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Dining Tip: Curtis Stone's Anise-Rubbed Lamb Chops

The Top Chef Masters host has a new restaurant focused on seasonal ingredients in dishes like this one

Catherine Sweet
Posted: August 11, 2014

Note: This recipe originally appeared in the Aug. 31, 2014 issue of Wine Spectator, "The 2014 Annual Restaurant Guide."

Anise-Rubbed Lamb Chops With Gremolata, Grilled Zucchini and Feta

Recipe courtesy of Chef Curtis Stone, Maude, Beverly Hills, Calif.

• 1 cup dry red wine
• 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 7 star anise (3 whole; 4 toasted, finely ground)
• 1 small red onion, halved and sliced into wedges
• 11 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 3 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
• 3 tablespoons finely chopped kalamata olives
• 3 tablespoons Sherry vinegar
• 2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
• 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh tarragon
• 2 tablespoons coriander seeds, toasted and finely ground
• 2 teaspoons sweet smoked paprika
• 1 frenched 8-rib rack of lamb (about 2 1/2 pounds), such as one from Colorado, cut into 4 double chops
• 2 medium zucchini, cut crosswise on a very sharp diagonal into 3/4-inch-thick slices
• 1/2 cup coarsely crumbled feta cheese

1. In a small, heavy, nonreactive saucepan, bring the wine, red wine vinegar, sugar, 3 whole star anise and 1 teaspoon salt to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt. Put the onion wedges in a small bowl, and pour the hot wine mixture over them. Cover and let cool to room temperature, about 1 hour.

2. In a bowl, combine 6 tablespooons olive oil, shallots, olives, Sherry vinegar, lemon zest and tarragon. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover the gremolata, and set aside.

3. In a small bowl, stir 2 tablespoons of the olive oil with the remaining star anise, coriander and paprika. Season the lamb with salt and pepper, then with the spice mixture. Let stand at room temperature while you prepare the grill.

4. Prepare a grill for medium-high cooking over direct heat. Coat the spice-rubbed lamb chops with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Grill the chops, turning occasionally, about 15 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted horizontally into the center of a chop registers 125° F for medium-rare. Transfer to a platter and let stand for 10 minutes.

5. In a medium bowl, toss zucchini with remaining oil and salt to taste. Grill the zucchini, turning halfway after 3 minutes. Cook 3 more minutes, or until charred with grill marks and crisp-tender.

6. Drain the pickled onions. Place a lamb chop on each of 4 dinner plates. Arrange the zucchini and onions alongside the lamb, then sprinkle with the feta. Spoon the gremolata around the lamb. Sprinkle with sea salt and serve. Serves 4.

Note: Stone recommends removing the lamb from the refrigerator 20 minutes before grilling, to promote even cooking.

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