Lamb Chops with Persian Advieh & Minted Yogurt
Advieh literally means “spices” in Farsi, but also refers to a fragrant blend of sweet and savory spices frequently used in Persian rice dishes, grilled meats, and stews. Like all spice blends, the exact composition of advieh varies from household to household. This simple version – equal parts ground cinnamon, cumin, cardamom and dried rose petals – was created by Persian cooking doyenne Najmieh Batmanglij. Advieh’s haunting aromatics make a delicious complement for lamb as well as the rich black cherry notes of the 2017 Terra 9, and the tangy garlic-mint yogurt sauce echoes the dried mint on the wine’s finish. Although this recipe calls for lamb loin chops, you could certainly use rib chops if you prefer. Roasted winter squash or root vegetables make a colorful, complete meal. Serves 2-3.
6 lamb loin chops, each 1¼” – 1½” thick
kosher salt (regular or sea salt)
½ tsp advieh (1/8 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/8 tsp ground cumin, 1/8 tsp ground cardamom, 1/8 tsp ground dried rose petals)
2 Tbsp grapeseed, peanut or canola oil
1 tsp coarsely crumbled dried rose petals for garnish (optional)
1 cup plain yogurt (or ¾ cup plain Greek yogurt + ¼ cup water)
1 clove garlic, finely grated
⅛ tsp finely crumbled dried mint
⅛ tsp cayenne (optional)
sea salt to taste
Trim off any excess hard fat from the outside edges of the chops. An hour before serving, season the chops generously all over with the kosher salt, and set on a cooling rack over a plate to catch any liquid for 40 minutes. Meanwhile, make the yogurt sauce by whisking together all ingredients and seasoning to taste; set aside at room temperature until serving.
Forty minutes after salting the chops, pat them as dry as possible with paper towels, then sprinkle them lightly all over with three-quarters of the advieh. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat until shimmering. In batches if necessary, sear the first side of the chops 3 minutes. Press down to ensure good contact with the oil in the pan, but otherwise leave them alone to brown. Flip and sear the second side another 2-4 minutes (depending on thickness). If your chops are thicker than 1½”, sear the side edges as well. Your goal is an interior temperature of 126° or so at the bone for medium rare (130°), since the chops will continue to cook a bit while they rest. Remove the chops from the pan and let rest about 8 minutes – prettiest side up – on a plate or platter, tented loosely with foil.
Dust each chop with a pinch of the remaining advieh and serve with yogurt sauce, and crushed rose petals for garnish.
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