Avant Garde Herb-Crusted Lamb Medallions with Avant Garde Whipped Potatoes

This recipe from the new cookbook Brew Food: Great Beer-Inspired Appetizers, Main Courses, and Desserts, features Avant Garde, a clean, well-balanced ale that has comforting flavors of biscuits, caramel, and fresh-baked bread. The relative crispness and medium body of this beer is a great counterpoint to the richness of the lamb.

Ingredients

  • Lamb
    • 8 lamb loin chops
    • 2 cups Avant Garde
    • Olive oil
    • Salt and pepper
    Potatoes
    • 4 tablespoons kosher salt
    • 3/4 cup sweet onion, diced
    • 8 cloves garlic, minced
    • 5 large russet baking potatoes
    • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cubed
    • 1/2teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • 1 to 1.5\1/2 cups sour cream
    • 1/4 cup fresh chives, cut to ½-inch lengths
    • 1/2 cup Avant Garde
    Herb Coating
    • 11/2 cups plain bread crumbs
    • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    • 2 to 3 large sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves removed
    • 6 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
    • 1 to 2 teaspoons olive oil
    • 3/4 cup Dijon mustard
    • 4 tablespoons Avant Garde
    • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    Finishing Touches
    • Smoked paprika
    • Fresh thyme or rosemary Sprigs

Serving Advice:

This recipe from the new cookbook Brew Food: Great Beer-Inspired Appetizers, Main Courses, and Desserts, features Avant Garde, a clean, well-balanced ale (fermented with lager yeast) that has comforting flavors of biscuits, caramel, and fresh-baked bread. The relative crispness and medium body of this beer is a great counterpoint to the richness of the lamb.

Directions

  1. Prepare the lamb: Trim the chops so there is minimal fat along the edges. Put the chops in a zipper-top plastic bag or other sealable container and add 2 cups of beer, making sure the meat is covered well. (Add water if additional liquid is needed.) Refrigerate and marinate for a minimum of 30 minutes, though 6 to 24 hours is optimal. Remove the lamb from refrigerator at least 2 hours before cooking.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F and prepare the potatoes: Fill a large stockpot with water and place on high heat. (Make sure there is enough water to cover the potatoes by about 2 inches.) Add kosher salt, diced sweet onion and minced garlic. Bring to a rolling boil. Wash, peel and cube the potatoes, removing any blemishes, while the water heats.
  3. Cook the lamb: In a large oven-safe pan, heat enough olive oil to sear the lamb. Remove the lamb from the marinade, pat dry with a paper towel, and generously season with salt and pepper on both sides. When oil is almost smoking, place lamb in pan and brown all sides. Do not overcook. Place pan in oven and bake for 7 minutes. (Leave the oven on when you take the lamb out.)
  4. Cook the potatoes: When water is ready, add potatoes, stir well, and boil 12 to 15 minutes or until a sharp knife can be inserted into the center of a potato without forcing, but not too easily. (Think baked potato consistency. Potatoes should not be soggy or come apart in the pot.) Drain thoroughly. (Careful! Potatoes go from almost done to overdone very quickly!)
  5. Prepare coating: Combine bread crumbs, Parmesan, rosemary, thyme, garlic and parsley in a food processor. Add a small amount of olive oil to bind and pulse until you have an evenly combined mixture. Spread the mixture on a plate. Crust should be a fine crumble but not wet.
  6. Combine mustard and the Avant Garde in a small bowl and set aside.
  7. Brush lamb with beer mustard on top and sides and coat evenly with crumb mixture. Put chops back in pan, crust side up, and set aside until potatoes are finished.
  8. Finish the potatoes: Melt butter in a stockpot and add drained potatoes. Grind/sprinkle black pepper and cayenne evenly over potatoes and add sour cream. Using a hand mixer on medium speed, incorporate ingredients while ensuring that the potatoes are broken down to an even consistency. There should be no chunks or cubes left, but do not over mix. Potatoes should be pasty.
  9. Adjust seasoning with salt, if needed. Add chives and 1/2 cup of Avant Garde. With the mixer on high, whip the potatoes, blending thoroughly. Mixture should be smooth with stiff peaks (like a good meringue), and chives should be mixed evenly throughout. (Add more beer and/or sour cream if additional liquid is needed to achieve a smooth and creamy — but not soft — consistency.) Cover potatoes to keep them warm.
  10. Just before serving, put lamb back in oven for an additional 8 to 10 minutes to reheat and tighten up crumb topping. (Or you can place them under a broiler for 4 to 5 minutes, until crust just starts to brown).
  11. To serve, stir the potatoes and place an oval mound on each plate. Sprinkle lightly with smoked paprika. Rest chops together on potatoes and garnish with sprigs of thyme or rosemary. If you want a vegetable accompaniment, baby carrots oven-roasted in aged balsamic vinegar, or another non-green seasonal vegetable of choice, would be great.

Brew FoodIf you love beer, you’ll love Brew Food: Great Beer-Inspired Appetizers, Main Courses, and Desserts. The mouth-watering recipes on these pages have been developed by a wide variety of food-and-beer professionals—from brewers to chefs to bar owners and all kinds of key people within the craft beer community. These are folks that have years of experience cooking with beer, and they’re thrilled to share what they’ve known for a long time: beer can be a wonderfully versatile and exciting element in almost any kind of cuisine.