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Lamb Chops with Mashed Peas and Mascarpone

I love lamb chops. This dish--basted in butter and topped with creamy mashed sweet peas--is so delicious I actually prefer it to roasted leg of lamb and all the trimmings, which we serve up every Easter. The mascarpone peas are also delicious on pork chops or ham steaks as well. The potato chips are a fast dodge for roasted potatoes wedges with rosemary, which I do make if I have potatoes on hand and the time to spare.

Serves 4

Originally aired

INGREDIENTS
  • 4 leg of lamb steaks, 1 1/4-inches thick 
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seed
  • Kosher salt and black pepper 
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 5 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 tablespoons thyme, chopped  
  • 3 to 4 shallots, finely chopped 
  • 3 cups shelled fresh peas 
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup tarragon, chopped 
  • 1/4 cup mint, chopped  
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese 
  • Good quality herb or rosemary potato chips 
PREPARATION

Rub the lamb with fennel, salt and pepper. Heat a cast-iron skillet over high heat with 1 turn of the pan olive oil. Add chops and brown them well on each side. Reduce heat to medium, add garlic, 4 tablespoons of butter and the thyme. Baste the meat with the butter as it cooks, about 10 minutes, turning once. Let rest 5-10 minutes before serving.  
 
Meanwhile, heat remaining olive oil, a turn of the pan, in a second skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Add remaining tablespoon butter and melt into oil; when it foams, add shallots. Stir a minute or two, add peas and stock and simmer 4-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and mash peas with a potato masher. Add herbs and mascarpone, and stir to combine. Adjust seasoning to taste.  
 
Top chops with creamy peas (like a sauce) and serve with a pile of potato chips alongside.

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