Abi’s ways to cook lovely lamb chops

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Abi's ways to cook lovely lamb chops

TASTE’s food editor extolls the virtues of a versatile supper staple and offers a few delicious recipe suggestions for lamb chops.

I adore chops, especially lamb chops and we make a point of having them at least once a week if we don’t pop them on the braai. Woolies’ lamb loin chops are a special treat – prime meat with a delicious rind of fat that crisps up and caramelises as it cooks. They’re ideal for grilling, pan-frying or roasting.
But there’s nothing wrong with a good old shoulder chop. They cook up meaty and juicy thanks to the marbling throughout the meat. They’re great on the braai or used in casseroles, soups or curries. Choose chops that are at least 2.5 cm thick.
The perfect lamb chop marinade is made using rosemary, lemon and a couple of dashes of Worcester sauce. Or mix together honey, chopped, fresh rosemary, olive oil, lemon juice and black pepper and drizzle this over the chops.
Cook them for 10 minutes at 180°C and turn over for another 10 minutes. Allow the chops to rest before serving.
Sometimes I’ll pan-fry the chops with a little dried oreganum (4 – 6 minutes a side, depending on how you like your meat done and the thickness of the chop), cut the meat off the bone then mix with a squeeze of lemon.
This we stuff into grilled pita breads along with feta cheese, some garlicky yoghurt, chopped red onions and sliced tomatoes. The kids love it and so do we.
TIP: Always allow your chops to come to room temperature before cooking. In fact, do this with all meat and poultry. It ensures it cooks more evenly and prevents overcooking.
My husband, Terry, has a thing for crumbed lamb chops (and he has since convinced me this is a delicious way to serve them – the chops always come out flavourful and tender).
He spices up fresh breadcrumbs with lemon zest and chopped thyme then dredges the chops in flour, then beaten egg before coating them in the crumb mix.
He then pan-fries them in a little butter and olive oil until just done and we love having this with a spicy coleslaw.
As any Middle Eastern cook will tell you, yoghurt goes wonderfully with lamb – it cuts right through the richness of the fat.
Make a quick marinade by combing yoghurt, garam masala (or your favourite spicy mix), dried chilli, a pinch of salt and some lime or lemon juice.
Marinate the chops in this for as long as possible. Overnight is best, but at least for 30 minutes. Grill or braai them over hot coals until done (again, 4 – 6 minutes a side) and enjoy with a baked sweet potato.
Enjoy your lamb chops!

Abigail Donnelly Article by: Abigail Donnelly

Nothing excites Woolworths TASTE's Food Director quite as much as the challenge of dreaming up recipes with innovative new foods – or the thrill of creating deliciousness on a plate with the humblest of ingredients. With Abi by your side, you’ll be a cooking expert in no time at all.

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