Grilled lamb chops with herb butter

Top chops

Originally appeared in the February 17, 2011 edition of The Southside Times.

Despite the prognosticating prowess of that woodchuck over in Punxsutawney, and notwithstanding the recent Midwestern warm-up, you may think it untimely to be discussing the grill.  Yet, with the proper equipment, there’s no season in which grilling is off limits.  More here:On Christmas morning last year, I discovered that Santa had delivered a cast-iron, 10″ × 10″ square grill pan with my name on it.  Cast-iron, of course, has long-been a favorite of cooks and chefs, not only for its ability to evenly distribute heat, but for its capacity to maintain those temperature for an extended period of time.

This week’s recipe is simple enough, inspired by the abundance of lamb, and variety of cuts (chops, loins, legs, ground), I’ve noticed at the grocery lately.

If you decide to invest in a grill pan, don’t forget to follow instructions for conditioning the cast-iron.  Whether it’s square, round, or rectangle is absolutely up to you.  A decent grill-pan runs around $40 to $50; although I’ve seen them as low as $20, and climb higher than $100.  Just remember:  you get what you pay for.  Which reminds me: thanks again, Santa.

Grilled lamb chops with herb butter

Serves 3 (2 chops per)

  • 6, 1-inch thick lamb chops
  • To taste, kosher salt and cracked black pepper
  • As needed, canola or vegetable oil
  • 6 slices of herb butter (recipe follows)

Herb butter

  • 1 pound softened (not melted), unsalted butter
  • To taste, kosher salt and cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup chopped fresh herbs of choice: tarragon, dill, parsley, chives, etc.

1.  For herb butter: in a bowl, whisk together softened butter, seasonings and herbs until mix is well incorporated.  Unroll a strip of plastic wrap and spoon butter into a narrow line.  Now roll the butter in the plastic wrap to create a slender, cylindrical tube, roughly the circumference of a silver dollar.  Place in fridge for at least an hour to set up.

2.  For chops: preheat grill for 10-15 minutes.  Season chops with salt and pepper, and brush with oil.  Place lamb on grill and allow to form grill marks—this is done by designating the initial position of the meat to be “12 o’clock.”  Now cock the chops to either “10 o’clock” or “2 o’clock” to create diamond-shaped crosshatches.

3.  Slice a small medallion of herb butter for each chop.  Remove chops and, while still warm, place slice of herb butter on each.  Serve immediately as the herb butter is melting.

Published in: on February 17, 2011 at 6:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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