Lamb Chops, Greek Style Grilled Chops with Lemon in Yogurt
I had so many hands trying to snatch bits off the plate that I didn't end up with a decent photographs of these succulent little beauties. I don't mind too much - it lets me know that although I'm not a photographer, the food just rocks.
Lamb is admittedly a little difficult to find in my little town, and good lamb (this is New Zealand lamb) even more hard to find. But it's worth the effort. Right now there is more in the markets - be it the impending arrival of spring with St. Patrick's Day, Easter and Mother's Day, or just good luck - I don't care. When I find it, I'm grabbing it.
Lamb, despite it's delicate taste, takes well to some rather robust flavors. Rosemary, mint and thyme are traditional, and always fabulous. I used those in the Rack of Lamb, Rosemary, Mint and Garlic Crusted Rack of Lamb recipe. Another classic flavor profile for this lovely meat is from the Mediterranean - yogurt, lemon and garlic for a marinade. That's the case in this preparation, and I can't figure out which is better.
I wish the pictures gave justice to the dish - but the lack of them maybe does. They disappeared too fast!
Most of this recipe is simply the marinade. Allow the marinade to work for 4-6 hours, and the acids in the yogurt and lemon will impart a lovely flavor to the lamb chops. You'll need:
- 1-2 lbs fresh lamb chops
- 1 cup plain yogurt, or Greek yogurt if you have it
- 3 Tbl lemon juice
- 5-6 gloves of garlic, smashed really well
- 1 tsp each kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper
- In a small mixing bowl or a food processor, mix together yogurt, lemon juice, garlic and salt and pepper.
- Place the lamb chops in a shallow baking dish. Pour yogurt marinade over the chops, turning them to coat. Cover, and refrigerate 6 hours or so, turning once during the marinading process.
- Preheat grill to 500. Get it really hot to start out with - then when you put the chops on, reduce heat to medium low. The interior of the grill will stay hot while the direct heat will be low enough not to turn your little chops to charcoal.
- Grill on one side for 8 minutes on one side, then turn (only once!) and grill the second side for another 7-8 minutes. This will give you medium chops - my preference for this particular cut of lamb. Increase the cooking time to 10 minutes per side for medium well - what my kids like. And of course decrease to 6 per side for medium rare. That's it! Easy peasy lemon squeezey, huh?
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