In late spring, when the British asparagus season is in full swing, homegrown free-range lamb is at its most tender. It’s the perfect time to swap the Sunday roast for lightly grilled lamb chops, fresh green asparagus spears, dressed new potatoes, and a punchy garlic and caper sauce.
First of all, in a smallish saucepan put the milk and the garlic on a high heat. Bring to the boil and then reduce to a lively simmer. Cook for 25 minutes. Drain the garlic, reserving the liquid and blitz in a food processor smooth, adding enough milk to form a loose spooning sauce.
Transfer to a bowl and stir in the capers. Season well and set aside. If you want to you can add a spoonful of cream and a knob of butter. Some lightly caramelised softened onions added before blitzing is good too.
To make the dressing combine 30ml/2tbsp of oil, vinegar, mustard and seasoning. It will be quite sharp, but persevere, it will mingle with the butter on the potatoes and asparagus softening it a little.
Preheat the grill and bring a medium-sized saucepan filled with cold water to the boil. Place the chops on a chopping board and brush on both sides with the remaining oil. Season.
Grill for no more than 5 minutes on each side. For a really tender lamb chop, you want them pink in the middle. The more give there is when you touch them with your finger the less cooked they are. A hot grill is absolutely vital though to get a nicely grilled outside without over cooking them. A hot griddle pan is good too. When the chops are done to your liking remove from the grill, transfer to a warm plate and cover with foil to rest.
Cut the tips off the asparagus and cut the stems in half lengthwise and then once across if they’re fat. Add with the potatoes to the boiling water for 30 seconds and drain. Toss with the butter, add the dressing and the mint, toss again and distribute between plates. Pop a couple of chops on each plate and serve the sauce in a separate small bowl.
Image and recipe courtesy of AHDB from Simply Beef and Lamb