Finding inspiration for dinner on a dreary Wednesday in the middle of November is a hard fought battle. I discovered that today in my local grocery store. I work in a small town where there is no fast food to be found, so every day at lunch I go to the Foodland to grab a soup or a sandwich at the deli counter. That's at noon. Many mornings I go into that same store to get coffee supplies for work at 8:00 am. And without fail, I go back into that same store at 5:00 to get something for dinner. And this has been going on for over 5 years now. So I guess I've drawn attention to myself. I thought the employees wondered if I was a secret shopper or a head office spy or something like that. Haha and because I find it harder everyday to come up with inspiration for dinner, I've come to enter the store everyday and grab a cart and head straight to the back of the store and troll back and forth and back and forth along the meat section. It's a small country store, so meat also means fish and poultry and all things in between. Today I started at ground beef and meandered all the way to the end at chicken, and not getting a vibe, I doubled back along again. I picked up a piece of salmon, but it gave me nothing back, so I put it back down. I tray of sausage caught my eye, so I picked that up too, but placed it back again. And so on it went until I began to realize that 3 store employees started trailing me along the row. Then it dawned on me! I was being watched and clearly they were checking to see if I was going to stuff a slab of meat into my jacket! How funny and amusing it was to me because my monthly bank statement is 3 pages long, and more than 90% of the purchases are made at that exact grocery store!
I was not to be daunted however, and they could search me if they dared. So I continued along in my mission for flavour and it was amusing to know that half the employees of the store were pretending to busy themselves as I made a choice for my Wednesday night dinner!
Alas, two lamb shoulder chops practically jumped off the shelf and into my cart! The choice was made. The one thing I do like about the end of barbecue season is that you can buy cheaper cuts and do a slow braise which means tons and tons of flavour and half the price of a grill worthy cut of meat. I felt sorry for my tail that I just bought the chops and left the store without drama or incident. They'll see me again in the morning when I buy cream for work coffee and I pray that someday they will apprehend a shoplifter in that little country store to add some spice to their lives.
But we're going to make an easy lamb chop braise and you only need what you already have in the fridge.
2 lamb shoulder chops
1 quartered onion
4 cloves of garlic roughly chopped
2 stalks of celery cut into 3 inch long pieces
2 carrots peeled and cut into 3 inch long pieces and quartered lengthwise
1 lemon thinly sliced
4 sprigs of fresh rosemary
1/2 tsp each of cumin and coriander
salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups of red wine
Preheat the oven to 350
place the lamb chops in a roasting pan and season with salt, pepper, cumin and coriander
pour in the red wine and add the vegetables, garlic and rosemary and lemon slices.
Put the lid on and bake for 1 hour at 350 and reduce the heat and bake for another hour on 325 degrees.
And that's it. The meat will be melt in your mouth tender. You can serve it with garlic mashed potatoes or rice. Or a salad. And you can make a side vegetable or just serve it with the vegetables in the roaster. And some bread of your choice if you like. Since it's a midweek meal and it tastes so amazing just in itself, don't go to any trouble for your side dishes. I just serve it with bread usually. Voila! Sometimes loitering in the grocery store until inspiration finds you is time well spent. Enjoy!