If you have never had the pleasure of eating a perfectly cooked lamb chop, you are truly missing out on one of life’s wonders.
Lamb chops taste earthy, meaty, and a little gamey. While some people assume they will taste like beef, they are closer in taste to goat meat. When cooked right, lamb chops have a slightly charred exterior and a very tender center. Upon biting into a lamb chop, the flavor and juice burst into your mouth. It is very moist meat, and when cooked, it is light brown on the exterior with a light pink center.
Is Lamb Ethical to Eat?
With heightened awareness of the treatment of animals and the commodity meat industry, naturally, the ethicality of eating a lamb becomes a question. Lambs are baby sheep and are typically slaughtered around six to eight months of age. Despite the abrupt end to life, the lamb is one of the most humanely raised animals. They are almost exclusively pasture-raised and are able to roam about.
What Cut of Meat Makes the Best Chop?
Lamb chops from the sirloin, rib, and loin make for the best tasting meat. These cuts are incredibly tender. Other cuts from the leg or shoulder are considered lesser quality and require more work.
Are Lamb Chops Healthy?
Lamb is widely considered a healthy meat choice. Due to its grass-fed nature, lamb is high in Omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for building and maintaining a healthy body. Compared to beef, lamb is the more nutrient-dense meat option. Lamb chops are high in protein, zinc, iron, and selenium like other red meat.
Why are Lamb Chops so Expensive?
There are a few factors that contribute to the high price of lamb chops. Lambs have a high standard of living, which increases their value. Lambs also produce relatively little meat, and they are sold whole. Lamb butchery is a specialized skillset, so that adds to the price tag. Lamb chops range in price between $10-15 per pound, depending on the cut.
Basic Tips for Cooking Lamb Chops
Lamb chops can be cooked in multiple methods, but some general guidelines ensure tender, tasty meat.
- Lamb chops should be cooked quickly over high heat.
- Season the chops well with salt, pepper, and herbs such as thyme or rosemary. An overnight marinade works great.
- Lamb chops need to be cooked to 135 degree for medium rare.
- Most lamb chops need to be trimmed to remove the fat, although they can be purchased pretrimmed. Talk to a local butcher if you are unsure how to trim the lamb chops.
Lamb Chop Recipes
Grilled Lamb Chops
The most popular way to chop lamb chops is to grill them. Grilling allows for the fat to brown and caramelizes while the inside remains tender.
- 6 lamb chops, about 3/4-inch thick
- 2 large garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- Coarse sea salt
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat your grill to medium-high heat.
- Combine all marinade ingredients in a small bowl. Spoon this mixture evenly over both sides of lamb chops. Let the lamb chops marinate for at least an hour. This can be done overnight if you need to prep ahead.
- Grill the lamb chops for 3 to 5 minutes on each side. Make sure to use a meat thermometer to ensure doneness. 135°F for medium-rare. Remove from the grill and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Pan Lamb Chops
If grilling the lamb chops is not doable, pan-frying the chops is a great alternative. All you need is a cast-iron pan and a few simple ingredients.
- 6 lamb chop
- 4 garlic cloves-minced
- 1 tbsp fresh rosemary-chopped
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1/2 tbsp black pepper
- Combine the minced garlic with the rosemary in olive oil in a small bowl.
- Generously rub the lamb chops with the garlic mixture. Cover them with plastic wrap and let them marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. You can extend this up to five hours.
- Preheat your cast-iron skillet to high heat. Wipe the lamb chops with a paper towel to remove the marinade. Season them with salt and pepper—Cook the lamb chops for about 4 minutes on each side. Make sure to use a meat thermometer to ensure doneness- 135°F for medium-rare.
- Remove from the skillet and garnish with rosemary. Let rest for a few moments before serving,
If you are tired of pork or beef, lamb chops are a fantastic meat choice to try for your next dinner. They make an easy fancy meal for a special occasion. While they can be a little pricey, they are readily available for purchase at your local grocery store or butcher shop.