Pistachio-crusted lamb chops on rutabaga rosti with gingered carrot sauce

Merry Christmas!

Our kids had been busy getting ready for the holiday season: a big nice tree, a nativity scene, a choo choo train with bells and smoke, a fragrant candy-gingerbread house that surely wooed anyone with a sweet tooth. As a tradition, they waited patiently on the sidewalk to cheer and wave to Santa Claus when he visited our neighborhood in a firetruck with lights and siren.

For Christmas Eve, our priest joined us for dinner, and brought gifts for each of us! On the menu we had:

After dinner, we had a mini-concert where the kids played some of the pieces they’d been practicing. Despite a late night sleep, they were up super early this morning — well, guess why?

Pistachio-crusted lamb chops on rutabaga rosti with gingered carrot sauce

(Adapted from Patrick O’Connell’s Refined American Cuisine)

Serves 6

Gingered carrot sauce:
500 ml organic carrot juice
1 piece of ginger (thumb-size, peeled and sliced)
8 tbs crème fraiche or sour cream
Salt and ground pepper to taste

Rutabaga rosti:
1 large Idaho baking potato (peeled)
1/2 medium Rutabaga (peeled and cut into 2)
1/2 onion (finely chopped)
2 eggs
Salt and ground pepper to taste
Canola oil to fry

Lamb chops:
2 racks of lamb, each comprising about 8 rib bones
Salt and ground pepper to taste
4 tbs Dijon mustard
50 g brown sugar
1/2 cup pistachios (coarsely chopped)

Decoration:
Watercress

For the gingered carrot sauce:

  1. In a saucepan, simmer the carrot juice and ginger sliced over medium heat until the juice is reduced to 1/2 cup.
  2. Discard the ginger sliced.
  3. Over low heat, whisk in the crème fraiche or sour cream.
  4. Season with salt and ground pepper.
    • Note: The sauce can be made in advance and rewarmed before serving.

For the rutabaga rosti:

  1. Steam a peeled whole potato and the rutabaga pieces for 15 minutes.
  2. When they are cool to touch, use the large holed blade of a box grater to shred the potato and rutabaga.
  3. Add finely chopped onion.
  4. Add 2 eggs.
  5. Season with salt and pepper, and mix well.
  6. Form them into 12 small cakes.
  7. In a large skillet, heat about 5 tbs canola oil over medium heat.
  8. Carefully place 3 cakes in the skillet and fry them on both sides for about 5-7 minutes each.
  9. Remove and rain on paper towels.
  10. Repeat with the remaining cake.
    • Note: The rutabaga rosti can be made up to 1 hour in advance and rewarmed in the oven before serving.

For the lamp chops:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  2. Season the lamb with salt and pepper.
  3. Place the lamb racks on a baking pan lined with aluminum foil.
  4. Bake for 25 minutes.
  5. Remove the lamb and let it rest for 5 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, mix Dijon mustard + brown sugar in a small bowl.
  7. Coat the meat of the lamb racks with the mustard-sugar mixture.
  8. Use a spoon to spread chopped pistachios on the lamb meat.
  9. Return the lamb racks to the oven and bake for another 10 minutes.
  10. Let it rest on the countertop for 5 minutes.
  11. Carve each rack into 8 chops by cutting between the bones.

To serve:

  1. On a serving plate, place two warm rutabaga rosti in the center.
  2. Top with two lamb chops.
  3. Drizzle the gingered carrot sauce around the chops.
  4. Sprinkle some watercress on top.
  5. Serve immediately.