Lamb Chops with Rosemary & Mint

January 13, 2014

A PAIR OF INEXPENSIVE LAMB CHOPS jumped into my shopping cart the other day. I brought them home, soaked them in mustard, garlic, and fresh, fragrant herbs, and then popped them under the broiler. The result? Tender succulence, baby.   The recipe:

Here’s the easy recipe in photographic steps, followed by a printer-friendly, copy-and-paste version:

To make the marinade, first chop up two fat garlic cloves.

Sprinkle kosher salt over the chopped bits to soften them…

And then mash them to a paste with the flat of your knife. Or, use a mortar and pestle to puree the garlic.

I’ll bet you don’t own a mortar and pestle.

Welcome to the crowd.

Next, strip the leaves from a sprig of fresh rosemary…

And chop them into fragrant bits.

Put the garlic and rosemary in a small yellow bowl.

If you don’t have a yellow bowl, a blue one would be equally nice.  We’re simply trying to find a color which compliments the green of the rosemary.

For no good reason.

Add some Dijon mustard to the bowl…

And the juice of one regular-sized lemon.

Tip: If you squeeze the lemon halves through a blue and white kitchen towel, as above, you won’t have to worry about seeds falling into the marinade.

Tip some olive oil into the bowl, and then whisk it, with a fork, into the other ingredients.

Finally (phew!), tear up 20 mint leaves, and stir them into the mix.

And by the way, I hope you won’t alter this marinade mixture. Every ingredient is essential.

Now take two lamb shoulder chops, and blot them dry with a paper towel.

Please forgive me, but I forgot to take a picture of this next step: Set the chops in a shallow dish (I used a pie plate), and sprinkle both sides of the meat with salt and freshly-ground black pepper.

Generously coat both sides of the chops with the minty marinade, and then cover the works with plastic wrap. Let the chops sit for 1-2 hours at room temperature, or for 8-12 hours in the fridge.

As they lounge and luxuriate in their fragrant bath, some major magic will occur: The cheap chops will transform themselves into expensive-tasting chops.

Transfer the lamb to a foil-lined baking sheet, and then pop it under the broiler. Broil for 6-7 minutes (more or less depending on the heat of your stove). Then turn the meat over and cook the other side for 5 minutes or so. You want the surface to brown here and there, and the fat to singe a little, while the inside remains juicy and rosy-pink.

Set each chop on a pretty plate, and garnish with a small sprig of rosemary.

Pour some Pinot Noir into giant balloon goblets…

And then dive into this swoon-worthy deliciousness.

Note: In the photo above, I’m pretending to eat my chop with a fork. But in truth, I ate it entirely out of hand.  And then I gnawed the bones.

Think you’ll try these charming chops? You can let me know by leaving a comment.

Meanwhile, here’s a copy-and-paste version of the above deliciousness:

Mint & Mustard Lamb Shoulder Chops
Kevin Lee Jacobs
Ingredients for 2 servings
2 fat garlic cloves, peeled and minced
Kosher salt, grinds of black pepper
1 generous teaspoon fresh, chopped rosemary leaves
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
The juice of one lemon
2 tablespoons good-quality olive oil
20 fresh mint leaves, torn
2 6oz lamb shoulder chops

1. Sprinkle the minced garlic with a big pinch of salt, and then mash it to a smooth puree with the flat of a knife. (Alternatively, you can use a mortar and pestle to puree the garlic.) Put the garlic puree, chopped rosemary, mustard, lemon and oil in a small bowl; mix with a fork. Roughly tear the mint leaves, and then stir them gently into the garlic mixture.

2. Blot the lamb chops dry with paper towels, and then season both sides of the meat with kosher salt and grinds of black pepper. Then coat both sides with the marinade. Cover the works with plastic wrap, and let sit at room temperature for 1-2 hours, or in the refrigerator for 8-12 hours.

3. Transfer the marinade-covered chops to a foil-lined baking sheet. Broil for 6-7 minutes (increase or decrease time depending on the heat of your broiler). Then flip the chops and cook the other side for about 5 minutes. You want the surface of the meat to brown here and there, and the fat to singe slightly. But the inside should remain rosy-pink and juicy.

Serve with a handful of baby arugula or baby spinach leaves, and plentiful goblets of Pinot Noir.

If you look to your left, you’ll notice someone is very interested in this meal. And who can blame her?

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Related Posts:
Thyme & Wine Beef Stew
Dreamy Cinnamon Rolls
Panna Cotta

Comments

  1. Katy says:

    Oh, bring ‘em on! I love lamb chops!

  2. Allison says:

    I made the chops for hubby and me tonight, and omg are they DELICIOUS. Wish I’d made 4 chops instead of 2. Loved the rosemary and mint. And yes, we took your advice and ate them with our fingers. And then we licked our fingers. Will make them again and again and again.

  3. Vicki says:

    Kevin, what would you use to replace the mustard? I am allergic to mustard, of all things, and am constantly looking for different things to put in recipes that call for mustard. I have used Cilantro-Lime-Habanero Salsa, a little Sriracha sauce, various things…. But what would you recommend?

  4. Hi Vicki – Dijon mustard is the flavorful and acidic “glue” that holds the other ingredients in suspension. But since you are allergic to mustard, you might like to substitute it with good mayonnaise.

