Spring is in the air and we are all more than ready for it. It’s hard to believe we were buried in snow just one week ago. Alas, it seems this terrible, horrible, no good, very bad winter is coming to an end! Good signs and upcoming warm weather vibes are everywhere.
I saw these beautiful lamb loin chops on sale at the market yesterday. I couldn’t refuse the lovely gesture from the meat gods (a.k.a. butchers) so I grabbed a few. I also scored some organic berries. Forget the groundhog, people. Food supply is where it is at in terms of predicting the weather.
These chops are very simple to prepare and equally great for a quick weeknight dinner or an elegant holiday entree. A cast iron skillet helps ensure they brown nicely and transfers straight into the oven so there is no fuss changing pans. You can definitely make a rack of lamb if you can’t find loin chops in your market, just be sure to adjust the cooking time, if needed, to reach your desired temperature.
- 4 bone-in lamb loin chops (about 1½ lbs)
- kosher salt and black pepper
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
- 1 small shallot, roughly chopped
- 6 sprigs thyme
- Heat oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit and remove chops from refrigerator ½ hour before cooking.
- Heat a medium cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and add olive oil. Season lamb loin chops with salt and pepper and brown in skillet about 4-5 minutes per side, until a nice crust is formed. Brown fat cap side until deep golden and fat is rendered off of it, about 2-3 minutes.
- Pour off all of the excess fat, lay loin chops on their sides and place in the oven. Cook for about 4-5 minutes for 125 degrees or until desired temperature is reached. (Note: meat will continue to cook while resting so you should remove from the oven about 10 degrees less than desired final temperature).
- Remove chops from skillet and rest on a plate. Heat skillet over medium, being careful not to burn your hands on the hot handle. Add the garlic, shallots and thyme and toss until caramelized and fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Spoon over chops and serve.
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