My husband never wants me to buy lamb chops to cook at home… he’s always afraid that the flavor will turn out gamey. ”Nonsense!” I told him, “It’s not going to be gamey, don’t worry!” Yet… he didn’t believe me. But it was fine in the end, and he even admitted that it was good and not at all gamey. So don’t be afraid to cook lamb chops at home! There are a few things you can do to reduce the likelihood that you will end up with gamey lamb:
1. Buy American lamb, not New Zealand lamb. New Zealand lamb is primarily grass fed (which gives a more gamey flavor to the meat) while American lamb is more likely to be fed a diet of grains. (For the people who prefer the gamey flavor – in that case, go for the New Zealand lamb and disregard the next few steps!)
2. Soak the lamb chops in milk the night before cooking. (I did not do this step, and it was still fine.)
3. Rinse the lamb chops with fresh tap water, and pat dry with a paper towel before marinating.
4. Trim off any large visible chunks of fat, if possible. I did this step right before cooking – you can see the photos of the lamb chops marinating with thick fat edges vs. the lamb chops in the pan which have most of those fat edges trimmed off.
Pan Seared Rosemary Lamb Loin Chops:
- 6 Lamb loin chops (4 oz. each)
- 2 T. rosemary, chopped
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 1/2 tsp. fresh cracked black pepper
- 1 T. olive oil
- 1 T. canola oil + 1 T. butter
- 1/4 c. good quality balsamic vinegar
- 3 T. unsalted butter
- 1 T. flour
- 2 T. brown sugar
- 1/2 c. water or broth
- salt, pepper to taste
1. Rinse the lamb chops with water, pat dry with paper towels. (Trim any excess fat if desired – this is to reduce gamey smell/flavor – I didn’t do it at this step, as you can see from the photos below – I did it right before putting the lamb in the pan. But it’s probably easier to do it right before marinating.) Sprinkle both sides with the rosemary, salt, pepper, and olive oil and rub into the meat. (You can do this step ahead of time – up to the night before, store wrapped in plastic wrap.)
2. Heat the canola oil and butter over high heat in a large cast iron skillet.
3. When the pan is hot, place the lamb loin chops into the skillet. Do not move the lamb chops around – you want a nice crusty sear to form, which will not happen if you move them. Allow the chops to sear for 3 minutes.
4. Flip the lamb chops, and allow to cook undisturbed for another 4 minutes.
5. Remove the lamb chops to a plate, and cover with foil to rest and keep warm.
6. Add the butter and flour (for the balsamic glaze) into the pan. Stir with a wooden spoon, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
7. Add the balsamic vinegar and water. Cook the sauce until bubbly and thickened. Add brown sugar, then taste and add salt & pepper if needed.
8. Serve the lamb chops with a drizzle of the balsamic glaze.