Loin of Lamb – Top Chef Masters Night

This recipe reminds me of how brave K and I have become, both in our cooking and our eating. We went with this delicious looking loin of lamb and sunchoke puree (recipe here) because it looked tasty and easy. The recipe came from chef Michael Cimarusti of LA’s Providence Restaurant. The recipe was tasty and easy, but not necessarily the recipe chef Cimarusti intended.

First, neither of us knew what a sunchoke was so we had to look it up. It’s a tuber (like a potato) and it looks like a big, fat, fingerless ginger root. It is also called a Jerusalem artichoke. It is not an artichoke nor is it from Jerusalem so I have no idea who came up with that. Turns out it’s also difficult to find, particularly out of season in Minnesota. So we went with exotic sounding purple potatoes instead. Purpley!

We also opted out of making the broccoli rabe and cauliflower. I’m not sure why, other than neither of us were crazy for cauliflower at the time. This all changed in the Great Cauliflower Revolution which I will cover later. So, essentially, that left us with a loin of lamb, purple potato puree and rosemary mandarin jus. Good by me!

Our lamb loins were boneless so no worries about de-boning them. I’m always apprehensive about making lamb because when it’s overcooked it can be really bad. Ours turned out nicely though. Probably because browning meat in olive oil and butter makes everything taste good.

We simmered our purple potatoes in chicken stock for extra flavor and added some butter during the mashing/pureeing. Because if you’re going to sautee your meat in butter, you’d better add some to the side dish as well. For the sauce, we used as much of the juice from the lamb that we could procure without the bones, threw in some garlic and fresh rosemary then juiced some mandarin oranges and deglazed the pan. The resulting jus had a creamy, slightly orangey tint to it, but added a nice garlic and citrus touch to the otherwise meat and potatoes dish.

Next time we’re in the mood for steak and mashed potatoes, we might just go with this recipe instead. It was good! And, given the newfound respect for cauliflower, we might include that as well.

Loin of Lamb and Purple Potato Puree

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