Braised Lamb Chops with Red Wine and Figs
Start braising anywhere from 2 days to 2 hours before serving; as the meat stands in the rich sauce, the flavors have more time to develop.
- 4 lamb shoulder chops (about 1 inch thick)
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, toasted and coarsely ground
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup full-bodied dry red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon
- 1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 7 ounces dried Calimyrna figs (about 8)
- 2 dried bay leaves
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Season lamb with fennel seeds, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Heat oil in large high-sided ovenproof skillet over high heat. Sear chops until well browned, about 5 minutes per side.
Add wine and vinegar. Boil until slightly reduced, about 2 minutes. Add stock, figs, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil.
Braise lamb in oven, covered, for 45 minutes. Uncover. Braise, basting often, until lamb is tender and just falling off the bone, about 45 minutes more. (If liquid is not saucelike, simmer over medium-high heat until thickened.) Serve lamb with sauce.