Deschutes Lamb Chops with Roasted Fennel and Portobello Mushroom Risotto

  • Recipe TypeEntree
  • Prep Time1 hour
  • Yield4

Originally prepared with Deschutes Black Butte Porter, this lamb dish also pairs well with any American Porter. The mellow tartness of the dried cherries and pork perfectly balances the subtle licorice flavors of the fennel in the risotto.


  • 8 thick-cut lamb chops, trimmed well
  • Finely ground sea salt
  • Finely ground black pepper
  • 4 ounces dried tart cherries
  • 12 ounces Porter
  • 2 fresh fennel bulbs, greens trimmed
  • Olive oil
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup Arborio or sticky rice
  • 1 large Portobello mushroom cap, stem removed, minced
  • 1 large shallot, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 4 Tbsp salted butter
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Rub both sides of lamb chops with salt and pepper.
  2. Put cherries in small bowl with 6 ounces of porter to cover; set aside to macerate.
  3. Cut fennel bulbs in half. Coat lightly with olive oil, about 2 tablespoons, and season with salt and pepper. Place cut side down in ovenproof dish and place on middle rack of oven. Bake 30 minutes, or until golden brown and soft.
  4. Heat chicken broth to a simmer in 1-quart saucepan. Meanwhile, place another saucepan over medium heat. When hot, add 3 tablespoons olive oil and add rice, stirring to coat with oil.
  5. When rice has begun to sizzle, carefully pour in 1⁄2 cup hot broth. As liquid is absorbed, add more broth and stir until rice is al dente. Rice will take about 30 minutes to cook. Remove from heat and keep warm.
  6. In medium skillet, sauté mushroom and shallot with a pinch of salt and pepper in 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter over medium-high heat. When almost done, add garlic and sauté 2 minutes. Add this mixture, Parmesan cheese, and 2 tablespoons butter to risotto and stir. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  7. Heat an ovenproof sauté pan over high heat. When hot, add a pinch of salt to pan and add lamb chops. Place pan immediately on lowest rack or floor of hot oven. Roast lamb chops 5 minutes; remove from oven and turn. Return to oven and roast 5 minutes longer. Move to a warmed plate and tent with foil. Reserve juices in cooking pan.
  8. Place pan with reserved lamb drippings over medium-high heat and pour in porter-macerated cherries. Stir and let reduce until thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat and whisk in 1 tablespoon cold butter until butter is evenly melted.
  9. Plate one halved roasted fennel bulb, 2 lamb chops, and large spoonful of risotto on each plate. Offer cherry sauce on the side in ramekins or poured over lamb.