This recipe for roast lamb chops is really an idea or a guideline and not necessarily a recipe as such. It is a rustic family meal which was probably cooked by many Mama's in outdoor wood ovens in the southern regions of Italy using ingredients they happened to have on hand. If you have a wood oven by all means use it, otherwise for the rest of us, these roast lamb chops will be just as good using your regular kitchen oven.
You can make this dish equally as simply whether it be dinner for 2 or dinner for a whole crowd. Also, you don't necessarily have to use lamb – try it with chicken, turkey or even goat pieces. And, use more or less of any of the ingredients to suit your own taste. Experimenting with food is half the fun!
My personal favourite is using lamb chops as they cook to tender perfection!
INGREDIENTS: (for 4 people)
8 lamb chops
12 -16 small whole potatoes or, a few large potatoes cut into wedges
6 cloves of garlic, whole or you can chop them roughly
Rosemary & oregano
Salt & pepper to taste
A splash of white wine & water – about half a cup of each just to keep the base moist
4 - 6 chopped fresh tomatoes or about 1 cup bottled tomato puree (try not to add too much, just enough to add a little colour & flavour)
A handful of grated pecorino cheese
A small handful of dry breadcrumbs
HERE'S HOW TO ASSEMBLE:
• Roughly layer the lamb chops with the potatoes.
• Poke the garlic cloves between the lamb & potatoes.
• Sprinkle with fresh or dried rosemary & oregano, salt & pepper.
• Pour wine & water down one side so as not to wash off the seasoning.
• Scatter chopped tomatoes or tomato puree over lamb & potatoes.
• Finish with a handful of grated pecorino cheese sprinkled over.
• Scatter with breadcrumbs to soak up any excess liquid.
Cover baking dish with foil and bake for about an hour at 200 Celcius. Remove foil for the rest of the cooking time and bake until everything is tender, probably another hour or so.
And that's about as simple as it gets!
Served with a glass of Chianti and some rustic Italian style bread and perhaps a green salad or some lightly steamed green vegetables, it is simply delicious!
The most important part of handing family recipes down from generation to generation is the ongoing connectedness to our heritage. Just the mere aroma of food shared with our family and friends can trigger long lost treasured memories of the many happy moments we've shared with those who are special to us. Visit Mum's Family Recipes for an array of authentic regional recipes from many parts of the world. http://mumsfamilyrecipes.blogspot.com/