Agnello con Sugo Ai Funghi
(Lamb Chops with a Mushroom Sauce)
2 Lg. Portobello Mushroom caps 1 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil 2 Lg. Garlic cloves 1 Lg. Onion - white 1/2 Tsp. Balsamic vinegar 2/3 Cup Vegetable or Chicken Stock 1/3 Tsp. Crushed red Pepperoncino (optional) 4 Lamb Chops - most fat trimmed 1 Tsp. Black or brown mustard seeds - ground
PREPARING THE SAUCE
Chop the mushrooms into fairly small pieces - about 1/2 inch square. Chop the garlic and 1/2 the onion coarsely. Put the mushrooms, garlic, Balsamic vinegar and 1/4 cup of the olive oil into a food processor, and process until a paste is obtained. At this point, the paste should be fairly thick. Slowly add the vegetable or chicken stock. Stop adding the liquid when the mixture is about the consistency of lightly whipped cream. Add the crushed pepper at this point if using same. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside. The sauce may be made ahead and kept refrigerated for a day or so.
PREPARING THE LAMB CHOPS
Slice the remaining onion as thins as possible. Place on a flat dish and pour 1/4 cup of olive oil over the onions, making sure to spread it as evenly as possible, salt and pepper the dish and lay the lamb chops on top of the onion/oil layer. Sprinkle 1/2 of the ground mustard seeds over the chops and cover with plastic wrap. place in a cool spot for 2-3 hours. After this time, uncover the chops and turn them over. Make sure that they are coated with olive oil, and sprinkle this side with mustard seeds. Cover again and let marinate for another 2-3 hours. If you are in a rush, the marinade times can be reduced by half.
FINISHING THE DISH
Heat two plates in a 250 degree oven for about 10 minutes.
Put the mushroom sauce into a small sauce pan and bring it to a simmer on the stove. The sauce can also be heated in a double boiler if you prefer.
Add the remaining olive oil to a cast iron, or other heavy bottomed pan, and and heat until it just begins to smoke. Tip the pan away from you and add the onions from the marinade the pan. Stir to coat the onions with oil, and after a minute add the lamb chops. Cook on one side for 3-4 minutes, then turn them over. Scrape the onions off the bottom of the pan to keep them from burning. Cook the second side for about 2-4 minutes depending upon the thickness of the chops. They are best when cooked medium rare.
While the chops are cooking on the second side, spoon enough of the mushroom sauce onto the heated plates form a 6-7 inch diameter circle of sauce. As soon as the chops are done, place two onto each plate in the middle of the sauce. Spoon 1/2 of the the onions onto the plate, and serve.
NOTE: This dish would be as good, and probably even better, if made with a sauce of fresh Porcini mushrooms mixed 1:1 with Portobello or similar mushrooms. We shall do just that the next time we cook in Italy. It is much easier to obtain fresh Porcini mushrooms there.
Last updated on: 06/03/99 12:50:46 AM