It’s very French to savor—to pause after your first bite, with a glass of cabernet in one hand, and let your eyes roll back in delicious bliss—medium-rare lamb, with the tastiest trim of caramelized fat.
But, of course, my family is not French. In fact, I am the only Francophile in my house that cares about enjoying lamb or any other food in its most flavorful, authentic and intended preparation.
My family prefers their meat burnt, well done, but tender. No blood at all. Very American. Trust me. They leave quality, medium-rare lamb on their plates for the trash, or they follow my son’s lead, which is to pretend to be a dissatisfied patron in a restaurant, while sending it back to the kitchen.
I often laugh, remembering how sweet life was, when I could go to a restaurant and sit down for a long, satisfying and solo lunch. I still love to eat with my family but learned to enjoy my food alone.
One of my favorite solo joints was a cozy New Zealand gastropub in Manhattan’s popular and historic South Street Seaport area.
Specializing in perfectly cooked lamb, Nelson Blue was a hit among tourists and New Yorkers alike. Perfectly cooked lamb lollipops and a French lamb dip sandwich were two of their top lamb choices.
I always ordered Nelson Blue’s lamb lollipops medium well and they came out spot on, with a honey mustard dipping sauce, which added an extra point of sweet, tangy and satisfying flavor.
My super easy lamb lollipops recipe is an homage to Nelson Blue, which closed long before the pandemic, but will always be remembered. If you prefer medium-rare results, then marinade these beauties in the sauce before cooking, instead of letting them simmer in it on your stovetop. But I prefer to cook the lamb lollies in the sauce because when cooking them well done, the sauce is the best way to keep them tender and juicy.
4 lamb chop lollipops, trimmed
Sea salt and pepper
1/2 tbsp of oregano and Herbs de Provence
¼ cup of onions, chopped
1 tsp crushed garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 clementine, juiced
1 tbsp of fresh herbs of your choice, chopped
1 tbsp honey
1. Season lamb chops with salt, pepper, oregano and Herbs de Provence.
2. Heat a tiny bit of oil in skillet over high heat and add lamb chops.
3. Sear to a beautiful brown on each side for 3 minutes, then turn heat down to low.
4. Mix onions, garlic, olive oil, honey, mustard, clementine juice, and fresh herbs in a bowl before pouring over lamb.
5. Simmer for 15 minutes or until tender and cooked to desired doneness.