Double Lamb Chop Inferno
My cooking buddy Steve Brourman, a hand surgeon who I suspect wishes he could spend every minute cooking, makes the most amazing lamb chops as an appetizer whenever he throws an outdoor party. Judging from the especially deep, dark crust--all that carbon flavor cutting into the rich, tasty fat--I think I know his secret: fire. In fact, he cooks the lovely little chops with such high heat that crusting them with spices would be an invitation for burning. For my version, then, I just add salt and pepper before I toss them on the grill. A basting butter spiked with herbs adds color and an extra blast of flavor. Since these are double chops (two bones, one extra-thich chop), the inside stays rosy red, just like I like it.
For the Herb Bundle use 1 bunch fresh herb(s) such as thyme, sage, or rosemary, or any combination. Using kitchen twine, tie the bunch to the end of a wooden kitchen spoon or a dowel. This will make it easier to use as a brush for basting.
To chiffonade the mint, stack the leaves and roll as tightly as possible into a cylinder. Cut across the roll so that when unrolled, the mint will be in thin ribbon-like strips.
Total Timeunder 1 hour
Make Ahead RecipeYes
One Pot MealYes
OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together, game day
Recipe Coursemain course
Dietary Considerationmain course
Five Ingredients or LessYes
Taste and Textureherby, juicy, meaty, savory, smoky
- Eight double lamb chops (cut with 2 bones per chop), 5 to 6 ounces each
- About 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- About 1 tablespoon finely ground fresh black pepper, plus additional for seasoning
- About ½ cup canola or vegetable oil
- 1 bunch thyme, tied in an Herb Bundle (see Notes)
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 4 lemons, halved and seeds removed
- Fleur de sel
- 16 tablespoons (8 ounces) unsalted butter
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled, halved, germ removed, and grated on a Microplane grater
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons fresh marjoram leaves
- 2 tablespoons fresh mint, cut in chiffonade (see Notes)
- 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
- 1 teaspoon crushed hot red pepper flakes
Preheat one area of a well-oiled charcoal or gas grill to high and another to medium
Combine all of the basting butter ingredients together in a medium saucepan, place over medium heat, and bring to a simmer. Stir to thoroughly combine as the butter melts. Remove from the heat.
Season the lamb chops generously on both sides with salt and pepper. Using your hands or a brush, evenly, but lightly, coat the chops with canola oil.
Look at each of the chops and determine which is the presentation, or top side, of the chop. It is the side that looks the nicest and should be the one with the two bones closest to it.
It is preferable that the chops be moved to a clean area of the grate every time they are flipped. Place the chops presentation side down on the high grate. Close the lid and grill, without moving them, until well marked and lightly charred, about 2 minutes. Flip, brush with the butter mixture using the herb bundle, close the lid, and repeat on the second side, grilling for about 2 minutes. From here on out, flip, jockey, and stack as necessary. Flip again to the presentation side, still on the high grate. Brush with the butter mixture using the herb bundle, close the lid, and grill the chops, without moving them, for 2 minutes. Flip, still on the high grate, brush with the butter mixture using the herb bundle, close the lid, and grill without moving for 2 minutes. (Total grilling at this point is 8 minutes, 4 minutes on each side.) Brush the chops again with the butter using the herb bundle, and move to the medium area of the grate. Continue to grill, presentation side up, with the lid open, until you reach the desired doneness, brushing with the lemon juice during the last minute of cooking. Cook about 2 minutes per side for rare, about 3 to 4 minutes for medium rare to medium, about 5 minutes for medium well, and about 6 to 7 minutes for well-done.
6. Spread some of the remaining butter on a cutting board, squeeze over some lemon juice, and sprinkle with fleur de sel. Place the chops on the board and let rest for 5 minutes.
2013 Adam Perry Lang