Monday, August 15
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Hot chops for a hot summer dinner

5 Oct 2021 lamb chops

When you want to sit outdoors (in the lawn or on the terrace) for an early summer dinner, there’s nothing like a plate of piping hot lamb rib chops, straight off the grill. Grilled lamb ribs appear elegant on the plate but require basic outdoor cooking skills as grilling brings out the lamb’s smoky, succulent side. Here are a few options to do the same thing differently:

Lamb Chops with Pasilla chilli Sauce


For the lamb

12 lamb rib chops

½ cup olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon

1tbsp minced garlic

2tsp ground cumin

2tsp ancho chilli powder

½tsp red pepper flakes

Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 fresh oregano sprigs – minced

1tbsp minced parsley

For the sauce

4 large dried Pasilla chillies

2 medium tomatillos – husked and rinsed

½ onion – sliced

1 garlic clove – sliced

A pinch of dried oregano

1 cup chicken stock


To prepare the lamb, in a bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, ancho powder, red pepper flakes, 2tsp salt, a sprinkling of pepper, oregano and parsley to make a paste. Smear the paste evenly to coat all sides of the lamb chops. Marinate at room temperature for at least 1 hour, or in the refrigerator overnight.

To make the sauce, heat a heavy griddle over medium-high heat. Remove the stems and seeds from the chillies, open and press them flat onto the hot griddle until blistered and light brown. Turn and repeat, and tear into small pieces. Now, in a saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the tomatillos, onion, garlic, ½tsp salt and 1 cup water. Bring to a simmer and cook until the tomatillos are barely soft – about 7 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add the chillies to the saucepan and let them soak for 15 minutes.

Place the contents of the saucepan, including the cooking liquid, in a blender. Add the oregano and puree until the sauce is completely smooth, 2 minutes. Add ¾ cup of the chicken stock and pulse to combine. Strain the sauce through a coarse sieve or food mill to remove all particles of chilli skin. Rinse out the blender with the remaining ¼ cup stock and add to the sauce.

Preheat a gas grill or cast-iron grill pan on high heat. Cook the chops, turning once, as desired – medium-rare, rare or well done. For smaller chops, the cooking time may be as brief as 2 to 3 minutes per side. Serve the chops on warmed plates, with the sauce as a dip.


Lamb Chops with Chimichurri
For the chimichurri
2 cups minced parsley
1 shallot peeled and minced
1tbsp red vinegar

1 garlic clove – grated

Kosher salt, to taste

¼tsp crushed red pepper

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

For the chops

1kg lamb rib chops

Kosher salt

1 bunch cherry tomatoes


To make the chimichurri, in a medium bowl, mix together the minced parsley, shallot, red wine vinegar, garlic, a pinch of kosher salt, crushed red pepper and olive oil. Adjust the salt to taste.

Now, bring the lamb rib chops to room temperature, and sprinkle both sides with kosher salt. Preheat your grill to medium-high heat and put the rib chops on the grill – cook on each side for about 3 to 4 minutes to desired doneness.

Remove from the grill and set aside to rest. Toss the tomatoes with a teaspoon or two of olive oil and a sprinkling of kosher salt, and add them to the hot grill. Cook until blistered and slightly softened, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove. To serve, add the lamb rib chops and tomatoes to a plate, and drizzle with chimichurri.

Air-fryer Lamb Chops


600g lamb chops

1tsp salt

½tsp ground black pepper

1tbsp minced garlic

2tsp fresh rosemary – minced.

2tsp fresh thyme

2tsp dried oregano

3tbsp olive oil

Juice of one lemon


Combine marinade ingredients in a bowl and mix well until salt dissolves. Pour over lamb and mix to coat well, then marinate for at least 1 hour. Place lamb chops on the air fryer, set temperature to 200° C, and cook for 6-8 minutes, depending on how you like them.

Note: The air fryer might smoke – this is normal.

Lamb Chops with Mustard Thyme Sauce


For the marinade

1tbsp olive oil

2tbsp lemon juice

1tsp fresh thyme

¼tsp black pepper – cracked

¼tsp sea salt

2 cloves garlic – minced

For the lamb chops

6 lamb chops

1tbsp olive oil

Salt, to taste

For the sauce

1 cup chicken broth

¼ Dijon mustard

Few sprigs fresh thyme

1 clove garlic – minced


Combine all the ingredients for the marinade in a small mason jar. Cover it with a lid and shake until all the ingredients are combine. Place lamb chops on a large plate/casserole and pour the marinade over the lamb chops to coat well. Set aside for 30 minutes. In a large skillet, heat 1tbsp olive oil on medium heat and add lamb chops. Cook on medium-high heat about 4 minutes on each side. Remove the lamb chops from the skillet and set aside. Add chicken broth to the same skillet and bring to boil. Add mustard, fresh thyme, and minced garlic and bring to boil until the sauce gets thick – about 2-3 minutes. Add the pan-seared lamb chops back to skillet and simmer on low-medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Season the sauce with salt, cracked black pepper and fresh thyme. Serve piping hot with crusty bread.

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