These grilled lamb rib chops are perfect for a quick, yet elegant meal. Prep them first thing in the morning (or even the night before), and you’ll have dinner on the table in 15 minutes or less.
Lamb, considered a traditional spring dish, is generally harvested at 3 – 5 months of age, so that “spring” lamb was actually probably born in the fall. Americans tend to prefer milder-flavored meats, so it’s no surprise that lamb is much more popular than mutton, the meat from mature (some would say gamier-tasting) sheep. Still, lamb is very flavorful and juicy, so it doesn’t need a lot of fancy trimmings to make it the star of any meal.
The lamb rib chops we used in the following recipe are relatively thin, so they cook very quickly, but are still thick enough to stay moist and pink – just the way most people like them. This preparation is both fast and easy to prepare, making it a great choice for a family meal on a weeknight, but it’s also an elegant crowd-pleaser that won’t take you away from your guests for long at a casual dinner party.
The rub of fresh rosemary and warm spices strikes a perfect balance with the rich flavor of lamb. To finish it off, skip the sticky mint jelly and opt instead for a generous sprinkle of refreshing thinly-sliced mint leaves.
Grilled Lamb Chops with Fresh Mint
Lamb is a traditional spring dish, especially popular at Easter time. Lamb chops are marinated in a potent combination of herbs, garlic & spices to bring out every bit of juicy flavor. Cooking time is very short, so make sure you have everything else ready ahead of time.
- 2 large garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 Tbsp fresh rosemary leaves
- Pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
- Coarse sea sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 lamb rib chops, about 3/4-inch thick
- 1 bunch fresh mint
Place the garlic, rosemary, cayenne, salt and pepper into a food processor. Pulse until combined. Add the olive oil and process into a paste. Rub the paste on the lamb chops, coating both sides thoroughly. Marinate for at least 1 hour (or up to overnight) in the refrigerator.
When ready to prepare the chops, remove them from refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature,about 20 minutes.
Heat a grill pan over high heat until very hot. Turn the vent fan on high! Place the chops on the hot pan and sear for about 2 minutes. Turn the chops and cook for another 3 to 3 1/2 minutes, depending on desired level of doneness. Remove the chops from the pan to serving plates and allow to rest for a few minutes.
Remove the mint leaves from the stem, stack them and slice thinly. Sprinkle the lamb chops generously with the fresh mint and serve.
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