Food & Drink

I'm Chris - or Christopher - or Mr. Dean - or Master Christopher - or just plain Sir. I'm a self-professed foodie. I love to cook and I take great pleasure in all things edible. My husband and I are relatively new to Portland, Oregon and are enjoying our culinary explorations of the area!

Food is NOT just fuel!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Grilled Lamb Rib Chops

There's something about lamb...I just love it. And for years I would stick to the leg of lamb only. I'm way beyond that now. Don't get me wrong, the leg is gorgeous and delicious - and makes a really awesome looking roasting meat at the dinner table. But for roasting now I'm all about the shoulder. It's just a bit more delicious, and takes flavor really well. However for quick lamb, I love me some rib chops!!

Sometimes meat departments at stores will have pre-cut rib chops, but I'm more prone to buy a whole rack of lamb than individual chops. I like cutting the chops myself, knowing that everything being done to the chops is by my hand from the moment I get that rack. And some of my classic flavors that I add to lamb are typically rosemary & garlic. You can't go wrong piercing a shoulder all over & shoving whole garlic cloves into the meat before roasting. And if you buy boneless, wrap that baby around a big bunch of rosemary before roasting. I'm hungry.

I recall a pistachio tapenade that I once made for lamb rib chops that was outstanding, however I typically like the lamb (in chop form) to stand on it's own. So this time around I went simple - really simple. Olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and Herbs de Provence. If you've not cooked with Herbs de Provence, definitely try it. It's a French mixture of herbs that includes savory things like marjoram, rosemary, basil, oregano, fennel, lavender and coriander. It's the perfect addition to a lamb rib chop.

Alongside the rib chops, I opted for some fresh grilled vegetables. I found some really nice end of the summer zucchini, and even some delicious little yellow tomatoes. I've really gotten into grilled tomatoes - always cherry sized or so. For all of the vegetables, I sliced them (peppers, zucchini, etc. - not the tomatoes, they stay whole), and piled them into a bowl. I poured over some olive oil, and salt & pepper and mixed them to coat everything. And then onto the skewers. Peppers & zucchini took about the same time to cook, and I had them on the main grill over moderate heat. The tomatoes need indirect or low heat so they don't burst and release all of their juices. I cook them on the top rack, slowly, and once the skin starts to blister slightly or pull apart, I pull them off. They get warmed through and are delicious.

Grilled Lamb Rib Chops
1 rack of lamb, or 4-6 rib chops per person
Juice of 2 lemons
1/2 cup olive oil
2 Tbl. Herbs de Provence

Combine the lemon juice and the olive oil in a bowl, and pour half of it over your lamb rib chops. Make sure each is coated in the mixture (you can reserve some of this oil mixture to baste the chops while they are grilling). Sprinkle salt & pepper over the chops. Sprinkle the Herbs de Provence over both sides of the chops (reserving about 1/2 tsp. for later). Over medium-high heat, grill the chops, about 4-6 minutes each side, until done. Eat with your fingers.

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