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2000s Recipes + Menus

Provençal Braised Lamb Chops

  • Active time:30 min
  • Start to finish:2 1/4 hr
November 2008
It might seem like a joke to include a recipe designed to use up leftover white wine (from our Roast Turkey with Black Truffle Butter and White-Wine Gravy)—after all, why not just drink it?—but if you take the time to make this marvelous one-dish lamb dinner, you might find yourself hoarding half-empty bottles so you can make it again and again. Lamb shoulder chops are an inexpensive cut that benefits from braising, and the wine really helps tenderize the connective tissues running through the flavorful meat. Snuggling the lamb between sheets of thinly sliced potatoes, plus scatterings of golden garlic, onions, and thyme sprigs, creates a handsome and wonderfully aromatic dish.
  • 4 (1/2-inch-thick) lamb shoulder chops (1 3/4 lb total)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced lengthwise (1/4 cup)
  • 2 medium onions, sliced (4 cups)
  • 1 Turkish or 1/2 California bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 lb boiling potatoes
  • 3 large thyme sprigs
  • 1/3 cup oil-cured black olives
  • 1 (14 1/2-oz) can reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • Preheat oven to 375°F with rack in middle.
  • Pat chops dry and season with 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper (total). Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers, then cook garlic, stirring constantly, until golden, about 1 minute. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a plate. Brown chops in 2 batches, turning once, about 4 minutes total per batch. Transfer to a plate.
  • Add onions, bay leaf, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper to skillet and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Add wine and bring to a boil, scraping up brown bits, then remove from heat.
  • Peel potatoes and slice about 1/8 inch thick. Scatter half of potatoes in a shallow 3-quart baking dish, then top with half of onions. Scatter garlic, thyme, and olives over onions, then top with lamb chops. Repeat layering remaining potatoes and onions, then pour wine, broth, and meat juices over top.
  • Bake, uncovered, basting top with juices once or twice, until potatoes are tender and browned on top and meat is tender when pierced with tip of a knife, about 1 1/2 hours.