Fresh artichokes taste great with lamb, but frozen hearts will do in a pinch: thaw them, pat them dry, and add them about half an hour after you've added the olives.
- 4 lamb shoulder blade or arm chops, 3/4 inch thick
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
- 2 teaspoons tomato paste
- 1 cup homemade or low-salt beef broth
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 large artichokes
- 1/4 cup nicoise or other good-quality black olives, pitted
- Heat a heavy, straight-sided skillet over medium-high heat. Season both sides of the chops with salt and pepper. Add the olive oil to the heated pan and then sear the chops on both sides until well browned, about 3 minutes per side (work in batches if necessary so you don't crowd the pan). Sprinkle the garlic and rosemary over the chops in the pan. Whisk the tomato paste into the beef broth and pour it over the chops; add the wine. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a slow simmer, cover the pan, and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine the lemon juice with cool water in a bowl. Snap off the dark-green outer leaves of each artichoke. Cut off all but 1 inch of the stem, as well as the top third of the each artichoke. Trim the outside and bottom to remove the bases of the leaves and the tough outer part of the stem. Cut each in half. With a spoon, scoop out and discard the hairy choke and purple inner leaves. Cut each half into four wedges and put these in the acidulated water until ready to use.
- After the lamb has simmered for 30 minutes, remove the artichokes from the water and stuff them between the chops in the pan. Sprinkle the olives over the chops. Continue simmering over low heat, covered, until the chops are very tender and the artichokes are cooked through- 40 to 45 minutes. Transfer the chops, artichokes, and olives to a platter; tent with toil to keep warm. If the pan juices are greasy, tilt the pan and spoon off the fat. Put two chops on each plate and spoon the artichokes, olives, and pan juices over them.