Ahhh….Lamb Loin Chops with Garlic and Rosemary. One of my easiest, most delicious, go-to dishes.
And yet, I read this weekend that, according to a 2011 survey by the American Lamb Board, nearly 40 percent of Americans have never eaten lamb.
Okay, I admit it: my first time having lamb was cooking chops myself until the point of near incineration. I didn’t know that it could be “temped” (done by temperature) like beef, so I cooked it to a second death for fear that I would under-cook it. Even the smell of them was bad. Ugh.
I refused to ever try lamb again.
Fast forward a few years past that and a friend of mine had me over for Easter dinner. Her Greek mother made a leg of lamb for dinner and even I had to admit that this time it smelled delicious….garlic and herbs and oil all roasting slowly in the oven.
Now I was raised that it was good manners to try a little bit of everything that a host prepared unless I was deathly allergic of course. And even I had to admit that it sure smelled wonderful. And…it was.
Now, thanks to that lovely Greek goddess, I am a huge fan.
Blah, blah, blah…just get to the supposedly easy recipe, right?
Easy Lamb Chops with Garlic and Rosemary Recipe
- 4 lamb loin chops, at least 1 1/2 inches thick
- 2 healthy cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon of dried rosemary
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Put the olive oil in a ramekin or small dish. Put the rosemary in one palm and crush it up with the fingers of your free hand (this will release the oils from the rosemary). Add it to the olive oil, along with the garlic. Let this sit about 20-30 minutes (I like to do this to soften up the dried rosemary) and then pour over lamb chops. From here, you can let them sit another 20 minutes or longer if you choose.*
Preheat oven to 400º
Heat a heavy, oven-safe skillet (I use my cast iron) over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil + drain the marinade from the chops into the pan.
Add chops and cook for 4 minutes. Flip with tongs and let cook for 3 more minutes.
Place pan in oven for 10 minutes for medium to medium rare, remove, and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
*Now, I’ve let the chops sit from 30 minutes to a day…depends on my free time and planning capabilities at the time. Yes, it’s better if you let them sit for a few hours but even 20 minutes will render you a delicious dish. If you’re letting them marinate longer than 30 minutes, pop ’em in the fridge but be sure to bring them back to room temperature before cooking.
This also works great with shoulder chops, but I really like to let these marinate overnight, as it’s a less tender cut of lamb.
Wanna do these on the grill? Even better! Grill them for about 5-7 minutes per side for medium-rare.
And of course, always let your chops rest 5 minutes before serving.
Lamb is a wonderful dish when it’s cooked right – enjoy!