You won’t often find red meat on my blog. I pretty much gave it up except for use in the occasional stew but when I wrote a piece on Greece for Anita’s fabulous link party, it seemed that lamb would be the perfect fit. Even then, I thought to myself as I was buying it that I’d probably only have a bite or two. Wrong! Loved this, gobbled it!
I ate a fair amount of lamb growing up but as an adult I just didn’t seem to think of buying it. These tasty little loin chops are the perfect way to introduce lamb to your kids for the first time. There are only 2 or 3 bites in each and this simple marinade gave them a wonderful savory flavour.
You can grill these or bake these – whatever you prefer. These ones are baked. If you use this method, make sure you sear them first to ensure you are building the flavour. The minute the meat hits that hot scorching pan, the surface begins to carmelize to give you that yum factor.
Lamb is not marbled (fat in the meat) as is beef. Over half of the fat in lamb is unsaturated. Only 36% of the fat in lamb is saturated. Most of the unsaturated fat is monounsaturated, commonly found in a healthy Mediterranean-type diet.
Lamb contains the fat that is good for you, consumed directly as part of the essential omega-6 fatty acid arachidonic acid (AA), a liquid unsaturated acid. Most of the lamb’s fat is on the outside edges and is easily trimmed. Only 175 calories, on average, in a 3 ounce serving. This is about 7% of the average caloric intake recommended for a 23-to-50 year old man.
Lamb is an excellent natural source of high quality protein and as a source of easily absorbed iron, an average portion of lamb provides 20% of the RDA intake for men and 12% for women.
The lemon and smoked paprika in the yogurt sauce adds a tasty addition to this dish or you can use tzatziki sauce – always delicious with lamb. If you want that little extra spin on things, you can always make your own yogurt. It’s not as hard as you might think, just check out Yogurt Nerd’s starter culture comparision, for some ideas to get you started. If you have not cooked lamb in awhile, I recommend giving it another try. I will definitely be adding this to my shopping cart more often in the future. Cheers, everyone!
- 12 lamb loin chops
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
- juice of one lemon (will need 3 lemons for this recipe)
- salt and pepper
- sprigs of fresh mint for garnish
- LEMON YOGURT SAUCE
- 1 cup Low Fat Greek Yogurt
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- dash of smoked paprika
- dash of cumin
- In a plastic bag or a baking dish, combine olive oil, garlic, thyme, oregano, rosemary, lemon, salt and pepper; mixing well. Add lamb chops ensuring they are well coated in marinade. If using a baking dish, cover with plastic. Marinate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.
- Preheat oven to 400F
- Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in oven-safe pan on high heat. Add lamb chops and sear for 3 minutes or until browned on each side.
- Transfer pan to oven and cook for 10 minutes.
- Grill method: Grill 5-6 minutes per side on medium heat.
- Serve with sprigs of mint, lemon wedges and yogurt sauce.
- YOGURT SAUCE
- Combine all ingredients, stirring well. Serve chilled.