These beautiful little lamb chops may look fancy, but they’re actually a quick, easy meal, especially when you make the accompanying sauce the day before. Because lamb is naturally a little gamey, it’s the ideal companion for an intense herbal chimichurri sauce—the official condiment of Argentina.
THE MEAT: We like to get thick lamb chops—about 2 inches thick. And they look like miniature T-bone steaks! Lamb is very lean, so loin chops like these need to stay around medium rare (at the most medium) or they will get too tough to eat.
THE METHOD: Lamb loin chops resemble steaks, and they should be cooked like steaks. After a quick marinade, sear them directly over a fire, turning once and you’ll get perfectly medium-rare chops.
THE MEAL: Drizzle the chops with the bright chimichurri sauce before serving. To round out the meal, add a salad, orzo or couscous, crusty bread and a bottle or two of red wine. This recipe makes enough for four people, or two with leftovers.
Grilled Lamb Loin Chops
8 lamb loin chops, 2-inches thick, about ⅓ pound each
¼ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Juice of half a lemon
½ tablespoon kosher salt
½ tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
For the chimichurri:
¾ cup water
2 tablespoons kosher salt
10 garlic cloves
½ cup parsley leaves
½ cup oregano leaves
½ tablespoon red pepper flakes
Juice of half a lemon
¼ cup red wine vinegar
½ cup olive oil
To make the chimichurri, boil the water in a small saucepan and add the the kosher salt. Allow the salt to dissolve, then transfer the salted water to a measuring cup or separate container to cool.
Mince the garlic and add it to a bowl bigger than you think you need. Chop the parsley leaves and the oregano leaves and add them to the garlic. Add the red pepper flakes, the lemon juice and the red wine vinegar, and whisk together. Add the olive oil and whisk again. Add the reserved salt water and whisk some more. Transfer the mixture to a jar, cover with a lid and refrigerate overnight. (You’ll want to shake well before serving.)
When you’re ready to cook, prepare your grill for direct grilling.
Add the chops to a large bowl. Add the olive oil, red wine vinegar and lemon juice, and mix. Add the salt and pepper and mix again.
Grill the lamb chops over direct fire for 10 minutes, flipping them at the 5-minute mark.
Remove the lamb chops to a plate or platter, cover with foil and allow to rest for about 15 minutes. Place the lamb chops on a platter, drizzle with the chimichurri sauce and serve immediately.