Grilled Lamb Loin Chops
To me, there is nothing better than grilled lamb chops. They are hands down my favorite meat. And I love that Easter gives me the opportunity to eat them, because they ain’t cheap, nor are they easy to find really fresh.
I can still remember tasting lamb chops for the first time many years ago. My husband and I (just dating at the time) were at a little restaurant in Cognac, France. It was the kind of restaurant/hotel that has a little espresso machine in the lobby patisserie with phenomenal pastries, a little kitchen with a grill outside, but a cheap room with an old mattress and a common bathroom. Just out of law school at the time, it was right up our alley.
The lamb chops we tasted that night were divine. Grilled perfectly somewhere right between medium and medium rare, they had a good char and the taste of garlic and a variety of fresh herbs.
From there on out, I was hooked. I was always searching for a recipe that I could make that would mimic that first experience of eating lamb chops in a garden restaurant on a summer night, in love, and buzzed on wine.
This recipe comes very close. That is why I have been making it for years. It requires some forethought because it takes at least a good 24 hours for the marinating. It requires some skill on the grill (helps to be skilled yourself or married or friends with a grill master). And it also requires a lot of fresh thyme, rosemary, mint, and garlic. More than you would think. And don’t forget some fancy sea salt, paprika, lemon juice and ground pepper.
So a little about the grilling. Keep in mind that it is entirely dependent on the thickness of your chops. The recipe below is structured for a lamb loin chop, but you could use the rib variety (cooking time will be less). We made chops the other night that were over 2 inches thick and they took 22 minutes. If you have a one inch chop, they could be done in 12. Use your tongs to see if the meat is ultra mushy or is getting a little more tough, but still has some give. The latter means they are about done. And watch the fat around the edge of the chop to see if it is melted. If it is still hardened a bit, then keep cooking it. Don’t be afraid to take it off the grill and cut into it and see how it is doing. Take them off when they look between rare and medium rare and let them sit for 10-15 minutes and they will continue to cook to medium to medium rare.
I personally think these chops are the ideal meat for an Easter midday meal. It’s what we’ll be eating!
- 2 to 2.5 lbs lamb loin chops
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Juice of one large lemon
- 2 tbsp chopped rosemary
- 2 tbsp chopped thyme
- 2 tbsp chopped mint
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ tsp paprika
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp ground fresh pepper
- Clean and pat dry the lamb loin chops.
- Combine the remaining ingredients and pour into a plastic bag. Add the lamb loin chops. Marinate in the refrigerator for 24 hours (or at least overnight). Remove from refrigerator and bring to room temperature a couple of hours before you are ready to grill.
- Heat grill to medium high heat.
- Depending on thickness of chop, grill for 12 to 24 minutes, flipping half way through. A one inch chop will cook for about 12-14 minutes, whereas a thick 2 inch plus chop could take 20-24.