If you have a piece of game meat, one of the best things you can do is make chops. With some sort of delicious sauce and the right accompaniments, it preserves a rustic feel for the dish while also making it fit for a high-end restaurant or ambitious home project. However, it’s important to recognize that a meat chop (lamb in this case) is different to a steak. The difference being that a steak can come from any part of an animal, while a chop is a more specific cut and normally includes part of a rib.
But how do you make lamb chops? A lot of the time, the answer is a great sauce of some kind. A personal favourite of mine is mint sauce, because of how the sweetness balances out the rich gamey flavour of the meat. However, even just some salt and pepper can help make it delicious.
However, when you think about the lamb chop, you shouldn’t think about a normal farm animal. Customarily, lamb has been raised more free-range than a lot of other animals, and the meat’s tenderness and rich flavour should reflect that. So, it’s important that you cook it properly according to how it should be made.
There are two main ways I prefer to cook lamb chops. The first is on the grill. As I’ve said before, this is the most aesthetically pleasing and possibly the most authentic way of making them. You get the smokey flavour of the grill plus the customary grill marks on the side of the meat. When you hold the chop to your mouth, you can taste the flavour much more vividly than any other method.
However, if you want a less specific cooking method, you can cook them in the oven as well. This method is practical as well as being delicious in its own right given it’s an even cooking all over. Just make sure not to overcook or undercook the meat because such a delicious cut deserves to be treated right. Garnish with some salt and pepper and prepare some starch such as bread or rice, and you are in for a delicious, homely meal that reminds one of a pleasant cottage in Europe.
Serves 2 (If you have more, multiply recipe by 1.5 if you have double the people)
4 lamb chops
6 mint leaves
¼ cup parsley
2 tbsp water
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
¼ teaspoon red chilli powder
6 tbsp butter
4 cloves garlic
Sprig of rosemary
Take 4 lamb chops out of the fridge. Wash them all over very thoroughly. Put them in a large bowl.
Chop 6 mint leaves finely. Also, chop parsley enough for ¼ of a cup. Add these herbs to the bowl.
Pour into the bowl 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of water.
Mix up 2 tablespoons of paprika, 1 teaspoons ground cumin, 1 teaspoons salt, and ¼ teaspoon red chili powder. Once mixed, add to the bowl.
Mix everything in the bowl up, cover it with cling wrap, and let it marinade for a few hours.
Now we make the baste for the chops. Mix 1 stick of butter, 4 cloves of minced garlic, and a sprig of rosemary into a bowl. Microwave it until melted. Keep for later.
After marination, fire up the grill, ( instructions for starting the grill above ). Put the chops on direct flame, and keep until it develops a nice crust. Flip when one side has a nice crust. Baste the crusted side with the butter garlic baste. Baste generously so the chops stay nice and moist.
Once the other side has developed a nice crust, flip and baste the newly crusted side. Now, move the lamb to indirect flame, meaning where the charcoal is less hot so the lamb does not burn.
If you have a meat thermometer, the lamb should be somewhere around 150-160 depending on how you like it done. The inside should be brown.
Take off the heat and enjoy!