You’ll Be Amazed At How Sheep Dip Transforms Grilled Lamb Chops
This marinade, I call it my Sheep Dip, is great on all cuts of lamb including rack, leg, and kebabs. If you don’t think you like lamb, this recipe will convert you. The result is amazingly flavorful, tender, juicy and succulent. And…
Loin chops are the porterhouse steaks of lamb, with a T-bone separating the strip steak on one side and the filet mignon on the other. But they are a lot smaller than beef porterhouses. Imagine a lamb standing next to a steer. You get the picture. Typically cut 1 to 1.5″ thick, lamb loin chops are no bigger than a child’s fist. Plan on 2 to 3 chops per person.
This marinade, I call it my Sheep Dip, is great on all cuts of lamb including rack, leg, and kebabs.
Serve with: Asparagus. Spring lamb is prized so serve this dish in the spring with grilled asparagus. Complete the plate with yet another spring treat, new potatoes transformed into Warm French Potato Salad. This also happens to be the World's Easiest Potato Salad. Pour a big rich red wine like Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, or Syrah. Break out the good stuff for this dinner.
Servings: 2 servings
About the lamb. Loin chops are the most tender and juicy meat on the animal, but the chops are small. Be sure to get them thick. Serve them rare to medium rare, no more than 130°F.
About the rosemary. If you have fresh rosemary, chop it up so it will ooze it's deliciousness into the marinade. If you use dried rosemary, crush it with a mortar and pestle or grind it between your palms. Alex Sebastian, owner of the famed Wooden Angel restaurant in Beaver, PA, near Pittsburgh, has been seen to serve a fresh sprig of rosemary with his lamb chops and then flagellate them at tableside. That's right, he beats the meat with the rosemary sprig. And it works! The flavorful oils in fresh rosemary are right on the surface and they give the meat a nice lift.
Trim and salt the meat. About 1 hour before cooking, trim the meat. Get all the surface fat off or else it will cause serious flareups on the grill.
Salt the meat and stick it in the fridge.
Make the marinade. Whisk the marinade ingredients in a non-reactive pan large enough to hold the chops but not much larger. You can crowd them in. Let the marinade sit for 30 minutes so the flavors marry before you put the meat in.
Add the salted chops, turn them so all sides are wet, and let them sit for 10 minutes per side. Do not marinate any longer than 20 minutes. This meat soaks up the flavor fast, and you don't want to hide the meat's own taste.
Fire up. Set up your grill for 2-zone cooking. Get the hot zone as hot as you can get it. Cook over the hot zone with the lid up so all the energy is pumped into one side of the chops while the other side cools, and turn frequently, until the chops are 125°F to 130°F in the center. It's OK if they get really dark—that's the balsamic talking—but don't let them burn—and for heaven's sake, do not overcook! Lamb is ideal rare or at most, medium-rare. Use the cool zone of the grill to hold chops as they finish. If the exteriors are really dark and the interiors are not done, there are two tricks: Either move them all to the indirect side and close the lid for about 5 minutes or stand them on end with the flat side of the T-bone down.
Serve. These chops are so small, they will cool off quick. Serve immediately.
Published On: 3/14/2015
Last Modified: 4/6/2021
Meathead - Founder and publisher of AmazingRibs.com, Meathead is known as the site's Hedonism Evangelist and BBQ Whisperer. He is also the author of the New York Times Best Seller "Meathead, The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling", named one of the "100 Best Cookbooks of All Time" by Southern Living.