November: National Pomegranate Month
As far as I’m concerned pomegranates are one fruit that deserve an official month. There’s no fruit quite like it. One of the most difficult fruits to eat, almost a puzzle to open, pomegranates are sweet, tart, and jam packed with antioxidants. Once you get inside, they are also one of the most beautiful fruits on the planet.
Fresh pomegranate juice is now readily available in the produce section of most supermarkets these days but November is the beginning of pomegranate season in North America and I’m a sucker for bargains. I’ve found a reasonable way to extract my own pomegranate juice when I’m tempted by a bargain and find myself with a few fat specimens…once you get the seeds (called arils) out of the tough, almost prehistoric skin, place them in a large freezer bag, seal almost closed and roll over the bag repeatedly with a rolling pin till each seed has popped and released it’s juice. Pour the entire mess into a strainer over a bowl and smash with the back of a spoon until the seeds are as dry as you feel like dealing with. Voila! Fresh squeezed pomegranate juice.
I’m sure there are more efficient methods, like juicers to accomplish this but when you are only faced with two or three pomegranates and have some time on your hands, this method works just fine. On the other hand, save yourself some time and just pick up a bottle of fresh pomegranate juice to make the delicious sauce for these lamb chops. The tartness of the juice is a perfect match for the flavor of lamb.
Lamb Chops With Rosemary Pomegranate Sauce
For 2 servings:
4 thick loin lamb chops
1 large clove garlic
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
Rub both sides of the chops with the cut side of the garlic clove. Season on both sides with salt & pepper. Drizzle oil over and turn to coat both sides well.
Preheat a broiler, BBQ grill or non-stick skillet to medium high. When hot add the chops and lower the heat to medium and cook for approx 4 minutes and turn. Cook for another 3-4 minutes or until medium rare.
Remove and keep warm while sauce is prepared. Chops will continue to cook slightly will resting.
1 cup pomegranate juice
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon finely minced fresh rosemary
1 minced shallot
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
3 tablespoons pomegranate liqueur (preferably PAMA)
1 tablespoon cold butter
salt to taste
Add the rosemary to the juice and simmer to reduce by one half. Add the honey, garlic and shallot and gently simmer for a few minutes.
Remove from heat and add the vinegar and pomegranate liqueur. Swirl in the butter just until melted off the heat. Pour over warm chops and serve.