Provencal Lamb Chops with Herbed White Beans


Sublime Smoke

Published by Harvard Common Press

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

As Americans have grown to love lamb in recent decades, they have often taken their flavoring cues from Europe, where the meat is a long established favorite. The sunny tastes of southern France infuse these petite loin lamb chops. Try to find fresh herbs for the dish, rather than the dried alternatives, for the invigorating seasoning they offer.

NotesTechnique: Zipper-lock plastic bags are handy for holding marinated or dry-rubbed foods. In the refrigerator, the bags store more easily than bowls or dishes, and with less chance of leakage. The zipper-locks make simple work of turning the food too.


Cooking Methodsmoking


Total Timehalf-day

OccasionFormal Dinner Party

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationdiabetic, egg-free, gluten-free, lactose-free, low carb, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free



Taste and Textureherby, meaty, savory, smoky, tangy


  • 8 lamb loin chops, each weighing about 5 ounces and cut 1 inch thick
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh marjoram or 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  • 1 cup dried white beans, such as cannellini or Great Northern
  • 6 cups water, or more as needed
  • ½ medium onion, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup prepared Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary or 1½ teaspoons dried rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme or 1½ teaspoons dried thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh marjoram or 1½ teaspoons dried marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Sprigs of fresh rosemary, thyme, or marjoram, for garnish (optional)


  1. At least 3 hours and up to 2 days before you plan to smoke the lamb chops, start preparing the beans. In a large, heavy saucepan, combine the beans with the water, onion, and garlic. Bring the beans to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a low simmer and cook the beans until they are very tender but still holding their shape, about 2 hours. Stir in the salt after the beans have softened. The cooking time may vary depending on the variety of beans and the altitude. Stir the beans up from the bottom occasionally and add more hot water to the pot if the beans are getting dry before they soften. Keep the beans warm over very low heat or refrigerate and cover them. (You will finish making the beans while the chops cook.)

  2. At least 2 hours and up to 1 day before you plan to smoke the lamb chops, combine the paste ingredients in a small bowl. Massage the chops with the paste, wrap them in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

  3. Bring your smoker to its appropriate cooking temperature.

  4. Remove the chops from the refrigerator and let them sit covered at room temperature for 30 minutes.

  5. Warm a heavy skillet over high heat. Sear the chops quickly on both sides. Transfer them to the smoker, and cook the chops until their internal temperature is 150° F, or medium-rare, about 45 to 55 minutes at a cooking temperature of 225° F to 250° F.

  6. While the chops cook, finish the beans, first rewarming them if needed. Mix together the oil with the rosemary, thyme, marjoram, lemon juice, and pepper, and reserve.

  7. Arrange 2 lamb chops on each plate and spoon the beans beside the chops. Drizzle equal portions of the herbed oil over the beans and serve, garnished with rosemary, thyme, or marjoram if you wish.


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