Some dread the thought of Pesach, but Pesach is one of my favorite holidays. There are aspects of every holiday that I enjoy, but I think that all of the thought and preparation that goes in to Pesach makes it that much more enjoyable. From the time that Purim ends, my mind is set to Pesach. I begin my menu planning, my cleaning schedule, and thinking about what exciting new things I can create for the coming year, and let me tell you, I am excited.
This year is the first year that I will be preparing a Seder. I have always had Pesach seder at family and friends, and this year we decided to do second night at home. Preparing for the seder is pretty much like any Yom Tov meal preparation, but we also get the bonus of all of the extra fun things to prepare like the seder plate items. I texted my mom a couple of weeks ago asking her for some of my favorite recipes from childhood that she would make each year for Pesach, and this year, for the first time, I needed the recipe for Charoset. My mom’s charoset is the best (I know, all of our mom’s is the best), but really, it is.
So when I was asked to make this post as my take on charoset for the Cleveland Jewish Federation Blog to coincide with their upcoming event; Chopped: Charoset around the Jewish World, I was just a tad enthusiastic.
The recipe I created for this post is something I am pretty excited about, it uses all of the ingredients in traditional charoset recipes (all of the ingredients in my mothers recipe) to create a savory, sweet, and awesome main dish. I had been eyeing these perfect looking Lamb Chops at the butcher for a few weeks now, and this was the perfect excuse to buy them!
I hope you enjoy this take on my charoset inspired lamb, it came out fantastic, and I highly recommend you try it out, it has a few components, but it is actually very simple!
SWEET & STICKY CHAROSET INSPIRED LAMB CHOPS
Honey Wine Reduction
1/2 C good dry wine (I used a Rioja, you can use any deep dry red you enjoy)
6 Tbsp honey
1 large pink lady apple
2 Tbsp Earth Balance, melted
1 Tbsp brown sugar
Roasted Pecan Pieces
1/2 C pecans, chopped
1/8 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
9 lamb chops (about 1/2 inch thick)
3 Tbsp honey
4 Tbsp dry red wine
salt & pepper to taste
Marinate lamb in in the honey & wine, and season with salt & pepper.
While the lamb marinates, prepare the rest of the components.
Heat a cast iron skillet pan to medium heat, while it heats:
Pour wine into a small saucepan, and bring to a boil.
Lower heat and simmer for about 8 minutes or so, or until the strong smell of alcohol is gone.
Add honey, stir, and remove from heat. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 375 F
Slice large apple into thin slices, skin on.
Pour melted butter replacement and brown sugar over the slices, and coat.
Lay coated apple slices onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper & bake until soft
Once the apples are soft, broil on Low for just a few minutes, until a bit golden/brown (watch carefully! It will happen fast!)
Combine pecan pieces & olive oil, and broil on Low for just two minutes or until slightly browned.
Gently lay lamb chops onto the cast iron skillet (4-5 at a time) and cook for approximately 8 minutes, flipping every 2-3 minutes for a medium rare cook.
Serve: Lay prepared apples onto a plate, lay lamb on top, and sprinkle with nuts & reduction.