Lamb chops make an elegant meal. They are usually quite simple and quick to prepare. Lamb fat can have a certain gamey flavor to it, so it works best with flavors like garlic, vinegar, or mint, which cut through game and enhance the lamb's best qualities.
Lamb Chop Cuts
The cut most people think of when they hear the phrase "lamp chops" is the rib chop - this is the equivalent of the rib steak of beef, which, when cut off the bone, becomes the ribeye. In lamb, the bone is always left in.
However, there are other cuts that can also be used in a lamb chop recipes - the loin chop is the same cut as the T-bone in beef and has the distinctive t-shaped bone. Both varieties are fairly pricey.
More economical chops shouldn't be overlooked, particularly for recipes that call for slower, longer cooking. Both the arm and the blade are typically significantly cheaper than rib or loin chops, and can be grilled or braised. Many cooks like using arm chops in a lamb curry, which simmers long enough that the meat is quite tender.
Lamb Chop Recipes
Try these delicious lamb chop recipes to really get the most out of lamb's unique flavors.
Balsamic Glazed Lamb Chops
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves removed and chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper
- 4 lamb chops
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons butter, very cold and cut into small cubes
- Combine rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper.
- Rub on all sides of lamb.
- Wrap and refrigerate lamb overnight.
- Heat oil in a 12 inch sauté pan over medium high heat.
- Sear lamb on both sides, about 3-4 minutes per side, until it develops a nice browned crust.
- Remove lamb from sauté pan when it reaches your desired doneness and set aside on a platter tended with foil.
- Add shallots and allow to soften.
- Add vinegar and chicken broth, scraping any browned bits from the lamb off the bottom of the pan.
- Simmer until reduced by half, about 5 minutes.
- Swirl in butter a piece at a time.
- Add lamb back in the pan and turn to coat.
- Serve lamb with extra sauce spooned over the top.
Grilled Lamb Chops
- 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, leaves stripped
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Fresh cracked black pepper
- 4 lamb chops
- Combine garlic, rosemary leaves, thyme, salt, pepper, and olive oil in a food processor.
- Pulse processor several times until you have a fine paste.
- Rub on lamb. Wrap lamb in plastic and refrigerate overnight.
- Heat a grill to high and lightly oil grill with a paper towel dipped in oil.
- Place lamb directly on hot grill and cook, about 3-1/2 minutes on both sides for medium rare.
Lamb chops produce a stronger flavor when paired with a variety of herbs. Rosemary, tarragon, basil, marjoram are often included in recipes or, for a Middle-Eastern flair, try curry, turmeric, or saffron. Mint is a classic favorite with lamb chops, while vinegar and garlic play well with the lamb's stronger flavors.
Lamb chops are quite easy to work with, but these tips make it even easier:
- Lamb is best when it is medium rare, which is about 140 to 150 degrees.
- Trim away excess fat before cooking if you don't like the gamey flavor.
- Allow lamb to marinate or sit with dry rub for several hours for best flavor penetration.
- Lamb chops work best with quick, high-temperature cooking methods such as searing, grilling, frying, and broiling.
Try Lamb Chops Tonight
Lamb chops are delicious, and depending on the cut you choose, they can also be quite affordable. With your new knowledge of lamb seasonings, branch out and try your own version of lamb chops for tonight's dinner.