Parmesan Garlic Lamb Chops

December 8, 2009

I don’t know about you but I tend to eat a lot of chicken and fish, and sometimes you just need to change things up.  I had never cooked lamb before, but after seeing it in a few recipes I  made up my mind to try it.  I did some homework first, and found that loin, shank and leg cuts are comparable to beef and pork with regards to calories and saturated fat.  (About 150 calories per a 3 oz serving, and 2-3 g of sat fat.)  And, as it turns out, lamb isn’t as marbled as beef so it’s easier to trim the fat away before cooking.  Well!  This all seemed quite promising, so I rolled up my sleeves and got cooking.

The recipe I started with called for a rack of lamb, which I was all about until I got to the butcher’s counter.  WELL THEN.   If you’ve bought one, you know what I discovered.  I quickly switched my plan to loin chops, and the end result seemed just fine.   Well, more than just fine.  It was stinkin’ delicious, ya’ll.

I seasoned the chops with some salt and pepper, then browned them in a pan with 2 T of olive oil (for about a pound of meat.)  They browned for about 4 minutes on each side, and then switched over to a plate to await their coating.

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I mixed together 1/4 cup of bread crumbs and 1T of grated pecorino romano.  (This is what I had on hand; most of the recipes called for parmesan.)  I coated them with a dollop of Dijon mustard (officially, prob a tsp each side of each loin… but it’s mustard, mkay?) and then another tsp of minced garlic on each side.  After they got their wet bath from the mustard/garlic, I patted on the bread crumbs/parmesan mixture.  A spritz from the olive oil mister and into the oven at 450 F they went! 

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They cooked for 15 minutes, while I prepared the sides. 

To go along with our chops, I made these roasted veggies from Trader Joe’s.  They are quite possibly the best frozen vegetables I’ve ever encountered.  (Unfortunately, to obtain them I have to drive a mere 160 miles down to Charlotte and back.)

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I also threw a handful of frozen spinach into the pan where I had browned the meat, with another tablespoon of olive oil.  I was thinking browned meat fat + spinach would = deliciousness.  I was wrong.  If anyone has a good suggestion for cooking spinach, please please let me know!  This was terrible. 

BUT, spinach disaster aside, the rest of dinner was fantastic.  The loin chops had just the right amount of garlic and crunchy coating without being overpowering, and the meat was super tender.  While I don’t think lamb will show up in my regular rotation, this is definitely a keeper and would make a great dish for a special occasion.  Minus, of course, the spinach.  Sorry, Popeye.

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Recipe* 

(I didn’t actually use one, I just looked at three or four and got the gist of them and went from there.  This is just one example and comes from Emeril, 2003.)

Ingredients

  • 1 rack of lamb, trimmed (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan

Directions

Season rack of lamb well on all sides with salt and pepper. Heat a medium skillet over high heat and, when hot, add the oil. When the oil is almost smoking, add the rack of lamb and brown well on all sides, about 6 minutes. Transfer the lamb to a plate and set aside to cool slightly before proceeding.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Using the back of a spoon, spread the mustard evenly over all sides of the lamb. Spread the minced garlic over the lamb in the same manner.

In a small mixing bowl combine the breadcrumbs and grated cheese and toss to thoroughly combine. Using your hands or a spoon, spread the breadcrumb mixture evenly all over the lamb, pressing so that the crumbs adhere to the meat.

Place the rack of lamb on a baking sheet and bake for 12 to 15 minutes for medium-rare. Allow lamb to sit for 5 to 10 minutes before carving into chops to serve.

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One Response to “Parmesan Garlic Lamb Chops”

  1. Jeff Mancuso Says:

    Meg –
    Saw this post of yours while I was browsing around last month and it looked great. I just cooked it up for Anna and me – it was fantastic. Keep the recipes comin! 🙂
    -Jeff


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