Lamb chops are easy to cook on the barbeque, and the smoky aroma the barbeque gives really brings out the lamb’s beauty. You can get these chops from the grocery store or farmers’ market. Loin chops, shoulder chops and rib chops are all good, and can all be marinated and cooked on the barbeque. The average cooking time is between 4 and 7 minutes per side, with 5 minutes on each side being a good guideline, but it depends on the thickness of your meat, the heat of your barbeque, and whether you want the lamb rare, well-done, or somewhere in between.
The following recipe makes use of a tasty marinade, which is made with lemon, garlic, mustard, and herbs. You can use fresh or dried herbs, choosing from marjoram, rosemary, mint, oregano, and sage, or you can use a mixture of 2, 3 or all of those options. All those herbs are rich and earthy, and complement lamb perfectly. Give the lamb at least a few hours in this marinade, or else leave it in the refrigerator overnight for a really rich taste. If you are pushed for time, one hour of marinating is better than none.
Because lamb can be fatty, you will need to try your best to avoid flare-ups on the barbeque. Fat from the lamb dripping on to the white hot coals is a recipe for a flare-up, but trim off as much of the fat as you can before marinating the lamb, and when it is on the barbeque keep an eye on it. You might like to have a cooler area of the barbeque, somewhere the coals are not banked up. This depends if your barbeque is big enough for this of course, since 8 lamb chops already take up a fair amount of space. Move the lamb as soon as a flare-up happens. Blackened lamb is not as good as golden brown lamb, so try and avoid burning at all costs.
Whether you are tired of chicken and hamburgers, looking for a new barbeque challenge, or simply in the mood for a change of pace, consider lamb chops for your next cookout because they are easy to prepare and cook, and if you get them on sale the price is not too sobering either. Any way you look at it, lamb is sure to be a hit the next time you are cooking. A lot of people will not have had lamb for quite a while, and both the smoky aroma and the marinade brings out the true beauty of this wonderful meat.
What to Serve with Lamb Chops
All kinds of side dishes are great with barbequed lamb chops, including corn, fresh bread, bean salad, or a salad made with baby greens, cherry tomatoes, feta cheese, and crispy croutons. Red, white and rose wines are all good with lamb too, so you have plenty of possibilities. The following recipe serves 8 people but you can half it if you are feeding fewer people. Lamb is not the cheapest cut of meat available, so you might want to save this recipe for a special occasion. It is certainly worth making anyway, and the herbs add so much flavor to the lamb, as do the garlic and lemon, and of course the magical smoky aroma from the barbeque itself. All of these factors combine to bring you an outstanding dish.
- 8 lamb chops
- 2 minced garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons mustard
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons mixed herbs (maybe marjoram, rosemary, mint oregano, and/or sage)
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Trim the fat from the outside of the lamb with a sharp knife.
- This will help decrease flare-ups on the barbeque.
- Combine the garlic, salt, lemon juice, oil, mustard, black pepper, and herbs.
- Rub this mixture over the lamb chops and marinate for several hours, or overnight, in the refrigerator.
- Either use a Ziploc bag for this, ensuring you squeeze all the air out, or a glass dish.
- Turn the lamb occasionally.
- Prepare a medium-hot fire in the barbeque.
- Discard the marinade.
- Cook the lamb chops for 5 minutes per side or until done to your liking.
- If you have a flare-up, move the chops to a cooler part of the barbeque.
Lamb chops are just as easy to prepare and cook as beef steaks, so why not give them a try the next time the weather is on your side and you fancy having a barbeque? Lamb chops and lamb steaks take on the aromatic smoky flavor from the barbeque and the marinade used in this recipe also enhances their natural taste. In the picture you can see corn on the cob, kabobs and even chicken being cooked in addition to the lamb, so you could consider making all kinds of dishes for the guests including some lamb, or simply focusing on the lamb plus 2 or 3 side dishes, as you prefer.
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