Warning: Vegetarians look away. This post contains delicious, meat goodness!
I don't eat a ton of read meat, but when I do, I am very selective and picky about it. I look for tender cuts cooked at medium rare or below, don't care what type of meat it is.
We are lucky enough to be surrounded by a lot of wonderful chefs in our life - family, friends, coworkers, great shows like Top Chef. Not only does this mean that we eat well most of the time, we have a growing stack of fantastic recipes from trusted referrals. Several of these recipes have come from family friends over the years, like the (now famous) Buttermilk-Brined Pork Chops, Grilled Jalapeño Poppers, or the Ultimate Bloody Mary.
Even though we are usually more inclined to try a recipe if a friend recommends it, we still always have to test it for ourselves before it becomes number one, blog-worthy and number two, added to our repeat pile. Enter Lloyd's Lamb Chops.
Let's start with who the heck is Lloyd?! Lloyd is one of my fathers closest friends that has literally known me for my entire life. He has a boisterous laugh and loves his red wine! He also happens to be a damn good cook. One of his staples is a simple, but delicious lamb chop - caveman style - no utensils needed here.
There is no big secret to this lamb chop recipe beyond just getting good quality meat. A bad cut of lamb can ruin someones palate for life! So in light of that, there are a few easy rules to make this recipe a success:
- These must be grilled. Stove top just doesn't cut it.
- Rare or Medium Rare. If you like well done meat, then don't make this recipe.
- Trim the chops, but not too much. The fat is what gives the flavor.
More on Rule #1 - Grill these babies. I have tried them on the grill pan on my stove top and while they are still good, it doesn't bring out the peak flavor of the meat. The Hubby and I also have a slight obsession with charcoal grilling! Since I don't usually do the grilling, I asked the Hubby Grill Master to provide comments:
- Make the grill as hot as possible (make sure grill plate is clean)
- Lightly brush both sides of the chops with high-heat cooking oil (Grapeseed)
- Chops should sizzle when placed on the hot grill
- Cooking time varies for thickness of chops - 2 minutes per side for 1 inch thick and 3 minutes per side for 1.5 inch thick. Keep an eye on them.
- Covering the grill is NOT necessary.
- Flames will jump up from coals as the oil and lamb fat drippings hit the coals. This is a good thing as it adds char and flavor to the outside of the chops. If the flames get out of control, calm with sprayed water.
More on Rule #2 - Rare or Medium Rare. Really, all I have to add here is that overcooked lamb is dry and tough to eat. I don't know about you, but I don't want to eat something like that!
More on Rule #3 - Trim the chops, but not too much. This depends on where the meat is bought. If you get from a trusted butcher, most likely you won't have to do this. We usually buy a rack of lamb that is already "Frenched" or trimmed, which means the butcher has trimmed the fat and meat from between the ribs and most of the bones are scraped clean. We then slice into chops ourselves. Most of the time, there is no trimming needed. However, I have seen some very fatty racks and chops at meat counters that I would probably trim myself. I don't want to bite into all fat, just a little bit.
The final comment I will add is about the portion size. Lamb chops are small. Don't compare them to a pork chop when you are thinking about portion sizes. Lamb chops make a great appetizer for a large crowd because the prep is minimal and the cooking time is short. However, these chops also make a great dinner for 2-4 people.
Lloyd's Grilled Lamb ChopsYields: 8-10 chops
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1-3 minutes per side
Cook Time: 1-3 minutes per side
1.5 pound rack of lamb chops, "Frenched"
1 tablespoon cumin powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon ground pepper
Trim the rack of lamb of any excess fat. Then slice the rack in between the bones to make chops.
Prepare the grill to high heat (see notes above).
In a small bowl, combine the cumin, garlic, salt and pepper. Distribute the spice mix over each side of the lamb chops and gently press into the meat with your fingers. Set aside until ready to grill and serve.
Over a high heat grill, cook the lamb chops about 2 minutes per side for 1 inch thick chops or 3 minutes per side for 1.5 inch thick chops.