As you may know, I am a big fan of lamb, especially chops on the grill. When it comes to lamb chops you generally have a couple options: rib chops (the pretty chops with the long thin bone) or loin chops (the thicker more triangular-shaped chop). There are also shoulder chops which are the economical choice and very flavorful, but the ratio of connective tissue and fat to meat is just too much work.
Rib chops are very pretty when the are Frenched and although rib chops can easily be grilled, I prefer to grill the entire rack and then cut it into portions for serving. Loin chops are my personal favorite because you can get them cut thick (1-1/4 to 1-1/2 inches is best for grilling) which gives you a better chance at not overcooking.
Sometime way back I read an article on how to grill perfectly medium rare lamb chops (lamb is best when served rare to medium). It is so simple and I’ve been grilling them that way since… 3 minutes then flip, 3 minutes then flip, 2 minutes then flip, 2 minutes then flip, and rest 10 minutes. Done. Perfect every time.
I try to get my lamb from my local butcher, but I saw these in the grocery store and decide to give them a try. Typically, I would just rub them with some smashed garlic and give them a generous sprinkle of kosher salt and pepper and let them set at room temperature for an hour before grilling. Since I was going to pair these chops with a Greek salad, I thought I would give them a little Mediterranean flair and soak them in some red wine and herbs first. The red wine really highlighted the flavor of the lamb. Even if you are not a big lamb fan, I would encourage you to give these a try!
Grilled Lamb Chops Marinated in Red Wine and Herbs
8 lamb loin chops, preferably 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 inch thick
2 cups red wine
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons mined garlic
1 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
Garden Greek Salad, for serving (recipe follows)
Place chops in a single layer in a shallow baking dish or in a large zip lock bag. Stir together the remaining ingredients and pour over the chops. Marinate at least 4 hours in the refrigerator or as long as overnight.
Remove the chops from the marinade and discard the marinade. Pat dry with paper towels and sprinkle with kosher salt and let sit at room temperature for 45 minutes prior to grilling.
Set up grill for direct grilling over high heat. Brush and oil grates before cooking.
Place chops on hot grill and cook for 3 minutes; flip and cook for another 3 minutes. Flip once again and cook for 2 minutes more on both sides for medium rare (add 1 more minute per side for medium). Remove from grill and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.
For a great meal al fresco, serve grilled lamb chops with Garden Greek Salad and a big glass of Zinfandel wine.
Garden Greek Salad
1 large hothouse English cucumber, unpeeled, seeded and quartered lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
10 ounces cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup thinly sliced shallots, about 1 large
1/3 cup pitted Kalamata olives, halved
4 ounces good-quality feta cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoon chopped parsley
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Add the cucumbers, tomatoes, shallots, olives, feta and parsley to a large bowl and set aside. In a small mixing bowl, stir together the vinegar, mustard, garlic, oregano, and salt. Slowly pour in the the olive oil while whisking. Drizzle over salad and toss. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
Cheers and Happy Grilling!