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Coffee may seem like a somewhat unorthodox ingredient when it comes to marinating meat, but, for this recipe we’re using a slightly less orthodox meat. Lamb! When prepared well, lamb can be savory, tender, and ultimately delicious. If you’re feeling ambitious, read on for a unique recipe for marinated lamb chops that are a perfectly unique treat for grilling season!
In a small bowl, combine the garlic, mint, ground espresso, olive oil, and wine.
Grind the spices by hand using a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder. Grind together all the peppercorns, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, rosemary, and salt.
Combine the dry spices with the wet ingredients and whisk thoroughly. Set aside.
Place the lamb chops in a large glass baking dish, taking care not to have them touch one another. Then pour the marinade over them, rubbing thoroughly on the top, bottom, and sides.
Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least three or four hours. When ready to cook, remove the dish, and wipe off most of the marinade with paper towels.
To cook this dish, heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large sauté pan or iron skillet and when it is hot, sauté the mushrooms and shallots for roughly 4 to 5 minutes, or until tender; the mushrooms will give off their moisture and the shallots will be opaque.
Add the wine, vanilla bean, and mint. Bring this mixture to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer and heat until the amount of the liquid is reduced in half. Stir in the stock, brewed espresso, and honey and continue to simmer until that mixture is reduced again by half.
With tongs, remove the vanilla bean and discard it. If you like a thicker sauce, add cornstarch to thicken, whisking in a little at a time to avoid lumps. Remove the pan from the heat and swirl in the butter. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and keep warm while you grill the chops.
Heat your grill and carefully cook the chops for 7 to 8 minutes per side or until a meat thermometer registers 125°F. They will be pink. Place the cooked chops on a pre-warmed platter, cover loosely with aluminum foil, and allow to rest 5 to 10 minutes as the meat continues to cook and the juices will redistribute throughout the chops.
To plate, place two chops on a plate, top with the mushroom/coffee sauce and garnish, as desired, with fresh mint sprigs. Serve immediately.