Cooking with Lou

Grilled Lamb Chops

– Posted in: Beef & Lamb

Grilled Lamb Chops

Lamb roasted, stewed, in a shepherd’s pie are all tasty dishes, but my favorite way to serve lamb is thick, juicy grilled lamb chops. In case you haven’t guessed yet, I am not a vegan or a vegetarian. (Although, we frequently make a meal of vegies.) Therefore, I have no problem in telling you how much I love lamb. grilled lamb chopsThese are my lamb chops, being grilled by my husband and son-in-law, Mark Scherrens. Mark, as you can see, is a much better photographer than I am. In fact, he’s really, really good.

I don’t like to mess up a grilled chop by adding a bunch of seasonings. I want the taste of that lamb to be the star. However, there are a few that I use.

Ingredients

  • 1 -2 lamb chops per person. Have your butcher cut them at least 1 and 1/2 inch thick.
  • garlic
  • salt and pepper

That’s all. I have made a balsamic reduction to drizzle over the top, AFTER grilling. That recipe follows.

Instructions

  • 30 to 60 minutes prior to grilling, take the lamb chops out the fridge. This let’s them come up to room temperature before you put them on the grill. Cold meat and grills are not a good combination.
  • Lightly salt and pepper the chops on both sides.
  • Finely chop 2 cloves of garlic  and spread on both sides of meat. Cover and let them sit.
  • If you don’t have fresh garlic, no problem. Just sprinkle lightly with granulated garlic. (Here’s a tip, if you have garlic salt in your spice collection, throw it out! Never, Never, use garlic salt for anything. You don’t know how much is garlic and much is salt. Not knowing, is not a good thing.) Garlic powder is OK, but since it’s a powder, sprinkling it, is like sprinkling flour….very inconsistent. You don’t want garlic on some places, and none in another. Granulated garlic works just fine. But fresh is always my first choice.

Make sure your grill is piping hot. Now, grill to the level of doneness you prefer. I’m not going to tell you how to grill, every one has their own method. If you’ve never grilled, broil them instead.

I like my chops to be medium rare.  That’s an internal temperature of 130- 135. Grilling time is about 7 minutes on a side.  My husband likes to do 3 minutes on each side on the hottest spot on the grill, then move them to the outside edge of the coals for 4 minutes on a side. Don’t move them off to a shelf. You want them to cook rather fast, and moving them to a grill shelf above the heat would not help.

After 7 minutes per side for medium rare, remove the chops, wrap them in foil and let them rest for about 5 minutes away from the grill. Again, don’t let them rest on that shelf that may be inside or above you grill.  For medium, add two minutes cooking time to each side. A lamb chop should never, ever, be served beyond medium. But if you must, just keep cooking until you think it’s done.

I serve with roasted vegetables and a good salad.fresh garden salad Fresh asparagus can be grilled right beside the lamb and it makes for a pretty plate. Sorry, I didn’t take a picture of the asparagus.

 

Balsamic Reduction

This is easy, but does need to be watched.

  • 2 cups balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of honey, or agave syrup. I have used brown sugar and that works just fine.
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 sprig of thyme (about a 3 – 4 inch sprig, you want to be able to remove it) If you don’t have fresh thyme available, just use 1 teaspoon of dried thyme.

I’m not crazy about mint, but you could substitute mint in this recipe. It will give the sauce just a hint of mint. Actually, that sounds pretty good.  Traditionally, lamb and mint jelly are paired,

Put the vinegar, herbs, and sweetener into a small sauce pan. Cook on medium heat and reduce until is the consistency of a thick syrup. This is why you need to watch it closely. Once it starts to thicken a little bit, it can burn or turn into a gooey mess quicly. So you must watch it closely. It is starting to get thick when the sauce coats a spoon.  Once it gets to this point, it will only take a minute or so more.

 

Enjoy.

 

 

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