Recipe share by Rachael, Ancesister @ Ancestreats.
Who needs teething rings when you can gnaw on lamb chops? My father regales my children with a charming tale of how lamb chop bones were given to me when I was cutting my baby teeth. The story goes that I would be given a bone and gnaw it clean, refusing to give it up long after any rewarding succulent little meat bits and gristle were gone.
Lamb can be expensive, so it’s a treat in our house. More than forty years later, I have a teething baby sitting in my kitchen being given her chance to gum lamb chop bones. While she handed them over, it did take some prying and clever distraction.
As you can see, my own gastronomic love affair with lamb goes way back. I can’t explain why some people hate it and others adore it. Thankfully my kids are growing up on the side of the fence with the lamb inside. When I want everyone sitting together for a nice weekend dinner, I go for it and grill up some mouthwatering chops.
My mother’s traditional method is to massage the chops with olive oil, sprinkle them lightly with salt and pepper, and place them under a broiler until well-done and crispy. That’s what produced the wicked savory bone teethers of my infancy.
In the hot spells of summer I can’t bear use of my oven broiler. Instead, I turn to my gas grill, so its burners can churn hot outside on the breezy back porch. The following recipe is a favorite weekend family dinner special. It uses spices that I keep in the pantry and produces very satisfying results. You make the marinade, marinate the meat in it, grill then serve.
Pictured is my recently made chops with Lemony Potatoes and a small tossed arugula salad.
Grilled Lamb Chops
Make a paste in a small bowl with:
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 4 large garlic cloves, smashed and chopped and smashed and chopped
- 1 handful of fresh parsley, minced finely (I use the stalks, too)
- 2 tsp oregano
- 2 tsp rosemary
- 2 tsp thyme
- 2 tsp sage
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground pepper
In a large bowl, rub 8-10 lamb chops that are >1” thick with the paste. Transfer to a large enough ziplock baggie so they can rest in the paste, in the fridge. If you can’t go overnight, try to get this part done first thing in the morning so the chops get 8 hours in the rub.
IF USING A CHARCOAL GRILL: get your fire going on one side of the grill, and let the rack heat up until coals are medium hot. Scrape the grills clean then place chops over the hotter part of the grill for 5 minutes, turning them once. Move them to the cooler part of the grill for 7-10 minutes until you reach 130 F with your meat thermometer. Remove the chops and let them rest for 5 minutes; serve warm.
IF USING A GAS GRILL: Turn all the burners onto high, close the lid and preheat until temp is very hot (600+ F). Scrape the grill clean with a brush after 10-15 minutes. Leave one side burner on and turn the other burners (I have 3 total, so I turn down 2) to medium low. Follow Charcoal instructions from placement on grill.
Without any Greek friends to invite us over for dinner, and lacking a Greek diner to patronize in our neighborhood, I often get a hankering for this side dish. These are ideal as an accompaniment to grilled lamb with arugula salad.
3 lbs Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and quartered
Cover potatoes with cold water, throw in 1TB salt and bring to boil for 7 minutes (10-15 minutes at high altitude). You don’t want them mushy or even fork tender, just par-boiled to get them going. While boiling, prepare a dressing as follows. Whisk together:
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- ½ cup lemon juice (fresh is best, but real juice from a bottle, not a plastic lemon, please).
- Optional: Zest from lemons if you squeezed them for juice
- 3 garlic cloves, smashed and minced
- 1 tsp paprika
- t tsp crushed oregano or thyme
- 2 Tb chopped fresh parsley (leaves and stalks!)
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp ground pepper
Preheat oven to 425F (450F high alt). Drain the partially boiled potatoes and place in large bowl, pour dressing over them and toss to coat evenly. Let cool for 10 minutes while soaking in the dressing, toss few times while cooling. Meanwhile, line a cookie sheet with foil, covering up to the sides. Use a slotted spoon to place the potatoes evenly across the sheet. Set aside any reserved dressing. Place sheet in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Flip potatoes over to unbrowned sides. Roast for another 30 minutes. Remove crisped potatoes, place into a serving bowl and cover with any remaining dressing. Serve hot.
You can make these potatoes on your gas grill while making grilled lamb (see link to other). Place the cookie sheet on the hottest part of the grill, and keep the cover closed for 25 minutes before placing the lamb on grates. Turn the potatoes over after the lamb is placed on the grates. Remove the potatoes 5 minutes after the lamb is removed to cool.
Place into serving bowl and cover with remaining dressing. Serve hot.