Cast Iron Lamb Chops are seared on high heat with rosemary, thyme and garlic and make for a restaurant quality lamb chop in under 30-minutes.
Mediterranean Lamb Chops Marinade
Okay. Call me partial, but the Mediterranean style approach to seasoning and cooking lamb chops is simply the best! Yes, my mama was Syrian and so I speak from both love and experience.
Married an ole British guy a few years ago and told him, “Don’t ever expect mint jelly on any piece of lamb you will eat in our house”! We both laughed and he’s never asked for it.
When lamb chops are being served in my home, you will always find, what I call, the ‘trinity’ of meat marinade happening.
Lathered across the chops, that will sit out room temperature for an hour before I cook them, is ‘my meat trinity’; rosemary, garlic and thyme, then drizzled with a splash of olive oil.
Best Lamb Chop Spices
Rosemary has an exotic and aromatic scent and flavor, but somehow when meat is marinaded in it, it doesn’t dominate. It kisses the fat with rosemary oil without changing the beautiful flavor of the meat.
Garlic. Where would the world of cooking be without garlic? Exactly! My paternal grandmother was Swedish, having migrated to Wisconsin as a kid. Her food had zero flavor.
I’d swear it’s why my dad married my mom, who could cook her tahootie off! Garlic was in everything!
Thyme, for me, is this tiny little leaf that is miserable to strip from its sprig but imparts so much flavor. Its history dates way back to ancient Egypt, which is probably why my mom often cooked with it.
What is your favorite chop? Mine will always be lamb chops! When a beautiful rack of lamb chops have been ‘Frenched’, I smell a party in the making!
Frenching lamb chops is the ‘restaurant quality’ way to present chops on a plate and is simply a method of removing the layer of muscle and fat from the extended rib bone.
The Heat Of Cast Iron
What is the best grill grate made of, for the transference of heat? Exactly! Cast iron. Therefore, what is the best pan for the transference of heat to cook meat indoors made of? Exactly! Cast iron.
My son Omar, is a professional chef. While he cooks everything from tweezer plated, froufrou first class food, to down-home barbecue, his preparation of any and all meats is always perfection.
While cooking on The Great American Recipe program with PBS, Episode 5 Round 1, I was asked to prepare the most memorable meal I have had. It was a no brainer.
Every year for my birthday, my son always makes his mama the best dang lamb chops to be had anywhere!
That, is what I made for the program. An entire, first-class Mediterranean lamb chop dinner in under 60-minutes.
Featured in The Great American Recipe Cookbook, will be MY RECIPE!! So Excited.
The secret? One dang hot cast iron pan on top the stove to sear the meat, and then into the oven at 450, in the same cast iron pan to finish the meat in 15-minutes and rest it for 10-minutes before serving.
The judges said it was absolutely ‘restaurant quality’ cooking and plating! Thank you Omar for teaching your mama how to cook lamb chops!
How To Make Perfect Cast Iron Lamb Chops At Home
First, lamb needs to sit out room temperature with a good rub of coarse and fresh herbs. This helps to tenderize the meat.
Secondly, get a heavy cast iron pan really hot on top of the stop, sear the meat and then pop it into a really hot oven for under 15-minutes.
Last, allow the cooked lamb chops to rest, room temperature, for a good 5-minutes before serving. This gives the natural juices inside of the meat to mingle with the meat and remain there instead of spill out the moment a knife cuts into them.
I have since, purchased cast iron fajita pans. I pop them in the oven to get hot and when the chops are ready to serve, I transfer them the the hot fajita pans to keep the meal good and hot when serving.
What To Serve With Cast Iron Lamb Chops
I have two very favorite dishes I like to prepare when I serve lamb chops. They are my favorites because they can be prepared in advance so all my attention can be on the chops when I am cooking them.
Green Bean Bundles are a colorful, flavorful dish of Haricot Vert tied with blanched leeks, dressed in my favorite Lemon Dressing and topped with either tai-colored tomatoes or peppers.
Mediterranean Orzo Salad of cooked orzo, tossed with olive oil, sun-dried tomatoes, olives and feta cheese.
If a hot side dish is preferred, a simple toss of fingerling potatoes in olive oil, coarse salt and rosemary, roasted in the hot oven that awaits the chops is a great side dish too.
- Rack of Lamb
- Coarse salt
- Dijon mustard
- Fresh rosemary
- Fresh thyme
- Olive oil
- Lemon juice
- Large cast iron pan
- Cutting board
- Chopping knife
- Basting brush
- Small mixing bowl
- Large plate – to marinate the chops
- Citrus press
- Garlic press
- Meat thermometer
- Stovetop or burner and Oven
Cast Iron Lamb Chops
- Rack of Lamb – 12 chops, serving 3 per person
- Coarse salt – 2 tbsp
- Dijon Mustard – 1/4 cup
- Fresh Rosemary – 4 sprigs, finely chopped
- Fresh Thyme – 4 sprigs, chopped and 4 sprigs for garnish
- Garlic – 4 cloves, crushed
- Olive oil – 2 tbsp
- Butter – 2 tbsp
- Lemon juice – 1 tbsp
- Separate the chops so that they are in bundles of 3 chops per person. Slice between the 3 chops to open and expose both sides of the chops but leave them connected at the bottom.
- Rub both sides of the chops with a little mustard. Sprinkle with coarse salt and allow to sit out room temperature for 15 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 425 and heat a large cast iron pan, or two, on top of the stove.
- In a small bowl, mix together the finely chopped rosemary, thyme and garlic with olive oil. Rub this mixture on both sides of the chops.
- In the cast iron pan, toss the butter in and the chops in to quickly sear all exposed sides of the chops. Turn quickly as each side takes on color.
- Quickly drizzle the lemon juice and transfer the hot pan into the preheated oven and cook for about 15-minutes. Check to make sure the internal temperature is 120 degrees.
- Remove the chops and allow to sit in the pan, on top of the stove for 10-minutes. Plate and serve.