When it comes to celebrations and special occasions, backyard parties are a staple. The versatility is one of the best parts of a barbecue party. You can invite many friends over and set up dozens of activities and music for entertainment. Or if it’s just a simple family celebration, a little music and drinks is all you need. However, the one most important thing you need for any barbecue event is meat, veggies and side dishes.
Having a few steaks on hand is a great choice, but it can be a little expected. Instead, a great alternative for barbecues are lamb chops. Though a little more gamey in comparison to steaks and other meats, there are many recipes and seasonings that can turn lamb chops into a wonderful barbecued dish.
This article shows how to make the best lamb chops on barbecues in a few easy steps. If you’re interested in getting a new grill to fire up or need some sauces for your chops, Dickson Barbeque Centre has everything you need.
Step 1: Get the right thickness
If you’re looking to get a few lamb chops to barbecue for a celebration or just a Friday night dinner, there’s quite a bit of good news; you don’t need to find a specialty butcher shop for a good cut of meat. More often than not, lamb chops are available right at your local grocery store. The two most common cuts available for chops in supermarkets tend to be either lamb loin or rib chops, but both are just as great.
Once you’ve picked the type of cut you want for the chops, ask the butcher to cut approximately one inch thick slices. If the lamb chops are already precut, aim to get the thicker pieces instead. The thicker the chops are, the easier it gets to achieve the ideal browned outsides while the centres stay a great brownish pink. For lamb chops, the best recommended cook is medium rare, about 145 degrees fahrenheit in the middle.
Step 2: Marinate the chops well
The next step in making the perfect lamb chop is making sure that they’re marinated well. Much like steaks need a little seasoning but can also work well with more complex marinades, chops don’t always need a lot of herbs and spices. A simple lamb chop marinade can be made of rosemary, thyme, parsley and minced garlic mixed together with olive oil and salt. Once the lamb chops are marinated, leave them to rest for a minimum of 30 minutes at room temperature.
What herbs and spices pair with lamb?
Good news is that, if you don’t like the simple combinations of a few herbs and garlic, there are many options that go great with lamb chops. Whether you want to put a more cultural twist or just want to give your lamb chops a spicier kick, you can replace some of the spices with coriander, onion powder, cayenne, paprika, sage or mint.
How long should I marinade them for?
In order to make a great lamb chop, you will more than likely need to give it quite a bit of time to fully absorb the marinade well. The recommended time is four to five hours to make sure they’re tender yet flavourful. You can also leave it resting for roughly 30 minutes if you’re in a rush, but your lamb will come out perfect if left to marinate overnight.
Step 3: Sear both sides well
To begin cooking them well, start with grilling them at a lower heat first, between low and medium on your grill. This way, the lamb cooks properly on the insides, sealing in the flavour first. Once you’ve reached a little below the ideal internal temperature of 145 degrees fahrenheit – or 63 degrees celsius – take the chops off before increasing the heat to high. Once the grill is hot, give them a quick sear to give the lamb chops a nice crust on the outside – roughly two minutes per side. Once done, take the lamb chops off the grill and let them rest for about five minutes before serving them up.
Step 4: Make a simple sauce for your chops
As a little extra to make your lamb chops even better, you can whip up a quick and simple sauce on your stove top. If you still have a little of the marinade left, put it in a pan or skillet along with minced onions or shallots, a dash of thyme, a little butter and some crushed garlic. Once the onions and garlic start to brown, deglaze the pan with white wine or a meat based broth and some lemon juice. All that’s left is to turn off the stove and drizzle the sauce over the lamb chops.
Pro Tip: Serve them up with potatoes or polenta
Though not needed to make lamb chops an excellent lunch or dinner, a side dish of potatoes or polenta is a good addition to the dish. Whether the potatoes are simply diced, cubed, or mashed, combining them with the sauce is perfect. The potatoes can be seasoned in a way that provides a new taste to the lamb chops while also being able to mop up any sauce that’s left behind. You can also barbecue cubed potatoes along with the chops to save time in preparing another dish.
Polenta would be similar to mashed potatoes, though allowing more flavours to compliment the lamb chops. You can add a range of different herbs as well as a few vegetables to provide similar freshness that a salad would. The sauce can also be mixed into the polenta, adding similar flavours to both dishes.
Lamb chops are an incredibly versatile dish, allowing a range of different flavours from many different cuisines. What makes lamb great is that the taste can easily change to suit both complex flavours as well as simple seasonings and herbs. As with most meats, a simple combination made out of lemon juice and garlic can make the dish great yet so can a far more complex marinade.