My husband really hates anchovies. Actually I think he just loves to hate anchovies because I manage to get a “this is delicious” out of him almost every time I sneak anchovies into a recipe. This recipe is a perfect example of using nutrient-dense ingredients like anchovies, egg yolks and organic lamb to make a family meal that everyone enjoys…at least my whole family did.
“Nutrient-Density” is kind of the purpose of most of my recipes here at Real Food Family. The mainstream nutritional dictocrats might say this meal isn’t “healthy” because of the fat and cholesterol, but they are straight-up wrong. I would say that this nutrient-dense meal is not only fantastically healthy for everyone, but particularly good for pregnant women and growing children. Learn why eating saturated fat and cholesterol IS healthy.
Why Should You Eat This?
The olive oil, herbs, olives and broccoli are good, but here are the best nutritional reasons to eat this meal:
Rare lamb (or any red meat) provides proteins like cysteine, taurine and carnitine (for healthy eyes and heart) as well as Coenzyme Q10, magnesium and Vitamin B6, and is also the best naturally-occuring source of Vitamin B12 (source and more about red meat). Make sure you are getting your lamb from an organic, pasture-raised, preferably local source.
Anchovies contain high levels of Omega-3 Fatty Acids as well as other essential fatty acids and healthy cholesterol. Anchovies are rich in protein, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, vitamins C, B12, B6, A, E and K (source). These nutrients contribute to a healthy heart, immune system, brain, energy and mood balance, hormone balance, and so much more.
Egg yolks contain high levels of biotin, choline, folate, protein (particularly methionine- an essential protein for fetal development), and healthy cholesterol (source). Get your eggs from organic, pasture-raised hens to eliminate any risk of pathogens in raw egg products. Always avoid eating raw egg whites.
Grilled Lamb Chops with Tapenade Aioli
- Rack of French-cut lamb chops, preferably organic and pasture-raised
- olive oil, for coating lamb plus 1 cup for aioli
- salt and pepper
- 2 raw egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon of white wine or white balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup kalamata olives
- 1/4 cup basil leaves
- 4-6 anchovy filets
- 1-2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- broccoli florets, lightly boiled or steamed to serve on the side
Preheat an outdoor grill on medium heat. *If you do not want to grill outside, prepare an indoor grill pan or sauté pan to sear the lamb then finish in a hot oven to desired doneness.
Coat the rack of lamb with olive oil then a liberal amount of salt and pepper. Grill for 8-10 minutes per side, until medium-rare (the meat feels the similar to when you press your middle finger into the palm of your hand below your thumb of the same hand). Let rest for a few minutes before slicing between the bones to serve.
While the meat is grilling, bring a large pot of water to a boil, season with salt then boil or steam broccoli until soft and bright green.
Meanwhile, prepare the aioli by blending the egg yolks, vinegar and a dash of salt and pepper in a tall container using an immersion blender, or in a standing blender, until the mixture is pale and very fluffy. (You may also use a large whisk, a bowl and a strong arm.) While continuing to blend or whisk, add one drop of olive oil at a time until the mixture emulsifies or thickens. From that point continue to blend or whisk while adding a steady drizzle of the oil until the mixture is thick like mayonnaise. Roughly puree the olives, basil, anchovies and garlic in a small food processor or by hand using a knife then stir the mixture evenly into the mayonnaise mixture. Season the aioli, as needed, with salt and pepper.
Serve the lamb chops and broccoli with a thick topping of the tapenade aioli.