Lamb in Balsamic-Honey Sauce with Asparagus

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Part of Hopper's entry in Iron Chef SA 028:Balsamic Battle



For the lamb:

  • 1 kg lamb chops (= 2.205 pounds = 35 oz.)
  • 10 tbsp olive oil
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary needles
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2-3 tsp honey
  • 1/8 l red wine (~1/2 cup + 2 tsp)
  • 250 ml vegetable broth (~1 cup + 2 tsp)
  • 2 tbsp cream
  • 3-4 sage leaves
  • salt
  • pepper


For the asparagus:

  • green asparagus
  • butter
  • parmesan cheese
  • salt


You can start preparing this early, as the lamb chops should be marinated for at least 3 hours, they can rest in the fridge over night, too.

Mix a marinade from olive oil chopped garlic, sage leaves fresh rosemary, salt and pepper.


Wash and rinse lamb chops and dry with kitchen paper towel. Cut fat rim 3-4 times on each chop to prevent the chops from deforming when heated. Place chops in a flat bowl (Tupperware+lid works best). Spread marinade over lamb chops, close lid and let rest for at least 3 hours, flip bowl over every 30-45 minutes for marinade to spread evenly.


Remove lamb chops from marinade and brown in a pan on medium heat, 3-5 minutes from each side should do. Take chops out of the pan and set aside in the oven to keep warm.


Drain excess fat from the pan, put back on stove. Loosen the stock by adding the balsamic vinegar. Add honey and red wine and bring to a boil, let simmer for 5 minutes then add veggie broth and let simmer for 5 more minutes on medium heat. Stir in cream and season with salt and pepper. Turn off the stove, place lamb chops in sauce and let sit on cooling stove for some minutes.


Time to prepare the Asparagus: Preheat oven to 150° C Wash clean and peel Asparagus, cut of end bits. Bind into bundles of 4-5 pieces, this makes it easier to remove them from water without braking the tips off.

Heat up water in a pot, add salt and place asparagus in pot so that the water does not touch the tips. Cook for approx. 10 minutes until soft but not overly soft. Remove from water.


Melt some butter and grease up a flat dish. Place asparagus in dish and sprinkle with melted butter. Evenly distribute grated parmesan cheese on top and put in oven for 3 minutes until cheese has melted.


Take lamb chops from sauce, place on a plate with asparagus and add some balsamic honey sauce.