Lamb and artichokes make a lovely couple. Sizzling hot grilled lamb meets its match with the seductive sweet artichoke and it’s steady side kick, the potato.
A great Mother’s Day picnic or BBQ idea because you can prep the artichokes and potatoes ahead of time and putting the whole dish together just takes a few minutes.
Lamb: chops, sliced shoulder, thinner cuts
Medium Size Artichokes
Herbs: Thyme, Parsley, Fresh Chives
Garlic, Olive Oil, Salt, Pepper
1) Blanche the artichokes. Select medium size artichokes. Clean the artichoke, remove the choke and cut into quarters, or even smaller pieces if the artichoke is a bit large.
Blanche for 3-5 minutes in lightly acidulated water. I usually throw in the lemon slices that I used in the bowl of water when I cleaned the artichokes. The artichokes should be medium tender. Drain and run cold water over them and store in a bowl. They can keep for 1-2 days in the refrigerator.
2) Par boil the potatoes. Scrub the potatoes and chop into bite size pieces. Par boil them for 5-7 minutes in salted water. Drain and run cold water over them and store in a bowl.
3) Prep the lamb. I prefer thinner cuts of lamb because that’s how it’s eaten in Italy, but full lamb chops works equally well. Generously salt and pepper the lamb chops and sprinkle with thyme. Cover with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature.
When it’s time to serve the lamb:
1) Get the grill good and hot. Use wood if you can.
2) In a frying pan, heat a small quantity of olive oil and add the potatoes. You want a nice crust to form on the potatoes, so don’t turn them right away.
3) Finely chop the fresh herbs: thyme, chives, parsley, a little rosemary would be good, and 1-3 cloves of garlic depending on how much of a garlic lover you are.
4) Begin grilling the lamb. Depending on the thickness of the chops, this could take 3-4 minutes or longer. We like our lamb rare and use a hot, hot fire, so it goes fast.
5) Add the artichokes and freshly chopped herbs to the potato pan.
6) Flip the lamb on the grill. By now the herbed potatoes and artichokes should be done, so spread them out on a platter. By now, the kitchen and the grill are also smelling divine so you will have no problem getting everyone to gather at the table.
7) Arrange the grilled lamb on top of the potatoes and artichokes. Serve with wedges of fresh lemon.
Wine pairing: We drank a Montefalco Rosso and it worked beautifully, no problem with artichoke interference. This Montefalco Rosso was blend of sangiovese, sangrantino, and merlot, so it was medium to full bodied red. I would gear the pairing more to work with the lamb instead of worrying about the artichoke factor.
Buon’ appetito and Happy Mother’s Day!
Next Up: Artichoke Risotto