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How to make a Brandy Veal Stock Reduction Sauce

2 T. butter

Any leftover scraps of meat from cleaning the bones

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 shallot, finely chopped

1 tsp. thyme

4 to 6 dried apricots, finely chopped

1/3 to 1/2 cup of brandy or cognac, from macerating the apricots you used to stuff the lamb

1 cup veal demi-glaze

Here's how:

1. Drain any fat out of the sauté pan in which you cooked the rack of lamb. Heat the pan over medium-high heat, add a tablespoon of the butter to the pan and cook the butter until it starts to foam and turn slightly brown in color.

2. Season the leftover meat scraps with salt and pepper, add to the pan, and cook until caramelized. Add the shallots and let cook for 2 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the reserved brandy. Add the thyme and the chopped apricots.

3. Cook the brandy mixture until the pan is almost dry. Add the veal demi-glaze and reduce by half. Strain the sauce, and add back to the sauté pan off of the heat. Swirl in the remaining butter until incorporated and spoon over the rack of lamb.

Rack of Lamb Stuffed With Brandied Apricots

What you'll need:

1 rack of lamb, frenched (You can have your butcher do this.)

6 to 8 dried apricots

1/3 cup of brandy or cognac

1 tsp. thyme

1 T. butter

1 T. olive oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

Here's how:

1. Finely chop the apricots and place in a bowl. Add the brandy and let the fruit macerate for 1 hour. Meanwhile, allow the lamb to come up to room temperature.

2. Preheat the oven to 400F.

3. Prepare the lamb by cleaning any excess meat or fat from between the bones. The rib bones should be as clean as possible. Reserve any meat scraps for use later in your sauce.

Insert a paring knife as far as it will go into the side or the end of the rack of lamb. Turn the rack of lamb and repeat by inserting the paring knife into the other end of the rack of lamb. You are trying to make a cut that goes from one side or end of the rack of lamb to the other.

After the cuts have been joined, insert a wooden spoon handle into the slice to make the hole a little larger.

4. Drain the brandy from the fruit and set it aside for use later in the sauce. Place a small amount of the finely chopped apricots into the hole that was just created.

Using the wooden spoon, press the chopped apricots into the hole half way through the rack of lamb until tightly packed. Turn over and repeat. Season the rack of lamb with salt, pepper, and thyme.

5. Heat a sauté pan for several minutes over high heat. Add the olive oil and the butter. Once melted, add the rack of lamb and sauté for 2 minutes on each side, or until nicely browned on both sides.

Place in the oven for 5 to 6 minutes or to desired doneness. Remove from oven, place on a plate, lightly cover with aluminum foil and let rest for several minutes.

6. To serve, slice 3 chops per plate, and place on a bed of mashed potatoes. Serve with a Brandy Veal Stock Reduction Sauce.

Variation on the theme:

Try stuffing the lamb with dried cherries, apples, pears, peaches, or figs.

Next: Perfect Mashed Potatoes
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