I know, lamb chops cost about as much as platinum. But they taste a whole lot better. If you’ve ever been to – or heard of – Vij’s in Vancouver, you’ll know that these lamb popsicles must be pretty sublime, being their signature dish and all. A lamb popsicle is a Frenched chop – take a rack of lamb and cut between each bone and you have wee chops on the end of long, elegant bones – perfect finger food. And if you sort of scrape the meat down the bone, nudging it all toward one end, you have a neater lamb popsicle, which you can then cook quickly on the grill or in a hot skillet. And then there’s the option to serve them with this fenugreek cream for dipping/slurping – it doesn’t get much better.
Vikram Vij’s Marinated Lamb Popsicles in Fenugreek Curry Cream
The size of the lamb popsicles will depend on the rack of lamb you buy. If the popsicles are bigger, then four per serving is usually enough; if they are slightly smaller, then go with five per serving. Adapted from Vij’s cookbooks (I can’t recall which one this is in, and it appears I’ve either loaned both copies out or been the victim of a very tasteful theft, but this recipe is all over the internet.)
1/4 cup sweet white wine or apple juice
1/3 cup grainy yellow mustard
1/2 tsp each salt & freshly ground black pepper
2 French-cut racks of lamb, cut into chops
2 cups heavy (whipping) cream
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tsp dried green fenugreek leaves or crushed seeds
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1-2 Tbsp canola oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp turmeric
In a bowl or zip-lock bag, combine the wine, mustard, salt and pepper. Add lamb, stirring to coat, cover or seal and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours.
In a medium bowl whisk together the cream, salt, paprika, cayenne, fenugreek leaves and lemon juice. Heat the oil in a heavy skillet set over medium-high heat and saute the garlic until golden. Stir in turmeric and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the cream mixture and cook over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes, or until thickened.
Preheat your grill or set a heavy cast iron skillet over high heat; remove lamb from its marinade and grill (or cook in a hot skillet drizzled with oil) for 3-4 minutes per side, until medium-rare. Serve popsicles immediately; depending on their size, place 4 to 5 lamb popsicles on each plate. Pour the cream curry over the meat or ladle it into a small bowl and use it as a dipping sauce. Serves 4-6.