Best Lamb Recipes

Lamb Recipes from Chef Rick DeBeaord

Photos by Tri Nguyen

For over 20 years, chef Rick DeBeaord ran Café Rouge in Berkeley along with the restaurant’s founder Marsha McBride, who is a third cousin to Jeannie McCormack of McCormack Ranch. Café Rogue ended its long run in December 2016, so we caught Rick in his home kitchen enjoying a little time off while cooking two of his best lamb dishes to share with Edible East Bay readers.

RickGrilled Lamb Chops with Rose Petal Sauce

Middle Eastern flavors show off lamb so beautifully. Start this dish a day early and serve over couscous.

Serves 2

4 4-ounce lamb loin chops

For the marinade:
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ tablespoon ground cinnamon
½ tablespoon ground toasted cumin
1 tablespoon rose water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon kosher salt
½ tablespoon black pepper

For the sauce:
2 ounces rose petal jam
3 cloves garlic, puree (done in mortar and pestle)
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice to make a smooth sauce
For garnish:
¼ cup pistachios, roughly chopped

Combine minced garlic, cinnamon, cumin, rose water, lemon juice, salt, and black pepper. Use this to coat the lamb chops, then cover them and refrigerate overnight.

Shortly before serving, make the rose petal sauce by combining the rose petal jam, garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice.

Grill chops, about 4 minutes per side or to desired doneness. Serve drizzled with the rose petal sauce and chopped pistachios.

poached lamb

Poached Lamb with Flageolet Beans, Artichokes, and Green Garlic Bread Sauce

A great way to feature spring produce, this recipe would be equally good with asparagus instead of artichokes. Rick says that if you can’t find green garlic, use scallions or leeks, and if the artichoke prep is just too much, it won’t hurt to use canned or frozen artichoke hearts. Either way, you’ll need to start
preparation the night before serving.

Serves 2

Start ahead:
4 4-ounce pieces lamb shoulder (Season a day ahead with salt and pepper.)
1 cup dry flageolet beans (Soak a day ahead in cold water to cover, then cook in salted water until tender.)
6 baby artichokes (Stems peeled, outer tough leaves removed, and leaf tops trimmed off. Cook in water with juice of 2 lemons until tender.)

For poaching:
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
4 cloves garlic
½ bunch thyme
1 yellow onion
1 carrot
1 stalk celery

For the green garlic bread sauce:
1½ cups thinly sliced green garlic
4 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon salt
2 cups breadcrumbs
3 cups poaching liquid from lamb
6 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

To poach the lamb: Place meat and poaching ingredients in pot with enough water to just cover. Bring to boil, then reduce to simmer and poach for a couple hours or until tender. Remove lamb and set aside. Strain out and compost the herbs and vegetables, then return lamb to poaching liquid. Refrigerate if you are not going to serve immediately.

Shortly before serving, place green garlic, butter, and salt in a saucepan and cook, covered, until garlic is just tender. Then add breadcrumbs and enough of the lamb poaching liquid to float the breadcrumbs. Cook over low heat until thick, then stir in the grated cheese.

Reheat lamb in poaching liquid. To serve, place beans and cooked artichokes on each dish, then drizzle sauce over top. Garnish with some sprouts or a sprig of parsley.