Ancho-Rubbed Lamb Rib Chops with Poblano Potato Salad Recipe

Ancho-Rubbed Lamb Rib Chops with Poblano Potato Salad Recipe
Contributor
Ancho-rubbed lamb rib chops with poblano potato salad
Arthur Bovino

Ancho-rubbed lamb rib chops with poblano potato salad

When you have a quality cut, as I did this week with a beautiful DeBragga rack of lamb, you don't have to do much with the meat. Don't mess around, man. Salt, pepper, a little extra seasoning to bring a touch of different perspective — cooked on the grill or seared in the pan... you don't need much more. In this case, that little extra flavor came from some ancho powder rubbed into both sides of the lamb rib chop.

That said, it's hard to resist pumping up the flavor of some traditional sides, in this case potato salad. Mayo is always an important key — which one. Kewpie adds great tang. Then you'll find variations of potato salad that include things like celery to give it some crunch. That's nice. But it doesn't add much flavor. What does? Onion, but how about poblano and jalapeño. Peppers are underutilized in potato salads. You get crunch, you get heat, you get flavor. To round out the theme, try a salad with jalapeño vinaigrette (seeded if you're afraid of the heat).

Click here to see Luscious Lamb Recipes. 

Ingredients

For the potato salad:

  • 1 bag of baby red potatoes
  • Salt
  • 2/3 cup Kewpie mayonnaise
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 poblano, diced
  • 1 jalapeño, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ancho powder
  • Handful cilantro, chiffonade
  • Pepper

For the watercress salad with jalapeño vinaigrette:

  • Jalapeño, seeded or half-seeded (roasting optional)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup white vinegar
  • Salt and pepper
  • Bunch watercress

For the lamb rib chops:

  • Rack of lamb
  • 2 teaspoons ancho powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Oil
  • 1 teaspoon butter per 2 rib chops

Directions

For the potato salad:

Boil water, add salt (heavy), cook potatoes until fork penetrates easily, but don't let them turn too soft (mushy potato salad is a fail). Drain, quarter and toss with 2/3 cup Kewpie mayonnaise, diced red onion and poblano. Toss in minced jalapeño (seeded or half-seeded if you're afraid of too much heat), ancho powder, and cilantro. Because your water was so heavily salted you likely won't have to add much salt, so just adjust as necessary. Touch of fresh ground black pepper.

For the watercress salad with jalapeño vinaigrette:

For the salad dressing it might be nice to roast the jalapeño. If you're going to do that stick it on kebab skewer and leave on the burner until charred, turn and repeat until all sides are blackened. Remove and put under a glass to remove skin. Purée the jalapeño with oil. Emulsify with vinegar. Adjust seasoning to taste. Dress with the watercress before serving. 

For the lamb rib chops:

Cut the rack to create indidvidual rib chops. Pat dry and rub with salt, pepper, and ancho powder. Get the pan hot, add oil, and butter then sear the chops, ladling butter and oil from the pan over the rib chops as they cook. Turn for a minute. Dress the watercress, and serve with a scoop of potato salad on top of the salad. 

Lamb Shopping Tip

Look for meat that is bright red. Red meat turns paler as the hemoglobin within releases oxygen – a sign that the meat has been sitting too long at the butcher's counter.

Lamb Cooking Tip

When browning meat, resist the urge to move the meat – you must allow a flavorful crust to form over high heat. Once it has formed, the meat should slide freely with the shake of a pan.

Lamb Wine Pairing

Most red wines, especially cabernet sauvignon, but also including cabernet franc, mourvèdre, Rhône blends, zinfandel, petite sirah, nebbiolo, nero d'avola, primitivo, barbera, and sangiovese.