Friday, April 29, 2011

Spanish baked potato with Lamb Chop au gratin

Well this week we have been very fortunate to have eaten very well, very well indeed. I started the week out with a roast lamb, as I had purchased a beautiful enamel roasting dish whilst we were away in Busselton on the weekend, it is red in colour and is the covered type, handmade in Romania and I love it, though I need to rethink how I do my potatoes as they were more or less boiled rather than roasted, but the meat, MY GOD it was so moist and tender absolutely beautiful! I had half a cauliflower in the veggie box, so I accompanied the roasted meat and potatoes with a cauliflower au gratin and it went very nicely.

Wednesday saw us dining out at my favourite restaurant, catching up with friends, where I had the most awesome wood fired roast duck, it was delicious and went beautifully with the Swan Valley Shiraz by Talijancich Wines, must go for a drive out to the valley this weekend to pick up a few bottles!

Which brings us to Thursday night, I was back in the kitchen and tonight I wanted to try out a Baked Spanish Potato dish, I planned on teaming this up with some grilled lamb chops and in looking through the manual for my oven to work out how to do this, I came across a recipe for Lamb Chops Au Gratin, it look pretty easy and I thought it sounded like a plan so I went with it. The result had Jo Girl oohing and ahhing all through the meal, I had envisaged having some leftovers for lunch, but no, Jo hoed into four chops and a fair serving of the potato, unbelievable!

And the potato was just so good, so Moorish, I can see this being the way I cook potato bake well into our future, I have never eaten potato that was so delicious, it was so creamy smooth to bite into and so full of flavour, magnificent.

To make the potato begin by peeling and slicing potatoes into 1cm thick slices, which you then dip into beaten eggs and coat with flour. Heat olive oil in a pan, and shallow fry the potato in batches, 2 minutes each side until golden, once cooked layer into a casserole dish. Once all potato is browned, add a finely sliced onion to the pan and cook for 4 – 5 minutes, then add the tomato (flesh only) and cook a few more minutes tossing as it cooks, season with salt and pepper, cook until tomato begins to break down then sprinkle a teaspoon of flour over the top, mix in well, then pour over the potato. Add the tomato juice to 400 ml of chicken or beef stock, mix and then pour that over the potatoes gently until they are just covered, season well and put the cover on the dish and bake in a preheated oven (160C) for 45 minutes, then remove the lid and bake a further 15 minutes. Once cooked remove from the oven and stand for 5 to 10 minutes, you’ll find during this time the potatoes will absorb any juices and you will be left with the most amazing sauce.

3 large potatoes
3 eggs, beaten
Cup of flour
300ml olive oil
1 large onion, finely diced
400g can whole tomatoes, drained and flesh separated out
Salt and pepper

If you want to try the Lamb chops au gratin you will need
50g butter
1 onion, finely diced
50g flour
1 cup milk
1 cup water
Salt and pepper

Sweat the onion in butter over low heat for 10 minutes, then add flour and mix in well, turn the heat up a little and cook for a minute or so, season well with salt and pepper, I used a lot of pepper, then mix the milk and water together and pour over the onion, mix in well and bring to the boil, once boiled turn down to a slow simmer and let it cook for 10 – 15 minutes stirring occasionally. Meanwhile mix a tablespoon of fresh herbs, I used thyme, with 2 cloves of garlic crushed, a ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper and about 50ml of olive oil, mix well with a whisk, then massage into your chops and let them sit at room temperature until you need them. When your onion sauce is cooked let it cool down, I put the whole pan on a cork in the fridge until needed.

So your ingredients for chops are
9 – 12 lamb loin chops
1 tbl spoon fresh herbs, thyme or rosemary or mix of both
50ml olive oil
Salt and pepper

When you have taken the potatoes out of the oven, leave the door open a few minutes and let it cool down a bit, then crank up the grill, place chops on a wire rack, be sure to have a tray a shelf or two down to catch the fat and any mess, place the chops under the grill and cook for 10 minutes, then remove the wire rack, turn the chops and coat with the onion mix, I used a piping bag and this worked well, be generous with the sauce, replace back under the grill for about 7 minutes, or until the sauce has a golden colour.

Serve with Spanish Potatoes and a good red!

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