Lemon Butter with Persian Saffron
Lemon Butter with Persian Saffron over Rosemary Encrusted Lamb Chops
Most culinary enthusiasts are well aware of the fact that pound-for-pound, saffron is the most expensive spice in the world, but far fewer can pinpoint the saffron variety that holds the spot at the top of the saffron pyramid.
Prized by top chefs near and far, Persian Saffron has claimed its position at the top of the saffron ranks—making it the highest valued variety of the highest priced spice in the world. The global popularity is owed to both its unique color (Corcin) and intensified flavor (Safranal) properties.
While we do cherish the bright yellow color it tends to add to dishes, for this particular application, we are more interested in the magnificent flavor it adds to the lemon butter.
Lamb dishes are frequently enhanced with the unmatched, earthy flavor of saffron but I decided to take this dish to the next level by incorporating some of my other favorite ingredients—shallot, rosemary, and lemon—and pull them all together in a sweet cream butter sauce.
I hope you enjoy it as much as my family did!
Rosemary Encrusted Lamb Chops Topped with a Drizzle of Lemon & Persian Saffron Butter
For the Sauce
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1/4 teaspoon Persian saffron, lightly crushed with the back of a spoon
- 4 tablespoons sweet cream butter
- 1/4 cup chopped shallot
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh garlic, minced
- 4 tablespoons lemon juice
For the Lamb
- 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme powder
- cracked pepper to taste
- 4 8 ounce bone-in lamb chops
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
*Note: Infusing the saffron in the water ahead of time for at least 1 hour prior to starting this recipe will ensure optimal flavor.
For the Sauce
- In a small dish, infuse the saffron into the water for 1-2 hours prior to starting the recipe.
- Melt half of the butter in a small saucepan and saute the onions and garlic until the onions are translucent.
- Transfer the onions and garlic to a blender and blend well.
- At this point, begin cooking the lamb. Once the lamb is set to rest, continue sauce.
- Pour the lemon juice and water/saffron mixture into the skillet the lamb was cooked in to release the fond, stirring with a whisk.
- Add in the shallot and garlic mixture and remaining butter and whisk the mixture together.
- Once the butter is fully melted, remove from heat and pour in a sauce dish.
For the Lamb
- Mix together the rosemary, lemon zest, cumin, garlic salt, thyme, and pepper in a small dish.
- Thoroughly coat all sides of the lamb chops with the spice mixture.
- Heat your olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Once the oil is hot, put the lamb on and cook for approximately 3-4 minutes per side or until medium rare.
- Remove the lamb and set to rest, leaving the skillet hot to finish your sauce.
Plate your lamb with your preferred side dish (this dish goes great with roasted delicata squash and simple greens or a quinoa salad donned with dried fruit). Drizzle the Lemon & Persian Saffron Butter over the top, provide the additional butter in a sauce dish, and serve with a lemon wedge on the side. This dish pairs beautifully with a medium-bodied red wine like a Chianti or a Rhone.