Eight ingredients. That's all it takes to make an entire meal from scratch. Add in a good bottle of wine for less than $20, and you've got a weeknight feast for family or friends. That's the philosophy behind our "8 & $20" feature. We hope it adds pleasure to your table.
Lamb chops are an ideal weekday sort of fare: quick cooking and flavorful. Rib chops, while delicious, can seem a bit festive (and pricey) for any old Tuesday, though. Choose loin chops instead for something with a less of a ta-da, jazz-hands finish, especially if you are going to smother them in a big pan sauce such as the one detailed below. Here, late-season tomatoes are quickly cooked with sweet shallots for a rustic texture, then finished with a hit of vinegar. A grain salad made of farro, a relative of wheat, makes a hearty and non-fussy side.
When thinking about a wine pairing for this dish, stay oriented on the sauce, rather than the lamb. The tomato and vinegar combo washed out a Cabernet Franc from France’s Loire Valley as well as a Pinot Noir from southern France. An Agiorgitiko from Greece with five years of age fared pretty well, with notes of smoke and spice that turned just a little too herbal with the tomatoes, but in the end a Shiraz from South Africa came out on top. Shiraz and lamb are a classic match, so on paper it seems tidy, but the key was how well the fruit-forward wine fared with the dominating flavors in the sauce.
Pair with a Shiraz from South Africa such as Indaba Shiraz Western Cape 2010 (85 points, $10)
Total Time: 30 minutes
Approximate Food Cost: $34
1. In a medium saucepan, cook the farro in boiling salted water until tender, around 20 minutes. Strain and transfer the grains to a mixing bowl and toss with olive oil to coat. Set aside to cool.
2. While the farro is cooking, season the lamb chops with salt and pepper. Heat two tablespoons of cooking oil in a large sauté pan over high heat. Add the lamb chops. Cook until done, around 4 minutes a side for medium-rare. Remove the lamb to a plate. Drain all but 2 tablespoons of the cooking oil from the pan and lower the heat to medium. Add the shallots and cook until softened, around 1 minute, then add the chopped tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes begin to break down, around 3 minutes. Add the Sherry vinegar and continue to cook for another 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt.
3. Mix the chopped olives and parsley into the farro and season with salt. Assemble the plates with one lamb chop topped with the tomato sauce and a side of the farro salad. Serves 4.
Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions