I'm not a fancy cook. I am more "bistro" than "haute cuisine." But every now and then it's fun to jazz things up a bit with a new herb, a different technique, or a novel sauce.
For me to be tempted to make it, it has to be easy and quick. That's why you won't find me carefully constructing a delicate Béarnaise sauce, whisking madly while keeping the egg yolks from scrambling. My favorite Béarnaise sauce comes out of a blender.
But, check out this dark sauce for lamb - very tasty and so shiny that it actually reflected the lights over my dining table. It added a little drama to my otherwise fine-but-a-little-boring plate of fresh asparagus and egg noodles with grated Parmesan.
After browning the salted and peppered lamb chops in a combo of butter and canola oil, just a tad of each, you set them to rest in a warm oven (lamb fat congeals fast - if you don't do that, it will already look unappetizing by the time the sauce is made) while you quickly make the sauce. It's a good idea to have the chopping done and the ingredients ready before you begin - that's how fast this sauce comes together.
In the browning pan, throw in a clove or two of minced garlic, and cook very briefly, perhaps 10 seconds, before adding a generous splash of balsamic vinegar and cooking for about a minute, until most of the vinegar has evaporated. Add about 1/4 cup of water, a tablespoon of catsup, a splash of soy sauce and, if you like it, stirring in a few drops of sriracha to spice things up a little. Bring out your lamb chops and drain any accumulated juices into the sauce, stirring it all together before pouring it over the chops.
It is a bit like teriyaki, only a little richer in taste and smoother in consistency - like teriyaki's suave older brother. My Beloved approved with his mouth full and I loved it, too. I will make this one again and bless the book from which it came.
Jacques, again. Bien sûr.