LAMB CHOPS AND SAUERKRAUT
Healthiest Meals on Earth
by Jonny Bowden
Powerful protein and a cancer-fighting sidekick
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours (on high); 6-7 hours (on low)
Yield: 4 servings
• 6 to 8 small loin or rib lamb chops, 1/2-inch (1 cm) thick
• 1 teaspoon almond oil
• 2 medium leeks
• 3 cups (675 g) sauerkraut, drained
• 3/4 cup (175 ml) low-sodium fat-free chicken broth
• 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
• 1½ teaspoons caraway seed
• 1/2 teaspoon thyme
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
• 2 apples, cored and sliced
Trim all of the visible fat off of the edges of the lamb.
In a skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Carefully pour or wipe excess oil from the pan. Briefly sear each side of the lamb and set aside.
Cut most of the tough greens off the tops and about 1/2 inch (1 cm) of the bulb off the bottoms of the leeks. Slice the leeks lengthwise down the middles and cut them into 1-inch (3-cm) sections. Immerse the leeks in a sink of water and separate them to clean thoroughly. Drain the leeks and place them in a slow cooker, covering the bottom.
In a small bowl, whisk together the sauerkraut, broth, garlic powder, caraway seed, thyme, salt, and pepper. Pour half of the mixture over the leeks. Place the lamb on top and pour the remaining half of the mixture over the lamb. Top with the apple.
Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 6 to 7 hours or on high for 4 hours.
Notes from the Kitchen
• In the past, you could only buy fresh lamb during the spring or summer; hence the term "spring lamb." But because lamb is now available year round, the term "spring lamb" doesn't mean much anymore.
• Lamb is very perishable. Honor the "use-by" date, keep it in the original packaging until you use it to minimize exposure to air, and keep it cold or frozen.
• Brown the lamb chops first on the stovetop to give them a nice seared surface, because that won't happen in a slow cooker. It's not quite as important for skinned poultry, but it really helps the flavor of red meat cuts.
• If you freeze lamb, make sure to wrap it tightly. With proper freezing, it should keep for at least a few months.
• Loin lamb chops are less fatty than rib chops. Two chops generally yield about 4 ounces (115 g) of lean meat. Lamb has less marbling than other red meats, so if you trim the visible fat on the outside of the chops, you'll remove most of it from the cut.