If you love goat meat, you will love lamb. Lamb is far more tender than goat meat and easier to flavor. The tenderness of lamb also makes it a lot easier to cook than goat. It is probably so tender because it is meat from sheep that are no more than a year old. The flavor is very gamey but if that is something you do not like, stick with cuts from the rib and try local lamb versus imported lamb which usually has a stronger flavor. In our home lamb is an occasional treat. It is a delicious meat that you can splurge on because it doesn’t come cheap. More than that, because of the fat content, it is probably not something you want to eat every day.
How to cook
Lamb pairs well with flavors like cardamom, cumin, cinnamon, curry powder, oregano, and thyme, some of which I use in this recipe. Always add some acidity to your marinades for lamb. You can use citrus or vinegar to help carry flavors deep into the meat. Common cuts include the rack, rib chops (cut from the rack), loin, leg, and shank. Ground lamb is also becoming more widely used in burgers and meatloaf. A rack roast typically has 8 rib bones in it and weighs approximately 1-1/2 to 2 pounds, so it doesn’t require much seasoning. This Grilled Lamb Chops recipe produces an end product that is delicate and velvety with a rich fresh taste from the citrus marinade.
For this Grilled Lamb Chops recipe, you will need:
- Cutting board
- Sharp knife
- Grill Pan
- Small bowl (mix marinade)
- Medium bowl (marinate meat)
- Flat baking tray
- 1 rack of lamb already (frenched)
- 5 sprigs Fresh thyme
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- Lemon juice from 1/2 a lemon
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp white pepper
- 3 cloves of garlic
- Cracked pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tablespoon butter (softened)
- 1 tablespoon flour
- Pan drippings
- 1 cup water
- ½ tsp cracked pepper
- Trim excess fat from lamb. Start at the top and cut as much of it away as you can. Some people prefer to leave the fat on. You can leave as much of it as you wish.
- Stand the rack up on its base with ribs facing upwards. Use a sharp knife to cut evenly between each rib bone. Aim to cut halfway between each rib bone so that each chop will be roughly the same size. Rinse and pat dry lamb before adding marinade.
- In a medium bowl, liberally season lamb with salt and pepper on both sides. Depending on the size of the chops, you may use ½ to 1 tsp of salt and pepper to season.
- Strip thyme leaves away from the stem and set aside. Strip rosemary leaves away from the stem and chop into small pieces. Set aside.
- On the cutting board, mince garlic gloves as small as you can get them. Add a pinch of salt to the chopped garlic. Using the side of the knife’s blade, press into the garlic and mash the pieces flat. The salt will assist with this. You want the end result to look like a paste.
- In a small bowl add thyme, rosemary, garlic paste, paprika, white pepper and lemon juice. Mix ingredients well and pour over the chops. Use your hands to massage the marinade into the meat.
- Cover meat with cling film or aluminum foil and allow it to marinate for at least 4 hours or up to overnight in the refrigerator. Overnight is better.
- If you marinate the meat overnight in the refrigerator, remove it from the fridge before cooking and allow it to come to room temperature.
- Place a grill pan on medium-high heat. Add olive oil to the pan and let it get hot.
- Sear lamb chops on both sides in the hot pan, about 2 minutes per side. Do not discard marinade.
- Transfer chops to a baking tray and place under the low setting of your oven’s broiler for roughly 7-10 minutes. Keep a close watch on anything under the broiler. It will easily burn.
- Add butter and flour to a small saucepan and place on medium heat. Gently whisk flour and butter together allowing the flour to cook. Once cooked, the flour will begin to look less white and more of a tan/caramel color.
- Add pan drippings from the baking tray that the lamb was cooked on directly into the flour mixture.
- Add 1 cup of water to the marinade bowl and give it a good stir. Pour marinade remains into the saucepan.
- Allow the gravy to come up to a simmer. It will thicken from the flour as it begins to boil. If the gravy becomes too thick, add a little stock or a bit more water to get it to the consistency you desire. Cook gravy for at least 5 minutes to ensure that all the ingredients are fully cooked.
- Add cracked pepper and taste for salt. Add salt if necessary.