I love when a dish can be both elegant, special, and yet an absolute snap to make. Gnaw-on-the-bone delicious doesn’t hurt either. This — from the April 2008 issue of Bon Appetit — checked all the boxes.
It’s laughably simple: lamb with a classic pan sauce. And all that means is you cook some kind of meat (in this case 4 adorable little loin lamb chops) in a pan, take it out, add some aromatics (shallots, garlic, etc.) then some liquid (wine, broth, both), cook it down a bit and
maybe finish with a little cold butter (this particular recipe did not call for butter at the end. I believe it was implied however).
A sauce this good deserves to land on something worthy of it. In this case it was Creamy Mashed Potatoes. To provide the lovely green contrast and keep you feeling virtuous in the face of all that butter you can make Green Beans with Toasted Walnuts and Dried Cherry Vinaigrette (I used frozen haricot vert – see them peeking out from behind the cherry-drenched lamb?).
Make the beans and the potatoes first; they will easily stay warm in the time it takes to make the lamb. Serve to someone special who won’t be permanently turned off by the site of you licking your plate.