Marea restaurant in New York City is known for it’s superb cuisine, seamless service, and award-winning wine programs. To date, Marea has received two Michelin stars, the 2010 James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant, three stars from The New York Times, named Best New Restaurant by Bon Apetit, Esquire, and GQ Magazine and also Best Italian Restaurant by Zagat and continues to be one of New York’s most beloved modern Italian restaurants. Chef di Cucina Lauren DeSteno has generously created this beautiful Spring Lamb recipe to be paired with our 2010 Brunello di Montalcino.
Spring Lamb with Mushrooms, Polenta, Pancetta, and Mint
8 ea Double Bone Lamb Chops, about 6 ounces each
2 cups Yellow Polenta
1 1/2 qt Whole Milk
1 cup Mascarpone
1/3 cup Pecorino, ground
1 lb Wild Mushrooms, sliced
1/4 lb Pancetta, cut into lardons
1 ea Shallot, minced
2 ea Garlic Cloves, minced
1/4 cup Il Palazzone Brunello
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1/4 cup Golden Raisins
2 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
1/3 cup Water
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
In a medium saucepan, bring the whole milk up to a simmer, add the polenta and stir constantly with a whisk until it comes up to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and carefully cover the pot tightly with plastic wrap- to secure it, take a long piece of the plastic wrap and roll it up to form a cord; wrap the cord around the rim of the pot and tie near the handle to secure the plastic in place (the plastic wrap will inflate to form a dome). Let the polenta cook for two hours, until the grains are tender but still have texture. Remove the pan from the heat, carefully remove the plastic, add the mascarpone and the pecorino and stir well to combine. Taste the polenta and add salt and freshly ground pepper as needed. Reserve, covered, in a warm place until ready to serve.
In a small saucepan, heat the vinegar and water until it just starts to boil. Place the raisins in a heat-proof bowl and pour the boiling liquid over it. Season with a pinch of salt and set aside. When the raisins have cooled to room temperature, drain the liquid off and discard, reserving the raisins until ready to use.
Heat a large sauté pan over high heat until it just starts to smoke. Lightly cover the bottom of the pan with olive oil and carefully add the mushrooms, stirring to coat with olive oil. Spread the mushrooms into a single layer and cook until they start to brown, give them a stir and brown the other side. Season the mushrooms lightly with salt and remove from the pan. Lower the heat to medium and add the pancetta to the same pan, cooking until the fat renders and it starts to get slightly crispy. Add the garlic and shallots to the pan and sauté until they have softened. Deglaze the pan with the Il Palazzone Brunello, scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan, and add the mushrooms back to the pan, stirring well to combine. Taste the mushrooms for seasoning, adding salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. When ready to serve, reheat the mushroom mixture, add the soaked raisins and the lemon juice.
1/4 cup Basil Leaves, finely chopped
1/4 cup Mint Leaves, finely chopped
1 Tbsp Tarragon Leaves, finely chopped
1 tsp Marjoram Leaves, finely chopped
2 ea Lemons, zested
1/2 ea Garlic Clove, minced
1 pinch Kosher Salt
1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well to combine. Refrigerate until ready to use. Any leftover gremolata can be refrigerated and kept for 5 days.
To Cook the Lamb and Plate:
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Season the lamb chops well with kosher salt. Heat a large, oven-proof sauté pan over high heat, lightly coat the bottom of the hot pan with canola oil, and sear the lamb chops on all sides. Place the pan in the oven and cook the lamb chops for about 5-8 minutes (for medium rare) depending on the size and thickness of your chops. Remove the pan from the oven, and place the lamb on a plate to rest. While the lamb is resting, heat the polenta and mushrooms. Place a ring of polenta on the plate, spoons some mushrooms into the hole in the ring, and place 2 lamb chops on top. Drizzle the lamb generously with the gremolata (you may want to serve some extra on the side) and serve immediately.
Marea has been a long time supporter of the wines of Il Palazzone and we couldn’t be more proud to continue to be represented on their exquisite wine list. On your next visit to Manhattan, please visit Marea Restaurant for an unforgettable dining experience and perhaps order a bottle of Il Palazzone Brunello di Montalcino while you’re there! Marea is located at 240 Central Park South in New York City.