  5. Tiffany says:

    This looks so very similar to my grandmother’s recipe, but she used mint jelly in the marinade, along with garlic and mustard and rosemary. I wonder how the tastes compare?

  6. kimberly Bright says:

    Would these taste as good if i used pork chops? ? Looks delicious! !

  7. Tiffany – This marinade is not as sweet as one made with mint jelly.

    Kimberly – I suspect this would be equally delicious with pork chops.

  8. Cary Bradley says:

    My husband would adore these lamb chops! Where did you find cheap lamp, though? Seems through the roof in these parts. Will check around. Kevin, dear daughter gave me a beautiful mortar and pestle for Christmas. Much grander than my old one, granite and beautiful. Can’t wait to make your garlic paste in it! Also thanks to you, picked up a really cheap pizza stone at Ocean State Job Lots, only $10 and now can try your pizzas! So excited. (Was a bit leery of eating off of clay tiles from big box stores, afraid maybe came in on a slow boat from somewhere unsavory ;) !) Tally ho!

  9. Hi Cary – Lamb shoulder chops are not pricey — I paid less than $4.00 for each 6 ounce chop. Have fun with your pizza stone!

  10. Beverly, zone 6, eastern PA says:

    This recipe makes me sorry I did not harvest and freeze some of my mint crop. It looks wonderful.

  11. Sharon Shade says:

    I’d go with a nice, jammy zinfandel like Rombauer.

  12. Lori aka 7nflgirl says:

    Bet I do own a mortar and pestle!!!!! :)

    Thanks for the recipe! It looks yummy and I’m gonna try it!

  13. Laurie Rice says:

    The lamb chops looks awesome. I so love your photography and narration of the process on all your recipes. I can’t wait to make this one!

  14. Theone says:

    I’ve been wanting to make a lamb dish lately. Thanks for sharing.

  15. Helga G says:

    Looks absolutely delicious. Lamb chops are already on my grocery list.
    I have one question Kevin! What type of mint has the most flavor? To me most of them taste “flat”. What do you know about “Mountain Mint”?

  16. Janet Livesay says:

    Brilliant Kevin.. I love lamb but it is hard to find here in Oregon.
    I’m printing the recipe..just seeing the photos makes me hungry.
    Janet
    (Buddy of your Uncle Paul)

  17. Dennis says:

    Mortar and Pestle try Marshalls ,reasonably inexpensive

  18. Dori says:

    To Janet in Oregon–yes, lamb is rare and expensive here in WA too. All those sheep ranges in Eastern part of our states probably ship to New York, while the stuff we buy comes from New Zealand. But this recipe looks worth the trip, doesn’t it?

  19. Georgeann Brown says:

    It is a marinade I use all the “thyme” for lamb. The hardest thing is finding a meaty shoulder chop. When I do, I buy and freeze and keep a stash handy. Yum.

  20. Hi Helga G – I use spearmint. It is particularly “minty.”

  21. Gretchen says:

    But I do have a mortar & pestle made of marble and very heavy. I paid $2.00 for it at a rummage sale and use it frequently. It’s been a long time since I’ve prepared lamb chops and I’ve been wanting to remedy that. As usual, your recipe sounds – and looks- absolutely mouth-watering. Thank you, Kevin. Will this be in your cookbook?

  22. Anne Callaway says:

    can’t wait! Chops are on my menu this week, just as you did it. Thanks!

  23. Sam says:

    Looks wonderful – but when you say broiler, is that the grill? Broiler is a term we don’t hear often in Australia…but we do have fantastic lamb!

  24. Marilou says:

    I basically am a vegan; but I cook meat for my family and I am sure they will enjoy this. Sounds like an excellent thing to serve for an Easter dinner. By the way, I do have a pestle and mortar!

    Sincerely,
    Marilou

  25. Addie B in FL says:

    Hi, Kevin – I love lamb and had it often when we lived in the UK, but I’m not a fan of mint – my English husband puts mint sauce (which I have to buy from the “ethnic section” of one of our grocery stores), and the smell is so off-putting it makes me want to eat in another room! But that would be rude so I just move to the other side of the table and breathe through my mouth :-0

    Cheers,
    Addie

  26. Janice in Black Creek, BC says:

    Ha, lots of us have mortars and pestles–Me in a couple of sizes. the small one for spices and the large one for major amounts of garlic and and making the lumpy bits of salad dressings.
    So there. And then there is the food processor for processing the huge garlic harvest and freezing spoonful size patties to have available at the drop of an impulse.
    Gotta love garlic.

  27. Sonnie says:

    I have made this recipe twice (once for company!) with bone in, thick pork chops. Absolutely delectable, quite a hit. I will make it again and again…

  28. Linda Boyer says:

    Hi, Kevin. I cooked these lamb chops yesterday, and they were excellent. My hubby put them on the grill rather than the broiler – this is his new favorite way to have lamb chops. What a winning dish! Thank you for a great recipe.

  29. Sonnie – Glad to know this worked so well with pork chops.

    Linda Boyer – So glad you tried — and liked — the marinade!

  30. Judy Sciandra says:

    It certainly looks delicious, and I’ve never met a lamb dish I didn’t like, but I’m having trouble understanding the words, “inexpensive lamb chops.”

  31. Judy says:

    Making this tonight. I’ll let you know

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