Crispy Lamb Belly w/ Pistachio Chimichurri & Butter Braised Asparagus By: Chef Sean Brock

Rating: 
Yield: 
Six to eight servings.
Ingredients: 

Lamb:

1 Lamb belly, about 1.5 pounds
Salt
Black pepper

Asparagus:

One bunch Fresh asparagus
3 tablespoons Butter
½ Lemon
Salt

Pistachio Chimichurri:

1 cup Basil leaves, lightly packed
½ cup Parsley leaves lightly packed
½ Oregano leaves, lightly packed
1 cup Extra virgin olive oil
5 tablespoons Lime juice
1 cup Pistachios, peeled and roughly chopped
2 Garlic cloves, sliced thin
1 teaspoon Smoked paprika
½ cup Onion, small dice

Instructions: 

For the Lamb:
Preheat oven to 300 ˚F. Season the lamb belly with the salt and black pepper on both sides. Place in a roasting pan on a roasting rack. Cook the lamb until it pulls away when pinched with tongs, about 3 hours.

Allow the lamb to come to room temperature on the counter top. Place in the oven and press with something heavy like a cast iron skillet. Allow to press over night.

Portion into 1.5 ounce blocks.

To finish lamb:
Heat a large cast iron skillet over high heat. When pan is hot add one tablespoon canola oil. When oil shimmers, add lamb belly. Do not over crowd the pan. You will need to do this in several batches. Cook the lamb until golden brown and crispy on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Reserve warm in a 200˚ F oven.

For the Asparagus:
Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat. When pan is hot add the butter. Allow the butter to melt and add the asparagus. Cook for 3-5 minutes, occasionally turning the asparagus over so it cooks evenly.

For the Pistachio Chimichurri:
Place all ingredients except the olive oil into a food processor fitted with a metal blade and process for 2 minutes. Scraping the sides every so often. Slowly add the olive oil. Reserve at room temperature.

Use as an accompaniment for the Lamb Belly or any other grilled or braised meats.

Suggested Pairing: CitronVodka Martini, American IPA, Viognier/Marsanne/Roussane

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fun facts

Pistachios, when eaten with high-carbohydrate foods, may result in lower than expected blood sugar levels, an important factor in reducing risk of diabetes.

According to a Penn State University study, it is suggested that pistachios reduce the body's biological response to stress.

One serving of pistachios has as much potassium (300mg, 8%) as an orange (250mg, 7%).

Pistachios are high in phytosterols which may lower cholesterol levels and decrease the risk of heart disease. In animal studies phytosterols have been shown to potentially have anti-cancer properties.

One serving of pistachios is 49 nuts, more than any other tree nut.

Forty-nine pistachios serve up to 20 percent of your Daily Value of B6, about the same as half an avocado.

You can obtain more dietary fiber from a serving of pistachios (3g) than a 1/2 cup of cooked broccoli, and the same amount of dietary fiber as an orange or an apple — approximately 10 percent of the Daily Value.

Just a single serving of pistachios provides you with the same amount of protein in a one-ounce serving of soybeans and can serve as a protein alternative to meat, poultry or beans according to the USDA Food Guide Pyramid.

Pistachios are a naturally cholesterol-free snack and contain just 1.5 grams of saturated fat.

Celebrate the greatness of nuts! October 22 is National Nut Day and February 26 is National Pistachio Day!