Lamb Chops



Lamb chops can actually come from a few different areas of the animal—mainly the rib, loin, sirloin and shoulder. The price and tenderness of the chop will depend on which one you choose. Rib chops are those recognizable "lamb lollipops" that have a tender eye of meat in the center. Sirloin chops are thick, inexpensive cuts that are just tender enough to be grilled or broiled, steakhouse-style. Shoulder chops have a lot of marbling and do well with a number of cooking methods, such as braising or pan-frying. The final type of chop, loin chops, are the most prized because they are supertender. Cook them quickly on the grill or under the broiler to get a great crust and a juicy center. F&W's guide to lamb chops elaborates on all four types with easy-to-follow recipes and chef-inspired cooking tips.

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Lamb Shoulder Chops with Herb and Sunflower Seed Salad

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Lamb shoulder chops cook quickly; they’re a very forgiving cut that’s perfect for outdoor grilling. Here, Justin Chapple pairs the grilled lamb with a simple salad of parsley, cilantro, dill, mint, chives, and crunchy sunflower seeds—the tender herbs are a fresh foil for the lamb. Pick up one bunch of chives and two bunches each of parsley, cilantro, dill, and mint for the herb salad.

Double-Cut Lamb Chops with Garlic-Caper Rub

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Punchy anchovies and garlic mellow during their short cook time, adding umami to double-cut lamb chops. Reverse-searing using the broiler results in perfectly cooked lamb with a crispy exterior; use a probe thermometer to monitor the internal temperature for best results. Serve the carved chops over cooked orzo to balance out the meal. Christopher Bates of Element Winery in New York recommends a cool-climate Syrah from the Finger Lakes or Northern Rhône to pair with the lamb chops. "I love amplifying it with savory, briny flavors like capers,” says Bates.

Roasted Lamb Chops with Brown Sugar-Rum Glaze

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With plenty of garlic and rubbed sage to brighten savory, gamey lamb, these roasted chops are bold and balanced. If the glaze begins to set before serving, gently warm it over low heat. Chef and cookbook author Alexander Smalls serves these lamb chops at his epic dinner parties at his apartment in Harlem.

Seared Lamb Chops with Seared Endive, Asparagus, and Tahini Dressing

When I’m in a meat-eating frame of mind and cooking solo, I turn to lamb chops because they’re delicious, easy to prepare, and, because of their size, ideal for a dinner for one. If you’re feeling only a little peckish you can cook just a couple, or if you’re famished, you can have four or five chops (I always ask the butcher to chop them individually so they’re about an inch thick). All you have to do is sprinkle them with salt and pepper and pop them into a hot skillet to cook and you’re on your way to a filling meal.Cooking for yourself is an act of self-care, so buy the highest quality ingredients you can afford. For me, that means patronizing a grocery store that carries grass-fed meat, where a butcher can verify that the animal was not raised on an all-grain diet and stuffed with antibiotics.To round out this springtime dish, I add some more spring produce—seared endives and asparagus—which I garnish with fresh mint (a nod to my parents, who would always add mint jelly when lamb was served). I drizzle the vegetables with a tangy tahini dressing, loaded with lemon juice, which adds a bright, acidic finish.The entire meal is quick to prepare, because you’re only briefly searing the vegetables, browning the endives but not cooking them all the way through, which leaves a nice texture, as well as bitterness and crunch, that’s delightful alongside the lamb. The whole thing comes together in about 20 minutes—making it an easy way to do something nice for yourself, even on a weeknight.

Cumin Lamb Chops with Charred Scallions and Peanuts

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“The spicy cumin salt in this recipe is reason enough to go out in search of the finest lamb chops you can find, but it’s truly good on chicken, pork, and beef as well (and potatoes, strangely enough). When buying your chops, you’ll likely have a choice between New Zealand chops (which tend to be more petite) and American (probably from Colorado; these are a bit heftier). Both are equally delicious, and you can’t go wrong; just make sure, whichever ones you get, they are un-frenched, meaning they still have all the meat and fat on the bone. Choose these not only because they look better but also so you can gnaw on the bones.” Reprinted from Dining In: Highly Cookable Recipes. Copyright © 2017 by Alison Roman. Photographs by Michael Graydon and Nikole Herriott. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Slideshow: More Fast Lamb Chop Recipes 

Grilled Lamb Chops and Peppers

A hardwood charcoal fire imparts excellent smoky flavor to grilled lamb chops and bell peppers. Slideshow: More Lamb Chop Recipes 
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Lamb Chops with Burnt-Bread Salsa Verde

To make bright and tangy salsa verde even more delicious, Food & Wine’s Justin Chapple adds a slice of burned bread to it, which deepens and intensifies the flavors. Slideshow: More Lamb Chop Recipes 

Lamb Blade Chops with Cherry and Pickled Fennel Couscous

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Lamb blade chops are our new favorite cut: They cook quickly and are inexpensive and very flavorful. Instead of marinating his lamb, Ava Gene’s chef Joshua McFadden tops them with an herby coriander dressing after they come off the grill, for a brighter flavor. Slideshow: More Lamb Chop Recipes 

Chinese Spicy, Sweet and Sour Lamb Chops

Spring is lamb time for me, and you know how much I love Chinese food. Here I’ve combined my favorites in one easy recipe. Who doesn’t love lamb racks cut into easy-to-eat mini caveman chops? Slideshow:  Fast Lamb Chop Recipes