Lamb with Gorgonzola Fondue

Deborah Jones/Houghton Mifflin (Stir, Mixing it up in the Italian Tradition)

Fondue gets even more fun in this recipe from chef Barbara Lynch. The playful serving method highlights the marriage of flavors between quick-seared lamb and rich Gorgonzola. The buttery brioche croutons, the bite of the cheese sauce and the olive-brined lamb will keep you dipping till it’s done.


Servings: 4


For the black olive paste
  • 1 cup black olives such as Kalamata or Niçoise, pitted
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
For the fondue
  • 1 pound boneless lamb loin, trimmed of any fat and sinew and cut into four pieces
  • 1/4 cup black olive paste or store-bought tapenade
  • about 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 thick slices brioche or other fine-grained white bread, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 pound Gorgonzola, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • fleur de sel


For the black olive paste
  1. Combine the olives and olive oil in a food processor or a blender. Process on high until pureed, about one to two minutes.
For the fondue
  1. Rub the lamb with the black olive paste, coating the surface completely. Set aside.
  2. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add as many brioche cubes as will fit in a single layer and cook without moving them until golden brown on one side, about two minutes. Flip the cubes over and toast the other sides, adding more butter, if needed, until golden. Drain the croutons on paper towels. You may need to do this in batches.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the lamb, flipping it once, and cook to rare (120° to 125° F), four to six minutes, depending on thickness. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the meat to rest for six to eight minutes.
  4. While the meat is resting, combine the cheese, heavy cream, and pepper in a saucepan over low heat. Cook, whisking, until the cheese melts. Pour the cheese sauce into a fondue pot and light the heat source beneath the pot.
  5. Slice the lamb into bite-sized pieces. Arrange the meat and the croutons around the fondue pot. Sprinkle the lamb with a tiny bit of fleur de sel. Serve with skewers or fondue forks for dipping.

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