Let’s talk about lamb for a minute. Some people love it. Some people don’t. Lots of people aren’t sure. I specifically want to talk to this last group.
Sometimes I hear people say lamb is “gamey”, which as far as I can tell means “doesn’t taste like beef”. That said, I have had lamb that had a mild flavor and I have had lamb I didn’t really like. There are two lamb options I steer towards, and I suggest if lamb is new to you, you try one of these options. I buy both at Costco. Don’t ask me why Costco seems to have consistently delicious lamb, but they do. Any time I hear someone is going to Costco I like to say “hey pick up a rack of lamb for me”:
This request mostly goes to my mom. I just did to her last week. I like to roast these whole, or slice them into individual chops and grill them like in this recipe. But! She made a smart executive decision and bought me little T-bone chops like these ones instead.
P.S. I stole these pictures off the internet. If you took these pictures, they are awesome, thank you for not minding that I used them. I would happily give you credit if I knew who you were.
Buy either one, you won’t be disappointed.
Now that you’ve purchased some superior, mildly flavored lamb, let’s season it. And I mean generously. I used the dry rub in the picture, but use whatever multi-spice rub you have. Or use lots of kosher salt, fresh cracked pepper, garlic powder and minced fresh rosemary. Use something, and don’t be stingy with it.
If you have slim chops with the long bone, cut from the rack pictured above, these only take about 2 minutes per side, and they will be about medium. Big fat thick chops like the second picture take about 4 minutes per side, and I give them a minute or two balanced on the “New York side”, the side with the larger piece of meat. This helps sear it all over, render the fat, and make it more awesome. In my opinion, and in the opinion of most experts, lamb is a dish best served medium-rare. However, I say the same thing about beef, so do what you like.
I bought this merlot sauce in the Anchorage airport gift shop. You can find red wine reduction type sauces in any nicer grocery store. You are also encouraged to make one yourself, time and willingness considered. I would start with a bottle of fruity (not oaky) red wine, a cup or two of beef stock, a few cloves of garlic, sprigs of rosemary, thyme, perhaps a bay leaf, and a few peppercorns. I would simmer this until it reduced to about a cup in volume, taste it, probably add a dash or three of Worcestershire sauce because I love it, and maybe some salt. But I bought mine in an airport gift shop, so no judging either way.
Drizzle a bit of the sauce over the chops just before serving. Or, serve on the side for people to do at their leisure.
I ate two of the thick chops as a serving, it was about 3 ounces of lean meat, along with some steamed broccoli. I have been known to eat an entire rack of lamb chops in a sitting if that’s all I’m having. If I’m serving a regular dinner with appropriate side dishes, I would plan on 1/2 rack per person.
I hope this encourages you to try lamb if it isn’t in your regular protein rotation – it’s so delicious. And it’s totally worth a trip to Costco. Or worth pestering your mother during her trip to Costco!