Lamb Chop Recipes

Lamb Chop Recipes

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  1.      There really is nothing more delicious than a well-executed lamb chop. Some people think of gaminess when they think of lamb, and have a preconceived idea that they don’t like the flavor of lamb in general. The flavor of lamb varies from breed to breed and is also dependant on the diet of the sheep, however, you tend to detect stronger gaminess in slow cooked preparations such as braised meats. Lamb chops are normally prepared by skillet, grilling, or oven baking. Therefore, chops tend to be less gamy, but still rich and flavorful, and go well with a variety of preparations ranging from sweet to savory. The meat pairs well with pretty much any spices you would use on beef or pork, as well as fruits and sweet sauces and glazes. Because the meat is so rich and delicious, you don have to go to too much effort to make an amazing restaurant quality lamb chop. Here, I have included some of my families all time favorite preparation for this wonderful meat.

         For a more savory preparation of lamb, rosemary, basil and thyme are traditional herbs used to spice lamb meat. You will often see these spices used in stews and in braising, but they are also wonderful on grilled or skillet cooked lamb chops. This simple recipe is earthy, tangy, and rich. The end result also looks like something you might see on your plate at a nice restaurant. I always grind up my rosemary in a mortar and pestle (you can also just crush it between your finger tips). You can alter the spice ratio to your tastes. If you use onion rather than shallot make sure it is a sweet onion, you need a little sweetness to offset the balsamic in this recipe. You can also double the broth and vinegar for a more saucy reduction, as I often to do serve these chops with a simple couscous. If you find the flavor of the reduction too tangy, you can also add a dab of honey to the finished reduction. This is a quick and easy lamb chop recipe that is sure to please. Delicious!

    Balsamic Lamb Chops

    • ½ tsp. dried crushed rosemary
    • 1 tsp. dried basil
    • 1 tsp dried thyme
    • Salt and pepper
    • 4 lamb chops
    • 2 tbs. Olive oil
    • ½ cup sliced (or chopped if you prefer smaller bits) shallots or sweet onions such as Vidalia
    • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
    • 1 cup chicken broth
    • 1 Tbs. butter
    1. Lightly sprinkle chops with a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix together the rosemary, basil, thyme. Rub this mixture onto the lamb chops on both sides. Set aside for 15 minutes or so.
    2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place lamb chops in the skillet, and cook for about 3 minutes per side for medium rare for a ¾ inch thick chop or continue to cook to your desired doneness. I do suggest serving it medium rare, this is the perfect doneness for lamb!
    3. Remove from the skillet, and keep warm on a serving platter. Add shallots or onions to the skillet, and cook until browned. Stir in balsamic vinegar, scraping any bits of lamb from the bottom of the skillet, then stir in the chicken broth. Continue to cook and stir over medium-high heat until the sauce has thickened and reduced by half. Stir in the butter (and a little honey if desired), remove from heat. Pour over the lamb chops, and serve.

         This is one of my all time favorite recipes! Easy and always delicious, no matter how you personalize it. However, when I am feeling a bit more exotic, I pull out my favorite spice blend, ras el hanout. I know this isn’t a spice blend normally found in most American’s kitchen, but if you love lamb like I do, it is so worth getting online and finding a good source. It can also be used on chicken and pork, so it is multi-functional as well.

         Ras el hanout is a Moroccan blend that can contain 10 to 100 spices ranging from cardamom to belladonna leaves. A good blend will always have a strong sweet complex fragrance…if it smells one dimensional, chances are it will taste that way. The mix will pretty much always contain allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom and turmeric, just to give you a very general flavor profile. It is so flavorful and exotic, you need very little else when you prepare lamb using ras el hanout. Following is my very favorite way to use it.

    Ras el Hanout Lab Chops in Honey Wine Sauce

    • 4 lamb chops
    • Ras el hanout
    • 1 cup red wine (not sweet!)
    • ½ cup honey
    1. Season lamb chops heavily with ras el hanout spice blend. I usually coat both sides and pat the spices on. Allow to sit for 15 minutes or so, the lamb will absorb the spices.
    2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place lamb chops in the skillet, and cook for about 3 minutes per side for medium rare for a ¾ inch thick chop or continue to cook to your desired doneness.
    3. Remove chops from skillet and stir in wine and honey. Cook until reduced by about half. Pour over chops.

         The wonderful thing about lamb is the versatility. Because it is such a rich piece of meat, recipes for lamb don’t have to be complicated or exact, they can be simple and easily personalized. I sometimes make a mash up of these recipes, using the ras el hanout with the balsamic reduction or the rosemary spice blend with the honey wine sauce. This also makes a spectacular grilled lamb chop recipe, which is delicious and easy way to prepare lamb, although I love using the skillet bits that are left behind in my sauces. These recipes can also be used with lamb shanks, rack of lamb, or virtually any other type of lamb meat. Lamb can also be served with a variety of sides and compliments most vegetables, pastas and grains. I typically serve with couscous and salad. Enjoy!

     

          

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