It’s spring now in parts of the United States, and Easter is fast approaching. Lamb dinners are perfect for this time of year. My strongest memory of lamb comes from one of our summer vacations. My father, friend to all, had reconnected with a childhood friend who taught school in rural Pennsylvania. The friend had invited us to his home for dinner. The house was rustic, with wood-paneled walls, a pitched ceiling, and a stone fireplace. He was making leg of lamb, studded with garlic cloves and covered in rosemary.
What made it memorable was that it wasn’t ready for hours. No joke. We sat there, so hungry, used to eating at 5:30 pm, waiting politely for dinner. I’m guessing he served dinner at 8 pm. I don’t even think he put out any snacks or appetizers for us. It was just growly tummies and the smell of roasting lamb. For hours. I don’t actually even remember if it was good, it was almost too late to eat by the time he fed us. My mother said it was the best leg of lamb she’d ever had.
I had much better lamb experiences on my recent trip to Australia, where the lamb was incredible. Even fast-food places offered succulent lamb burgers. The few times my mother made lamb, we fished out the bright green mint jelly from the back of the fridge. I never quite understood that sugary, electric-green jelly, except that mint pairs well with lamb.
For this recipe, I picked up New Zealand lamb loin chops (unfrozen). The mint chimichurri is a riff on the Argentinian sauce made with basil and fresh herbs that’s used for grilled meats.
It is one of the best sauces I have ever made, and makes the grilled lamb sing.
low-sodium, migraine, gluten-free, paleo, dairy-free, reduced-sugar diets
vegan or vegetarian diets
You might also like:
Grilled lamb chops from Giada de Laurentis
Greek lamb chops with mint yogurt sauce from Cooking Light
Pan-seared lamb chops with rosemary and garlic from Primal Palate
Mint chimichurri from Simply Recipes
Grilled lamb chops with mint chimichurri
- 8 lamb loin chops about 1-1-1/2" thick
- 0.4 ounces mint leaves (fresh) 1/4 cup, packed leaves (no stems)
- 0.4 ounces Italian flat-leaf parsley (fresh) 1/4 cup, packed leaves (no stems)
- 0.4 ounces basil leaves (fresh) 1/4 cup, packed leaves (no stems)
- 1/2 cup olive oil (extra virgin)
- 1/4 cup white vinegar use white balsamic if not following the migraine diet
- 2 cloves garlic peeled, roughly chopped
- 1/2 tsp white pepper can substitute black pepper, but white is preferred
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- Put the meat out to warm up for at least 30 minutes before grilling.
- Pulse all the other ingredients in a blender until emulsified. You should still see flecks of individual ingredients in the sauce.
- Pour a small amount of sauce over the meat and rub on all sides. Marinate at least 30 minutes.
- Heat a grill pan to high.
- Sear the chops on high for 3 minutes per side, then 1 minute on each edge for a total of 10 minutes. (If using thinner chops, it should be about 6 minutes total.)
- Use an instant-read thermometer; the internal temperature should be 130F/55C. Remove from heat and let rest 10 minutes before cutting. It should be medium-rare.
- Serve with the rest of the sauce. In the photograph I included steamed rainbow carrots drizzled with olive oil.