With N arriving in DC from SF a few days after Christmas, we decided to delay the full Christmas festivities. So on Christmas day itself our parents and I decided to still do a small but nice Christmas dinner, and wait to do the bigger meal when she got into town.
I was thinking about the best dish to make when I came across these gorgeous thick lamb loin chops at the grocery store. Now, I've never tried my hand at making lamb chops, so I definitely had to look through a few recipes to understand the right temperature and preparation style to cook the perfect chop, and this is what I came up with. I was going for the crunchy/slightly charred exterior and juicy interior, and that's what I happily ended up chowing down on. My dad enjoyed his chops thoroughly (and he's a tough one to please)!
Rosemary Garlic Lamb Chops
6 lamb loin chops (about 1 1/4 inch thick chops)
1/4 cup rosemary leaves
8 garlic cloves (I like this extra garlic-y, but 4 large cloves would work just as well)
2 teaspoons salt
cracked black pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- In a blender toss in the garlic cloves, rosemary, olive oil and some salt & pepper. Blend until it turns into a thick marinade.
- Place the chops flat in a glass container. Pour the marinade evenly over the chops and massage into both sides. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. (I marinated them for 4 hours.)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. In a hot pan sear the chops on each side for 3 minutes and then place on an aluminum foil lined baking sheet. If you have a cast iron skillet this could work perfectly, if you can fit the chops all in (otherwise, try cooking in batches). Searing for 3 minutes will give the outside of the chop a nice charred crust, before cooking the chops through in the oven.
- Place the chops in the oven and cook with the timing below, based on how you like your chops cooked.
- Once you take them out let your meat rest! This means keeping it on the tray, not moving it, and covering it lightly with a sheet of foil for about 10 minutes.
I was cooking these for my dad, so I cooked them well done like he likes.
10 minutes - medium rare
15 minutes - medium
20 minutes - well cooked
To join my juicy lamb chops on our dinner plates, I made some super easy crescent rolls which I smothered with homemade vegetable cream cheese. I also oven roasted asparagus and eggplants - simply cut them per my instructions below and drizzled them with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper and cooked them in the oven. Then tossed a balsamic glaze over them after they were cooked.
1 medium purple eggplant, sliced into 1/3 inch slices
1 bunch of asparagus
Asparagus faces the endless controversy (to snap or not to snap). I snapped the ends off for this particular recipe, basically the idea is to bend the end of the asparagus until it naturally snaps off, thereby removing the tough part of the asparagus. This feels super wasteful sometimes, so in the alternative merely peeling the outside a bit can help. Take your pick!
The eggplant slices take about 30 minutes, turning them halfway through. The asparagus takes just 20 minutes. This is all at the 400 degree Fahrenheit temperature used for the lamb chops.
The greased up asparagus before they head into the oven.
After 3 minutes and flipped over, just look at that charry goodness!
And, we flip again!
This is what they should look like right before you put them in the oven to finish cooking.