fair Trade couscous which is a larger grain than other couscous. See packet for cooking instructions if you have a different variety) In medium size pot add 1.5 cups of water and a pinch of salt and bring to the boil. Once boiling add the cousocus and remove from the heat and let the water absorb for 5 minutes. Return pot to a low heat and cook for 10minutes or until all the liquid has been absorbed. Remove and add to a bowl. Mix through the chopped roasted pepper, chickpeas, pine nuts, currants, lemon juice and olive oil. Set aside.
 
For the gremolata - combine all of the chopped ingredients and mix well.

To serve, divide the salad between large bowls or plates. Top each plate with a chop (or two), add some of the carrots on the side. Spoon over some of the pan juice (and you can serve the rest in a jug if you want for the table). Add a dollop of yoghurt and season with a little salt and pepper. Finish the dish with some of the gremolata. Serve with that remaining bottle of Hunky Dory Pinot Noir on the side.
 

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