We finally got down to the new Costco in Mettawa and renewed our long-lapsed membership. As a reward (or, maybe a sign that all was good now that we were back in the Costco family), the powers that be had these lovely, lovely packages of lovely (ermmm, did I mention that they were nice?) lamb chops for a ridiculously lovely price.
The fresh tuna steaks (that would’ve served four anyway) went back to the case, and these lovely (OK, I’ll stop now) little jewels came home with us.
See, we like lamb chops. Just don’t go looking for any mint jelly at our table when I serve these – I normally make a horseradish sauce to pass, or maybe a drizzle of 25 year old (thanks again, Norma!) balsamic vinegar. They are also a pretty dead-simple dish to make: toss ‘em in a marinade of Dijon, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, black peppercorns, and oil – preferably overnight, but a few hours will do – and then grill, broil, or, as I did, roast them at high heat (500º). Served with buttermilk smashed potatoes and fresh asparagus; it could snow all night and day, and I wouldn’t care – it’s springtime on a plate.
•Lamb loin chops (I allow two per person)
•1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
•1/2 cup vegetable oil
•2 tbsp Dijon mustard – I like whole grain for this
•1 tsp hot sauce
•2 or 3 garlic cloves, crushed – ermmm, or four, or even six, is nice, too
•1 onion, roughly chopped
•Herbs and spices – I use rosemary, red pepper flakes and a bit of Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute
Combine all the marinade ingredients and pour over the chops in a sealable bag or container. For best flavor – stash in the fridge overnight, turning the chops (or the bag – which – you’ve placed in an edged pan JUST in case it leaks, right?) when you happen to think of it. If you’re in a hurry, a few hours will do; but in either case, let the chops sit on the counter and come to room temperature before cooking.
The weather was not conducive to using the big grill, I think this cut of meat is a bit thick to be attempted on the indoor grill, and I hate the broiler in our gas range; so I opted for roasting our chops. I do have a somewhat specialized meat roaster, rescued from a second-hand shop, for just this use, but you could use any rimmed baking sheet lined with foil, and a rack.
Heat your oven to 500º. I like to pop the roasting pan in as well, for about five minutes, to give the chops an immediate sear.
Remove chops from the marinade and place on the pan (which I brush with a bit of oil just before adding the chops).
Pop into the oven for five to six minutes, turn, and cook for another five to six minutes. Remove from the oven, tent with foil, and let rest while you put the rest of dinner together.
I did ours seven minutes on the first side and six after the turn, and we got nice chops that were a touch over done for our taste – they were moist and flavorful, but there was no pink to be found – which could be exactly what you’re looking for, so adjust your roasting times accordingly.