In Our Kitchen we support local agriculture – especially Jr. Agriculture. My daughter was a member of the St. Helena FFA, and last year received the American Degree. My son is a member of Angwin 4-H.
With all the worries people have over where their food comes from and how it is raised, I suggest you go to your county fair Jr. Livestock Auction and support some of these young kids by purchasing an animal. Not only will you help out hard working kids, you will get a locally raised animal, which has been given the best food, care and exercise. To that end last year and again this year I purchased a lamb at our auction. The kids and I have really enjoyed the high quality lamb. One of our favorites is lamb chops.
To prepare these chops I have made a twist on the Tuscan Herb Mix that I learned last year in Italy. Instead of rosemary, sage, garlic and salt, I use thyme, basil, sage, garlic and salt. This herb mixture helps the lamb pair with D-cubed Cellars Korte Ranch Zinfandel.
California Herb Mixture: (Adapted from Secrets From my Tuscan Kitchen by Judy Witts Francini)
Small bunch basil (about ¼ cup)
Small bunch thyme (about 1/8 cup)
Small bunch sage (about ¼ cup)
4-6 garlic cloves
1 T kosher salt
To prepare the herb mixture: chop the thyme, basil, sage and garlic until it is fairly fine and everything is mixed together. In Italy we used a mezzaluna knife, I do not have one so I use a Chef’s Knife. Add the salt to the herbs. Lightly salt and pepper the lamb chops then rub the mixture all over the chops. (If you have excess it will keep about a week) Let the chops sit with this rub on them at least an hour (and up to 6 hours), then grill on a hot fire to your desired temperature. The kids and I enjoy our lamb medium rare, about 4-5 minutes a side. Serve with some roasted potatoes, and a fresh garden salad and our family table is a happy place!
For a perfect pairing, enjoy the grilled lamb chops with D-Cubed Cellars 2008 Brown Vineyard Zinfandel. Learn more HERE.