One of the great things I got for Christmas were amazing spices from near where my sister lives in the BK. One of them was ras el hanout. It's a spice mix I've never worked with, but it was recommended for lamb. So this morning, I decided I would use some of the spice on the round bone in lamb chops and pair with a risotto. The spices were incredibly flavorful, and I'll be happy to use them again.
1/2 C ras el hanout
3 8 oz round bone in lamb chops
1.5 C arborio rice
2 T unsalted butter
1 t marsala
1 t white pepper
1 large shallot
3 C chicken stock
2 C water
1/4 C raisins
1 C steamed spinach
1/2 t salt
If you can find it, ras el hanout comes as a packaged spice. If not, you can make one from some recommendations via google.
In a medium bowl, rub the lamb chops in the ras el hanout and cover well. Place in a plastic bag and put in the fridge at least 4 hours and not more than 12 hours.
After the spices have settled into the lamb, heat up a griddle or a grill on medium high, if one a stove top. (If you're cooking the risotto, do this at most 20 minutes after the risotto has been cooking.)
Heat the lamb for 3 minutes on each side and then turn the heat down to medium low, and heat for another 3 minutes on each side. Set aside on a dish for at least 5 minutes so that the juice settles.
(at this point of the cooking, Cody was very sad he wasn't getting any)
Heat the butter in a dutch oven or another pot that you would use to cook rice. Chop the shallots.
Once the butter has melted, add the marsala and the white pepper.
Once the butter has become fragrant (after about 2 minutes) add the shallots and the raisins. After sauteeing for about 1 minute, add the rice. Once the rice has become opaque, begin adding the chicken stock 1 C at a time.
Stir until each cup has absorbed. After the stock has absorbed, add the spinach. I used frozen spinach to the mix. Then add, one cup at a time, the water, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Taste to see if any more water should be added. If you feel it has become too thin, you an add some more butter. But it's most likely not necessary. Risotto just requires some patience.
Serve the lamb with the risotto, although either dish is great to stand on its own!