Widely known as the spring equivalent to Christmas lunches, lamb chops are the perfect outdoor cooking dish you can serve to families and friends. Lamb, however, is not everyone’s cup of tea as the meat boasts of intense flavours. For that reason, selecting the appropriate cut of lamb with its responding recipe or cooking method is the secret to a universally delicious, finger-licking lamb chop.
With that in mind, it’s best to use rib, loin, or sirloin chops if you’re planning to grill your lamb. Seasoned home chefs can take the plunge and experiment with nose-to-tail cooking styles, but we’re here to give you a basic guide to ensure you’re off to a good start.
Selecting Lamb Chops
The first step to your perfect spring lunch is to select the right chop for your cooking method. Since we’re focusing on grilling lamb chops, the best cuts range between loin, rib, or sirloin chop. You also have the option to opt for a shoulder or leg, though you must leave it to marinate for hours to tenderize the meat.
With that in mind, whatever cut you pick should have a pink or pale red, finely textured meat with reasonable marbling of smooth, white fat. You don’t have to be too picky when it comes to its marbling though, as it is not as necessary as it is with beef. The critical factor is to strike a balance between the fat to meat ration.
The best cuts should be an inch and a half thick, nothing less, though going beyond the recommended number poses no problem.
Seasoning Lamb Chops
Lamb has a robust flavour that can be overwhelming to some, especially when it is grass-fed or grass-finished. For that reason, it blends well with other strong seasonings such as garlic, rosemary, thyme, oregano, savoury fennel, and mustard. Each ingredient packs its punch, which perfectly complements the naturally flavorful meat of lamb chops.
Mix the seasonings into a bowl. Meanwhile, you should coat your lamb chops with a thin layer of olive oil before you can start sprinkling in the seasonings all over. Be sure to keep an eye out on the amount as you wouldn’t want it to dominate the flavour of the meat, just enough to enhance its palette.
Grilling Lamb Chops
Now that the lamb chops are seasoned to perfection, you can move on to grilling. The best way to approach this is to use a covered grill set over medium-high heat. Similar to beef, cook the lamb chops until it is medium-rare or medium, which should be an internal temperature of 140 F.
Keeping a constant watch on the meat’s temperature is crucial as there’s nothing worse than overcooked, dried-out, and hard-to-chew lamb chops. To that end, once you grill it to its ideal state, take it out of the grill and let it rest for a few minutes.
The extra minutes is to give the meat some time to reabsorb the juices flowing out of it, so give it at least five minutes to gather back its flavours. Patience is a virtue in this case as diving right in when its fresh off the grill will only lead to dry meat.
Lamb chops are perfect for special occasions as its unique, rich flavour and mouth-watering fat promise impress your guests’ taste buds with every bite. The strong taste may be off-putting to some, which is why grilling is one of the best methods as the smokiness and spice rub melds all the flavours together in a cohesive, delectable dish.
Of course, you will need to source your meat from trusted markets as the quality is crucial if you want your cooking to have a successful outcome. With that in mind, take the time to select the right cut and assess the meat to determine its quality.
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