WOLF - Lamb Chops with Whiskey Cream Sauce and Colcannon
Since the series mostly takes place in the depths of space, the characters of Star Fox don’t exactly lend themselves to vibrant dishes – really, the only jumping-off point for a recipe concept is the character's name, personality, and the type of animal they are. For example: for Fox himself, I made a dish inspired by the diet of real-life foxes – rabbit and berries – with a flavour profile that pays homage to his Scottish surname, McCloud!
Well, I followed this same basic formula for Fox’s nemesis, Wolf! In my mind, the go-to prey animal of the wolf is sheep, so I decided to make lamb chops. And since “O’Donnell” is a textbook Irish surname, I drew upon the cuisine of Ireland for this plate’s flavour profile and side dishes! The chops are served with whiskey cream sauce, a classic sauce enjoyed throughout the Celtic nations. Ireland is famous for its alcoholic drinks – Irish whiskey is a particularly notable export – and including some alcohol in the dish just fit the personality of a tough, grizzled space pirate. To round out the plate, I made a side of colcannon, a traditional Irish dish! Colcannon combines two classic Irish staples – potatoes and cabbage – into a buttery, creamy mash. There exist many variations of this dish – I chose to make mine with leeks and kale.
1.5 pounds lamb chops
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp neutral oil
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 sprig rosemary
2 cloves garlic, smashed
Whiskey Cream Sauce:
2 tbsp unsalted butter
3-4 shallots, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 sprig of rosemary
1 bay leaf
½ cup Irish whiskey
½ cup beef stock
½ cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes
¼ cup unsalted butter
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 leek, thinly sliced (white & pale green parts only) and thoroughly cleaned
1 lb of kale, shredded (savoy cabbage would also be good)
½ cup milk
½ cup cream
Salt and pepper
Finely minced chives (or scallions), for garnish
Bring a medium pot of water to the boil. Wash and peel potatoes and add to the boiling water. Cook until fork tender.
Meanwhile, melt half of the butter in a medium skillet. Cook leek until soft and slightly translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add minced garlic and shredded kale. Cook for a few more minutes until kale begins to wilt and garlic is fragrant.
Return strained cooked potatoes to pot or transfer to a large bowl. Add milk, cream, and the remaining butter, and mash until smooth and creamy. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Stir leek, kale, and garlic mixture into the potatoes. Set aside until ready to serve.
For whiskey cream sauce:
Heat butter in a medium skillet. (Use the same one you cooked the leeks and kale in)
Cook shallots until they soften and become slightly translucent. Add rosemary, bay leaf, and garlic, cook for few more minutes, stirring, until fragrant.
Add whiskey to the pan. Turn up heat to medium-high, stirring constantly, scraping the bottom of the pan to deglaze. Cook until most of the alcohol has cooked off and evaporated.
Add beef broth and simmer for about 5 minutes, until reduced and slightly thickened.
Remove from heat and gradually stir in the heavy cream. Season with salt and pepper to taste (go easy on the salt, the beef broth adds a lot of saltiness).
Strain through a fine mesh sieve to remove the chunks, leaving behind a smooth creamy sauce. Set aside until ready to serve.
For lamb chops:
Heat oil over medium heat in a medium pan. Meanwhile, generously season lamb chops with salt and pepper.
When oil is hot, add lamb chops to the pan. Cook for three minutes, undisturbed, until the bottom becomes nicely browned.
Flip lamb chops and cook for an additional three minutes. Melt butter into pan, and add the garlic cloves and rosemary sprig.
Turn heat to low and cook the chops for five more minutes, occasionally basting with the rosemary and garlic flavoured butter.
Remove from heat, cover, and let sit for 10 more minutes. It will finish cooking as it sits. Check for an internal temperature of 145°.
Discard rosemary and garlic. Serve lamb chops with whiskey cream sauce and colcannon on the side.
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