Spring is definitely the season for grilled lamb chops. If you’re like many in my family, you have a preconceived notion that lamb has too strong of a flavor. My parents insist they just don’t like it. The real truth is that if most people had a taste of a good, properly cooked lamb chop, they would change their tune. I was one of those people that swore I wouldn’t like lamb, until I had the most delicious, tender and perfectly seasoned lamb chop. Since that moment, I’ve been hooked! The important thing about lamb is that you have to know what ingredients compliment it’s unique flavor. Lamb is excellent when seasoned with garlic, rosemary, thyme, oregano, savory, lemon, fennel, mustard and mint, just to name a few.
If you’re working with a one or more of these flavors, you’re definitely headed in the right direction. Make sure the lamb is a good quality cut, as well. You’re looking a loin, rib or sirloin chop. If you get a shoulder or leg chop you’ll need to use a marinade to make it tender. The chops you choose should have a light pink/red, finely textured meat with smooth, white fat, and they should be a little bit more than an inch thick.
I’m partial to lamb loin chops, just because they look like tiny T-bone steaks, which makes them super cute. You can use your favorite cut (rib, loin or sirloin) for this recipe.
2 pounds thick cut lamb chops (about 1½” thick)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
1 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
Combine the garlic, rosemary, salt, pepper, lemon zest and olive oil in a measuring cup. This will be the marinade for the lamb chops.
Pour the marinade over the lamb chops, making sure to flip them over to cover them completely. Cover the dish with plastic wrap, and marinate the chops in the fridge for as little as 1 hour, or as long as overnight. The longer they can sit, the better!
When you’re ready to grill these babies up, heat your grill to medium-high heat. You want to get these beautifully seared. Grill the lamb chops on high heat for 2-3 minutes per side, then lower the heat to medium and let them finish cooking for another 5-6 minutes. When the lamb chops reach an internal temperature of 150 degrees F, it’s time to take them off. At that point, they’ll be about medium, which is how I like them. You definitely don’t want to cook these well done. There’s nothing worse than a dried out, over-cooked lamb chop.
Place the cooked lamb chops on a plate, and cover with foil. Allow them to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Garlic & Rosemary Grilled Lamb Chops
- 2 pounds lamb loin or rib chops thick cut
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary chopped
- 1 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup olive oil
Combine the garlic, rosemary, salt, pepper, lemon zest and olive oil in a measuring cup.
Pour the marinade over the lamb chops, making sure to flip them over to cover them completely. Cover and marinate the chops in the fridge for as little as 1 hour, or as long as overnight.
Heat your grill to medium-high heat, then sear the lamb chops for 2-3 minutes, on each side. Lower the heat to medium then cook them for 5-6 minutes, or until the internal temperature reads 150 degrees F.
Allow the lamb chops to rest on a plate covered with alumnium foil for 5 minutes before serving.