Thick lamb chops are extraordinarily satisfying, especially when accompanied by a cold or room-temperature sauce, particularly one that may be made in advance and refrigerated so all the cook has to do is cook the chops.
Fresh mint is a must in this recipe. Be sure to measure after it is chopped. Serve alone or on a bed of vegetables. —Nathalie Dupree
Serves 2 or 3
6 (1- to 11/2-inch-thick) lamb chops
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 heaping teaspoons chopped fresh mint
1/4 cup oil, cook’s preference
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 recipe Mint-Mustard Sauce (recipe follows)
Rub the chops with chopped garlic and mint. Mix oil with lemon juice. Drizzle on the chops. Move to a plastic ziplock bag and marinate up to 2 hours at room temperature or longer in the refrigerator. Move the chops to a preheated griddle or grill, and cook 5 to 6 minutes on each side, or until desired doneness. Serve with Mint-Mustard Sauce.
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, chopped
3/4 cup oil, cook’s preference
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons heavy cream or sour cream
Freshly ground black pepper
Blend together mustard, lemon juice and garlic in a blender or food processor. Slowly add the oil and blend until emulsified and thick. Add the mint.
Quickly blend in the cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and add sugar as necessary. Pour some sauce over the meat and pass the rest separately.
Variation: See above recipe to lamb chops , substituting a 1 to 11/2 pound rack of lamb for the individual pork chops and leave all other ingredients the same.
Remove backbone or have butcher remove for you. Rub with the garlic and mint. Marinate as above in the oiled bag with the oil and lemon juice. Remove and roast the meat in a 450-500 degree oven 15-20 minutes until the meat registers 135 degrees with a meat thermometer for rare, or until desired doneness. Remove from the oven and let rest a few minutes before carving and serving with the sauce.
Nathalie Dupree is the author of 14 cookbooks, most recently the James Beard award-winning “Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking.” She lives in Charleston and may be reached through Nathaliedupree