Lamb chops are circular cuts of lean lamb that are created by slicing at an angle to the front, creating a single serve of tender meat that’s typically cooked and served as a side dish with the large bone in. This primal cut is usually a popular offering at the fall, when lamb is plentiful, but year-round lambing has led some local farmers to breed their lambs on a very frequent basis to ensure that this succulent, delicious meat is always on hand. The tender meat from this primal cut can be used throughout the year.
While there are many cuts of meat that qualify as “lamb chops,” the most versatile of them all are cutlets. These are smaller cuts that, instead of going into the juiciest part of the animal, end up right on the bone. These delicious cuts come in many flavors, including Italian, French, German and Greek. The sweet and tender meat from these smaller cuts is often used in salsas, stews and other dishes that call for milder flavor characteristics. In fact, some chefs and cookbooks even suggest cutting these smaller cuts into finger sandwiches to allow diners to enjoy a deliciously mild bite to the lower portion of the meat.
Because the smaller, more delicate cuts cook more slowly, it’s important that you keep your lamb chops warm when they arrive at the table. There are several different ways that you can prepare these lean cuts of tender meat. One of the simplest methods is to simply drizzle them with olive oil and allow them to slowly cook over low heat in a cast iron pan. Just remember to flip periodically to avoid burning.
If you prefer, you can also brown your lamb chops and serve them with your favorite sauce. Most cooks will recommend using a French or German mustard to add a bit of color to your meat. This can be done right before you add the onions and seasonings to the mix. Seasoning the onions and seasonings adds more depth to the flavor. You can also substitute ground beef or turkey for the lamb chops and use a different kind of sauce to change the flavor profile of the dish.
The most common method of cooking lamb chops is to cook them on the grill. This is the preferred method for many people because of its availability and ease of use. Typically, lamb chops are broiled until they are almost completely done, then sliced into thin pieces. Grilled, they can be served with fresh salad or as part of a larger salad. If grilling is not possible or desired, they can also be barbequed on the top rack of the oven or placed under the broiler.
A more popular method of cooking lamb chops involves adding them to a marinade. There are many different recipes available online or in cooking magazines for this popular technique. Some suggest cooking the lamb chops and leaving the skin intact while others leave the skin on while marinating. Others suggest soaking the meat in water and straining out the liquid before seasoning the meat with seasonings. Seasoning the lamb chops with olive oil and then brushing the dry marinade on both the outside and inside of the meat helps to draw out the flavors from the marinade. Lemon juice is sometimes added to give the lamb chops a slightly sweet flavor, but lemon juice should not be used in place of another flavoring ingredient.