Moroccan Spiced Lamb Chops Paired with La Griveliere Cotes du Rhone 2010.


Ever since receiving a set of insanely expensive Laguiole steak knives for Christmas, I’ve been dying to test them out. Truth-be-told, when I unwrapped the small rectangler box on Dec 25th, my heart dropped into my shoes when I saw the Laguiole logo on the wooden case. For one second I thought the Mrs. had dropped $100+ on a Laguiole wine opener.
I don’t by any means want to sound ungrateful, it’s not that I wouldn’t have appreciated it, but my track record with retaining wine keys isn’t exactly the best in the world. Truthfully, I’ve probably had at least 10 taken off me just by airport security over the past 3 years. Coupled with the others that I’ve let people “borrow”, I know for a fact that it would only be a matter of time before this one went “walkies”!

Thankfully, it wasn’t an insanely expensive wine opener, but instead an even more insanely expensive set of four steak knives! TSA aren’t going to be getting their hands on these bad-boys (unless I feel the need to start providing my own silverware on flights), but I’ll be keeping a careful eye on every house guest that we dare to bring them out for!

Moroccan Spiced Lamb Chops

This was my first recipe where I got to test drive my brand-spanking-new French steak knives.
Lamb is without question my favorite red meat. Growing up in England you definitely see lamb on a lot more menus than you do here. With that being said, it’s quite easy to make it tough as old boots if you don’t cook it right. Us Brits have a tendency to do that with a lot of our foods…it’s a technique that has been passed down to us through the generations.

The recipe I decided to follow to put the steak knives through their paces on this recipe was Moroccan Spiced Lamb Chops

La Griveliere Cotes du Rhone 2010

The La Griveliere Cotes du Rhone is your typical Rhone-blend of Grenache, Syrah, Carignan and Mourvedre, with the wine supposedly taking its name from the Thrush birds, or Grive en Francois, that feed on the ripe grapes in the vineyards.
The wine, as is the case with most Cotes du Rhone’s, is very simple, straight-forward, and easy drinking. Medium-light in body (the Mrs. was confused for thinking it was a Pinot Noir), and showed a predominance of red fruit, subtle earth and spice, moderate tannins, well integrated alcohol, and a medium finish.  Average retail is around $12, for which it definitely represents a bargain.

Moroccan Spiced Lamb Chops.

Decent pairing, but it didn’t blow my socks off, and through no fault of either the recipe or the wine. Pairing wine with red meat isn’t rocket-science, but also finding something to suit the accompaniment(s) always makes it that ever-more challenging. In this case it was the green beans that threw a spanner in the works, confirming my theory that they’re one of the most difficult foods to pair with red wine. Sure I could have chosen a white, but the Lamb was the main component to the meal, and it seems backwards to place an accompaniment before the main item. Maybe an Alsatian Pinot Blanc next time?

I’ll rate this as a:

Good Pairing

Good Wine and Food Pairing

Moroccan Spiced Lamb Chops Paired with La Griveliere Cotes du Rhone 2010.

Moroccan Spiced Lamb Chops


1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 lamb racks
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro



1. Mix the spices and salt. Pat the garlic all over the lamb chops, then liberally coat them with the spice mixture.

2. Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F.

3. Roast 15 minutes, then cover lamb loosely with foil and roast until thermometer inserted into center of meat registers 120°F, probably about 5 to 10 minutes more.

4. Let stand covered for 10 minutes. Cut each rack into individual chops. Transfer the chops to plates, garnish with the cilantro and serve.

La Griveliere Cotes du Rhone 2010.

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