Lamb is a controversial meat. Its taste has a dank, gamy undertone to it that’s totally absent from chicken and beef (and which means a whole lotta nope for a some people) but is… actually what I like about it. You always know when you’re eating lamb, and the taste is kissing cousins with the flavor of other interesting meats like goat, bison, venison.
However, I may not need to convince you to give lamb as much a go as cauliflower. There are quite a few cauliflower haters out there, but this is a wholly different (pun?) way of cooking a whole roasted cauliflower, and one that won me over. I adapted it from a technique in Bon Appetite that involves poaching in flavorful liquid to cook the cauliflower, then roasting it at high heat to make it crispy. I was in a hurry to get to Crossfit on the day I came up with the recipe, so I whipped the cauliflower out of the oven as soon as it had a nice browned color starting, but apparently cooking it longer developed a caramelization of sorts on the surface that’s extremely tasty. Will have to give that a go next time.
P.S. Feel free to ram four lamb pops into the top of your cauliflower. I used two and the proportion of lamb to cauliflower was a bit too heavy on the cauliflower. Also, this is delicious with the sprinkling of pomegranate seeds, pine nuts and parsley (the flavor combination is a great one, and aesthetically pleasing… I’m not the first one to have thought of it) but this is at heart a fun presentation spin on lamb and cauliflower. So you’re welcome to simply serve hunks of the roasted cauliflower on a plate with the lamb pops. You won’t have any complaints.
Life is good at the top of the food chain. But sometimes it’s really good. 😉
- 3 cups bone broth
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tbsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 head of cauliflower, leaves removed
- 2 tsp coconut oil
- 4 lamb chops
- ⅓ tsp sumac
- Salt, to taste
- Pomegranate seeds
- Pine nuts
- Salt, to taste
- Preheat oven to 475° F. Bring broth, oil, salt, red pepper flakes, bay leaf, and 2 cups of water to a boil in a large pot. Add cauliflower, reduce heat, and simmer, turning occasionally, until a knife easily inserts into center, 15-20 minutes.
- Using 2 slotted spoons transfer cauliflower to a rimmed baking sheet, draining well. Roast, rotating sheet halfway through, until brown all over, 20-30 minutes.
- While the cauliflower roasts, cook the lamb. Heat the coconut oil in a medium skillet over high heat.
- When the oil ripples when you tilt the pan, add the lamb chops and sear, turning once, for approximately five minutes on each side or until the lamb is nicely browned on the outside but still lightly pink and tender on the inside.
- Remove the lamb chops from the skillet and allow them to rest on a plate for a few minutes before assembly.
- Once the cauliflower is browned to your preference in the oven, remove and gently cut the top third off in a circular motion, set aside.
- Position the cooked lamb chops, bone up, then pack the reserved cauliflower around them so that they stay upright in place. Finish with a garnish of fresh parsley, pomegranate seeds and pine nuts. Serve warm.