How to Make It
In a large, enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the 1/4 cup of olive oil. Add the onion, garlic and smoked ham and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened, 8 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook over high heat until the juices are bubbling, 3 minutes. Add the wine and cook for 3 minutes. Add the brandy and simmer for 3 minutes. Stir in the zucchini, eggplant, bell pepper, olives, oregano, thyme, rosemary and bay leaf. Cover and simmer over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, 35 minutes. Discard the bay leaf; reserve the ham for another use. Season with salt and pepper.
In each of 2 very large skillets, heat 1 tablespoon of the remaining olive oil. Season the lamb chops with salt and pepper. Add the chops to the skillets and cook over high heat for 1 minute. Reduce the heat to moderately high and cook until the chops are browned on the bottom, 2 minutes. Turn the chops and cook until browned on the second side and medium-rare, about 2 minutes. Place 2 lamb chops on each plate. Spoon the samfaina alongside; serve.