Lamb Chops with Poached Pears and Balsamic Pan Sauce

Last week my sister came over for a visit, mostly – she says – so that I would cook for her. And because I love her that’s exactly what I did 🙂 One day I made milanesas, another curried peanut chicken and another, because lamb chops were on sale at Safeway, these lamb chops with balsamic sauce from an epicurious.com recipe. The recipe called for poached quince, but Kathy doesn’t like quince, so I substituted with pears. Alas, Mika loved the pears so much that she asked me to make them everyday for dinner – I haven’t yet. The lamb was also a HUGE winner with all of us. This is certainly a better-than-restaurant caliber recipe.
I didn’t make too many other changes to the recipe, though I did double the sauce (it was a bit too much, but it was sooooo yummy and went great with the Israeli couscous I served it with). I’ll definitely make this again.
Lamb Chops with Poached Pears and Balsamic Pan Sauce
* 2 cups unsweetened apple juice
* 1/4 cup sugar
* 2 pears, peeled, cored and cut into thick slices
* dried thyme
* 8 lamb chops
* salt & pepper to taste
* 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
* 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
* 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
* 1 tsp. chopped fresh oregano
* 1 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
Directions
Put the apple juice and sugar in a medium-size saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves. Add the pears and a dash of thyme. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 20 minutes, until pears are tender. Remove pears from the juice and set both pears and juice aside.
Meanwhile, salt and pepper the lamb chops. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the lamb. Cook until it’s done, 2 1/2 to 5 minutes per side, depending on the sickness of the chops.  Transfer to a plate and keep warm.
Pour off the drippings from the skillet and place back on the burner. Turn down the heat to medium and add the apple juice. Boil until reduced to 1/2 cup – about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the vinegar, butter, oregano, rosemary and a sprinkle of thyme. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve the lamb with the sauce and poached pears.
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