Lamb may be a common meat in many households, but not in mine because my mom cannot tolerate the gaminess of the meat. So I never had lamb chops at home until I was in primary school when she cooked me the dish for my birthday.
It was one of the best meals that I remember eating because it had a flavour I had never experienced before. And for someone who doesn’t eat lamb or mutton, she was able to prepare a meal that got a young boy hooked on that meat.
While some people may complain about the gaminess of this meat, others who love lamb and mutton expect this smell and flavour when eating it.
One of the most effective ways of reducing the pungency is to trim away the fat before cooking or to choose a leaner cut of meat such as the leg.
Over the years, I’ve found ways to reduce the gaminess and smell of lamb, such as using fresh herbs.
This lamb marinade is one that I’ve developed over the years. I use it whenever I need to grill at home or when asked to prepare for a barbecue. It has a distinctive green colour in the herbal paste, which will turn brown when cooked.
Although lamb tends to be a bit “fatty”, extra virgin olive oil is needed as a vehicle for the marinade to travel into the meat and also tenderise it.
After marinating the herbs and spices overnight, the flavours will penetrate down to the bone. Even my mom was able to eat a small portion of it without being overwhelmed by its gaminess.
You can serve this lamb with mint sauce if you wish, but I feel you don’t need it because the marinade would have sufficiently dispelled the pungency of the meat.
When preparing for a barbecue, I usually marinate and grill more than is needed so that I can keep the leftovers for a lamb stew or to be put into wraps. It’s one of my favourite ways of enjoying a meat that has so much flavour and brings so much nostalgia for me.
Ingredients600g lamb shoulder chops
1 bulb garlic
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
10g fresh parsley
10g fresh rosemary
10g fresh thyme
1 tsp salt to taste
1 tbsp black pepper to taste
1 bulb onion, sliced
2 hearts of baby romaine lettuce, shredded
1 pod ripe tomato, diced
3 sheets tortilla wrap
mayonnaiseInstructionsBlend garlic, parsley, rosemary and thyme with olive oil, salt and pepper into a fine paste in an electric mill. Spread the herbal paste on all sides of the lamb chops and marinate at least two hours or overnight.
Heat a skillet to medium high and grill the lamb chops for about two minutes on each side until well-seared and lightly crispy. Set aside to rest for about five minutes before serving.
In the meantime, using the remaining oil in the skillet, sauté the onions until slightly wilted and caramelised. Season the onions with salt to taste.
Serve the lamb chops warm with sautéed onions, lettuce and tomatoes. Drizzle mint sauce if desired.
In case you have leftover lamb, cut the grilled meat into narrow strips. Toast a tortilla wrap on a hot skillet until lightly singed, then spread a drizzle of mayonnaise over the sheet of bread. Place the strips of meat, lettuce, tomatoes, and caramelised onions in layers on the flat bread, then wrap the contents into a log and cut into two short rolls.
Serve immediately as a warm breakfast or pack as a snack on the go.