Lamb Chops and Bleu Cheese Mashed Potatoes

Herbes de Provence Grilled Lamb Chops

Served Over

Bleu d’Auvergne Mashed Potatoes

Herbes de Provence Lamb Chops Over Bleu Cheese Mashed Potatoes Photo by Frances Janisch

Herbes de Provence Lamb Chops Over Bleu Cheese Mashed Potatoes Photo by Frances Janisch

Many families eat lamb for Easter. Although we sometimes see folks buying half of a baby lamb at the Italian butcher in our neighborhood or on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx, most of us do not have the time, desire, or a big enough group to make that much food. This recipe helps to preserve the tradition of serving lamb in a more modern style.

Suggested Wine Pairing: The Calling Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2017

This garnet-colored wine has a bouquet of cherry and thyme with a hint of orange zest. It is smooth on the palate, with flavors of strawberry, black cherry, and Mediterranean herbs. It has just enough tannic structure to cut through the fattiness of the lamb, and the bright fruit will not be overpowered by strong bleu cheese.

Herbes de Provence Grilled Lamb Chops

The first time we cycled through Provençal fields of rosemary, lavender, thyme and oregano, we totally understood the culinary concept of Herbes de Provence.

For the lamb chops:

24 single cut rib lamb chops (approximately 3 ½ - 4 pounds)

¼ cup herbes de Provence

1 tablespoon sea salt

1 tablespoon finely ground white pepper

Oregano or thyme sprigs to garnish

 Evenly sprinkle the salt, pepper and herbs de Provence over the 24 lamb chops, turn over and repeat on the other sides.  

 Grill for 3 – 3 ½ minutes per side for medium rare. 

Tip:  Ask the butcher for 24 equal rib chops.  If you want a more elegant look, ask him to “French” the rib bones.  He will remove the extra fat and meat from the bone for you. Remember to cover the exposed ends of the bones with aluminum foil before grilling to prevent the bones from burning.  Remove foil before serving. 

Bleu d’Auvergne Mashed Potatoes

One of our friends always says, “If you take something good and add something good…it’s got to be good.”  Over the years, it has become one of our private jokes when we make these delicious blue cheese mashed potatoes.  

For the mashed potatoes:

  • 12 medium red skinned potatoes

  • 1 teaspoon salt, for the potato water

  • 4 tablespoons salted butter

  • ½ cup whole milk

  • 8 ounces Bleu d’Auvergne cheese (or other well-marbled bleu cheese)

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper

Wash and cut the potatoes into 1 inch squares. Cover with cold water, add salt and place on burner, turn heat to high.  Cook until potato chunks can be mashed with a fork, approximately 10-12 minutes after boiling begins.  Immediately drain potatoes and rinse once with cold water.  Place the milk and butter in a glass measuring cup and microwave for 45 seconds.  Slowly add to the potatoes while continuing to hand mash.  Add the salt, pepper and blue cheese and combine well.  

To serve:

Place a biscuit cutter or pastry ring in the center of a plate.  Fill with the blue cheese mashed potatoes, patting down firmly.  Remove ring and arrange three lamb chops on each plate. Garnish with oregano or thyme sprigs. Serve.

Copyright © 2012 by The World Wine Guys LLC from THE FIRE ISLAND COOKBOOK, published by Atria Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.