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Lamb Chops Saltimbocca

Lamb Chops Saltimbocca

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Serves 8.
By Dennis W. Viau; modified from a recipe in a restaurant trade journal.

These lamb chops are cut from racks of lamb, which have a milder flavor than typical lamb chops. Saltimbocca, an Italian term, is usually seen as a veal dish. These lamb chops are made in a similar way—wrapped in prosciutto and cooked. The result is a delicious meat.


2 racks of lamb (8 bones each); frenched (save the trim)
6 to 8 garlic cloves, depending on size
2 shallots; thinly sliced
¼ cup dry white wine
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
8 slices of prosciutto
Olive oil for frying
3 bay leaves
4 ounces (113g) butter
Stock (beef, chicken, or made from the lamb trim)


If not already frenched, trim the fat and tissue from the ends of the bones, about 1½ inches (4cm), saving the trim (see photos below). Cut each rack into four pieces, two chops per piece. Refrigerate until needed.

Place the lamb trim and garlic cloves (whole) in a heavy pot and cover. Sauté (add oil if needed) over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the trim is well browned (about 15 minutes). Transfer the browned trim to a dish and reserve. Add shallots to the pot and sauté 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are caramelized (they’ll change to a golden color). Remove garlic cloves and reserve.

Add wine and deglaze the pan, using a wooden spoon to loosen the fond (the brown bits) from the bottom of the pan. Simmer over low heat until the liquid is reduced to about a third its original volume.

Return the browned trim (not the garlic) to the pan. Add enough stock to cover, at least 1 cup (237ml), and the bay leaves. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 45 minutes. Check occasionally and add stock as needed. Remove from the heat and let cool. Filter through a fine sieve, reserving liquid.

Season the chops on both sides with salt (lightly) and pepper. The prosciutto will add saltiness; so little salt is needed. Wrap each chop in a piece of prosciutto, encasing the meat, and tie with kitchen string.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown chops on all sides, working in batches. Add butter and garlic to the skillet, cover, and cook until the lamb is medium-rare (internal temperature of 130°F (54°C). Remove from the skillet and let rest 10 minutes. The internal temperature will climb to around 135°F (57°C), which is medium-rare. Cook longer if you like your lamb less pink inside.

Heat filtered stock in a small saucepan. Plate a chop for a single serving and spoon stock over the top for an au jus presentation. Serve with any vegetables you prefer.