Mint-Pistachio Pesto Crusted Australian Lamb Chops Over White Bean – Wild Mushroom Cassoulet
Pinot Noir
Recommended Wine Pairing: Pinot Noir

For the Lamb Chops:
2 racks Australian baby lamb chops, frenched (approximately 3-4 chops per person)
2 bunches fresh mint leaves, cleaned and dried
1½ fresh, shelled pistachio nuts, unsalted
½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
3 garlic cloves
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the White Bean-Mushroom Cassoulet:
½ lb pancetta, small dice
1 lb mixed wild mushrooms- cremini, button, oyster, shiitake
1 medium yellow onion, diced small
1 large carrot, cleaned and diced small
1 large celery, diced small
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 medium sized tomatoes, seeded and diced small
1 Tbsp mixed fresh herds: rosemary, thyme, oregano- finely diced
½ cup good white wine
1 cup fresh bread crumbs
¼ cup freshly grated Pecorino cheese
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
Extra-virgin olive oil
Salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 425°.

In a large food processor, add the mint leaves, pistachio nuts, grated parmigiano cheese, garlic cloves and salt and pepper to taste. Turn on processor and while running, stream in the olive oil until the mixture in the processor is paste-like. Set aside the pesto in a mixing bowl. To prepare the lamb chops, remove all excess fat from top of rack. Either using a spoon or your fingers, generously coat the rack of lamb with the pesto, covering the entire top, meaty portion. Continue with second rack of lamb, using up either amount of pest on the racks of lamb. Place the lamb racks onto an oiled baking tray and place in 425° oven for approximately 15-20 for medium-rare chops. Set aside once cooked.

To prepare the cassoulet, heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add about 1 Tbsp olive oil to the pan and once heated up, add the diced pancetta. Cook until the pancetta has been cooked through and becomes crispy. Remove from pan and set aside.

In the same pan, add the butter and let melt. Once melted, add the onions, carrot, celery and garlic. Let cook for about 5 minutes and then add the diced tomato, mixed herbs, cooked or canned cannellini beans and the pancetta pieces. Add the white wine to the pan and reduce the heat to medium-low, simmering until the wine is evaporated.

In another small sauté pan, add the bread crumbs and over medium-high heat, with careful attention, toast the bread crumbs until slightly browned. Add the grated pecorino cheese to the toasted bread crumbs and stir to incorporate. Set aside to cool slightly.

To serve, cut each rack of lamb into individual chops. Spoon the cassoulet mixture onto warmed plates. Sprinkle the toasted bread crumb mixture on top of the beans and then top the cassoulet with two to four lamb chops for each plate (depending on size of each chop). Can serve a side dish of sautéed garlic broccoli rabe to accompany.

Greg Norman Estates. The Official Wine of Adventure.