Valentine's Day Lamb Chops with Roasted Thyme Potatoes and a Framboise Sauce


I wanted to make something in the spirit of Valentine's Day but didn't want to go the route of the typical sweet dessert. So I decided to make a nice romantic dinner instead. I pan seared some delicious lamb chops and made a sauce with Lindeman's Framboise, a Belgian raspberry lambic. To go with it, I roasted potatoes along with fresh thyme. I often make potatoes like this when in need of a quick side dish. So easy, yet delicious. All you do is chop up some potatoes (you don't even have to peel them), drizzle with olive oil, season generously with salt, garlic powder, and fresh thyme. Then bake until golden brown. 

So I think this dish counts as Valentine's Day themed, right? That pretty ruby color really pulls it through. The sweet and slightly acidic beer does a nice job of balancing the savory meat and potatoes, and the effervescence makes for a nice palate cleanser that makes you want to keep going back for another bite of lamb. Very enjoyable dinner. In my experience, the key to knowing your pairing is good is when you want to keep going back and forth between the beer and the dish.


Lindeman's Framboise is ideal for Valentine's Day. It pours such a pretty red color and has a sweet raspberry aroma. The combination of the effervescence, sweetness, and tartness would make a perfect pairing for a decadent chocolate dessert as well.

Here is a super technical overview (not really) of how I made this dish.

Ingredients:
  • lamb chops
  • red potatoes
  • olive oil
  • onion or shallots, finely chopped
  • salt
  • garlic powder
  • pepper
  • framboise
  • raspberries, fresh or frozen
  • fresh thyme
  • butter
  • garlic, minced

Directions:

Potatoes:
Preheat oven to 375. Chop potatoes and arrange on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Season generously with salt and garlic powder. Add plenty of fresh thyme (you can just pull gently down the stem against the grain and the leaves will come right off). Bake until golden brown, about 40 minutes. Sprinkle with some more thyme after baking.

Lamb Chops:
Melt some butter along with olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic to the pan. Simmer for about a minute. Turn the heat to high. Add the lamb chops, cooking for a few minutes per side, until nice and browned on the outside. Turn off heat and remove the lamb from the pan (you can cover them with aluminum foil so they stay warm). Splash in some of the framboise to deglaze the pan (oooh it looks so pretty at this point). Add in the raspberries, a little more minced garlic, a dash of salt, and a good amount of butter. Turn the heat to low and smash up the raspberries as you combine in the pan. You can also add in a little sugar if you want to balance out some of the acidity.

Now put it together all pretty like I did and serve to your significant other with a glass of beer :)

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Young's Double Chocolate Cheesecake


Hi guys! I started grad school a few weeks ago and I've been super busy. I wish I had more time to make blog posts, but I'm also enjoying school so I guess it's okay. Hopefully I'll have time to make the Valentine's Day themed recipe I have in mind soon :)

So Food Loves Beer Magazine asked me to recreate my mini Choklat cheesecakes recipe using Young's Double Chocolate Stout for an article on decadent desserts. Their preview issue comes out in March and you can follow them on facebook and twitter. Definitely my kind of magazine :)

I used the chocolatey stout in the filling and in the sauce. It really comes through in the final product. The cheesecake also pairs really nicely with a glass of Young's Double Chocolate Stout. It's like cookies and milk... except it's beer and cheesecake.

Enjoy and happy Super Bowl day!

Crust:
  • 40 graham crackers (~ 1 1/2 cups crushed)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter
Filling:
  • 16 ounces cream cheese 
  • 8 ounces sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • ½ cup Young’s Double Chocolate Stout
Chocolate Sauce:

  • 1 tbsp butter 
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup Young’s Double Chocolate Stout

Directions:
Makes 18 mini cheesecakes.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Crush the graham crackers finely and combine with the butter and sugar. Press mixture into bottoms of greased muffin tins or baking cups. Bake the crusts alone for about 5 minutes. For the filling, beat the cream cheese, sour cream, and sugar using an electric mixer. Add in the vanilla and eggs as you continue mixing. Mix in the beer. Pour filling into the muffin tins and bake for about 22 minutes until set. For the chocolate sauce, bring the half and half to a simmer with the butter. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips, sugar and beer.

Note: This recipe makes a thinner sauce than shown in the picture. I melted in more chocolate chips so I could photograph it without the sauce spilling off. You can do the same if you prefer a thicker sauce :)