Lamb is a young one of a sheep that is under one year old and known for its delicate and flavorful tender flesh.
The word lamb comes from the German word “lambiz”. Historically, it is believed that sheep were discovered somewhere in Central Asia, and used not only as a good source of food but their skin & wool for clothing. Sheep have since long been a dietary staple as well as a textile source in Asia, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
It is called a “Young Lamb” when slaughtered between 6 to 8 weeks; it has the palest meat of all. “Sprig” (which is also known as early or summer lamb) is lamb slaughtered between 3-5 months old. Lambs slaughtered between 1 to 2 years old are called “hoggart” and have a much stronger flavor and slightly less tender flesh. Anything above 2 years is called “Mutton”; although they are more flavorful, the meat is tougher and needs a slow cooking method to tenderize and cook well.
English cuts of Lamb have evolved through the centuries and reflect the change in cooking methods and taste in English homes.
To learn more about the popular cuts of Lamb, you can go through the introductory lesson - Meat: Lamb… Make the Most of Your Meat!
Lamb Recipe of the Day - The Spiced Grilled Lamb Chop
About Spiced Grilled Lamb Chops
Lamb chops originated in the 17th century in Great Britain and came to be when London chop houses started cooking individual pieces of meat for customers.
There are two types of Lamb chops, either rib chops or loin chops, which are cut perpendicular to the spine of the lamb and include the rib & part of the spine. The rib chops have more fat content and are tastier compared to the loin chops, which are broader and leaner. Alternatively, a thin boneless chop is also available and is known as a cutlet.
These chops can be marinated in a variety of ingredients & spices and can be prepared at short notice as they do not take too long to marinate and are usually cooked using dry-heat methods such as grilling and pan-broiling.
The smoky char-grilled lamb chops paired with the crispy roast baby potatoes, go very well with the aromatic smooth pan gravy for a great meal.
Recipe Card (to serve 4 pax)
|For the Lamb Chops|
|Lamb chops||8 pieces|
|Olive oil (extra for the lamb)||4 tbsp|
|Sea salt||as required|
|Freshly ground black pepper||1 tsp|
|Chili (dried, finely sliced)||1 piece|
|Thyme (fresh)||1 tsp|
|For the Potatoes|
|Potatoes (baby)||500 gm|
|Coriander seeds||2 tsp|
|Ground cinnamon||1/2 tsp|
|Olive oil||2 tbsp|
|Black pepper (crushed)||1 tsp|
|For the Sauce|
|Garlic (minced)||2 cloves|
|Lemon (juice)||2 tbsp|
|Chicken stock||1 cup|
Method of Cooking
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F.
2. Drizzle the lamb cutlets with olive oil and sprinkle a pinch of salt, black pepper, chili, and thyme over it. Give the cutlets a good rub to massage in the flavors and set aside. (wear gloves to avoid contact with the chili). Cling wrap and chill.
3. Cut baby potatoes in chunks (half or quartered).
4. In a roasting tray place the baby potatoes and sprinkle crushed coriander seeds, cinnamon, salt, and crushed pepper. Drizzle over with olive oil and toss to coat the potatoes and then roast for 20 minutes at 200˚C. Take out of the oven and set aside.
5. While the potatoes are roasting, in a grill pan on high heat, grill the lamb for 4 minutes, turn the lamb over, grill again for 3-4 more minutes on the other side, and once done, set aside.
6. Drain any extra oil/fat and using the same grill pan, add garlic, rosemary, lemon juice, stock and deglaze the pan over high heat while stirring and scraping the brown bit off the pan.
7. Take the sauce off the heat, strain the sauce and whisk in the butter until combined.
8. Serve the sauce on the side or pour over the chops with the roasted potatoes.