Lamb chops with mint béarnaise, leeks and peas

  • medium
  • 2
  • 35 minutes

Perfectly cooked lamb loin chops sit atop a bed of lemony leeks and peas in this simple dish. What makes it stand out is the rich take on a bearnaise sauce which sees the usual tarragon switched out for lamb’s favourite herb: mint! The dish makes a lovely lunch or light dinner; serve with crushed new potatoes, roasted carrots or some nice bread to make a more substantial meal.

First published in 2021




Mint bearnaise



Begin by making a mint vinegar for the béarnaise. Pick the mint leaves and reserve for later. Roughly chop the stalks and place into a small pan with the vinegar. Bring to the boil then remove from the heat and leave to infuse and cool


Place a frying pan over a medium heat and add a knob of butter. Once melted, add the leeks with a pinch of salt and fry for about 5-8 minutes until soft but still bright green. Add the peas and stir for 1 minute, then either keep warm or set aside to reheat before serving


To cook the lamb chops, place a separate large frying pan over a medium heat. Season the chops on both sides with salt and pepper and once the pan is hot, stand the chops upright with the fatty edge touching the pan. Cook for a few minutes to render the fat – once it is golden and crisp, flip the chops onto their side and cook on each side for 2 minutes. Remove from the pan onto a plate to rest, loosely covered with a sheet of tinfoil


Now everything is ready, make the bearnaise. You cannot make this sauce in advance as it will split if reheated. Melt the butter in a jug in the microwave then leave it to sit for a few minutes so the white solids settle at the bottom and the clarified butter is on top


Set up a heatproof bowl over a simmering pan of water. Add the egg yolks to the glass bowl along with a splash of the mint vinegar and whisk until thick and pale– be careful to keep the heat low otherwise the egg will scramble


Take the bowl off the heat and slowly drizzle in the golden butter whilst continuously whisking to create a smooth sauce. Add the butter bit by bit and check it has emulsified properly as it is difficult to bring back together once split – if it does look like it is about to split, add a dash of water. Drizzle in all the butter until you get to the white solids which should be left in the jug


Taste and season the bearnaise with salt and lemon juice, then finely chop the reserved mint leaves and fold them in


Stir the white milk solids at the bottom of the jug into the leeks and peas, along with the lemon zest, chives and Parmesan. Taste and season with salt and lemon juice, gently reheating the mixture if needed


Divide the vegetables between 2 plates and top with 2 chops each. Spoon over some of the mint bearnaise and serve any leftover sauce on the side

First published in 2021

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