Monday, August 27, 2012

Lamb Chops with Lemon

Growing up lamb was something I enjoyed on special occasions.  Every once in awhile we would go out to dinner and I would order myself a nice little rack of lamb, but we never really had it at home.  My mom wasn't the type to do a roast leg of lamb for Easter or anything.  The same goes for duck.  I had this thing for duck a l'orange but I only ever had the chance to occasionally eat it at restaurants.  Now that I am an adult planning my own meals, both duck and lamb have remained indulgences that we make at home a few times a year.  It is partially due to expense and partially to availability - you can certainly find duck breasts and lamb chops at a nicer grocery store like Fairway or Whole Foods (although not at your average D'Agostinos), but they are going to set you back a nice chunk of change.  Actually, I discovered about a year ago that CostCo is a wonderful source of reasonably priced lamb and picked up a boneless leg of lamb, with which we made Moroccan kebobs, Xinjiang kebobs, Mongolian lamb, and souvlaki.  Unfortunately, CostCo doesn't carry duck so I guess that duck is just going to have to remain special occasion fare.

We have been saving these lamb chops for awhile, but I decided it was finally time to break them out and enjoy.  The lamb chops were nice and with a little more salt these would have been really nice.  But we forgot to add the s&p to the olive oil, lemon juice and lemon zest mixture.  Oops.  Even without the salt, they were incredibly tender and tasty.  The combination of herbs, shallots and lemon was lovely, but a little additional seasoning would really have made them sing.  But given how tasty they were even without the salt, I think I will make them again in the future.  Only I will read the recipe a little more thoroughly next time...

Recipe after the jump!

Lamb Chops with Lemon
April 2011

3 large shallots, minced
6 tbsp chopped fresh mint
6 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
6 large garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp sugar
24 lamb rib chops (from three 1 1/4-to 1 1/2-pound racks of lamb, cut between bones into individual chops)
6 tbsp evoo
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp finely grated lemon peel
Fresh oregano sprigs (for garnish)
    Mix minced shallots, chopped mint, chopped oregano, minced garlic, sugar, and 1 tablespoon salt in small bowl. Press 1 rounded teaspoon shallot-herb mixture onto eye of each lamb chop. Turn chops over onto large rimmed baking sheet. Press remaining shallot- herb mixture onto eye of each chop. Cover lamb chops with sheet of plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

    Whisk olive oil, lemon juice, and lemon peel in small bowl until slightly thickened and well blended. Season lightly with salt and generously with freshly ground black pepper (don't forget this step like we did). Spoon oil mixture lightly over chops. Turn chops over and spoon remaining oil mixture over. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour.

    Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Grill lamb chops to desired doneness, about 3 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer lamb chops to platter. Garnish with fresh oregano sprigs and serve.

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