Lamb is an animal that many people prefer when it comes to cooking because, despite being a little more expensive than other animals, its meat is exceptionally tender and juicy. When it comes to barbecue with friends, lamb is always present, and although the portions are smaller, the flavor that the embers give to the meat makes it all worth it.
Lamb chops usually stand out among the most sought-after cuts for this type of preparation. For that reason, lamb chops are a must in those countries that focus their cuisine on meat and grilled recipes, as is the case of barbecues in Argentina, Uruguay, and the food obtained within the Spanish gastronomy.
Spain is world famous for producing some of the best meat and sausage products. Lamb is one of the best known and of the highest quality, considering that in Castilla y León, they have suckling lambs with the denomination of origin. For that reason, although grilled lamb chops can be prepared worldwide, the difference is felt when examined under Spanish cuisine standards.
How to prepare grilled lamb chops?
Grilled preparations usually have very few ingredients. However, all these recipes amaze me with their delicious results. So, what is the secret behind that flavor?
Besides the marinade, knowing how to handle the coals is the most important thing. And here, you can learn everything you need to prepare and taste this tasty dish.
Ingredients: (For approximately 4 persons)
12 lamb chops
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons thyme
1 tablespoon rosemary
50 ml extra virgin olive oil
Find a blender and add the olive oil, garlic cloves, thyme, and rosemary. Grind all this so that you can obtain a homogeneous mixture.
Dip the chops in the mixture or, failing that, paint them very well to absorb the spices' flavor.
Light the coals and wait until they are very hot. At this point, it is time to place the chops on the grill.
If the grill is small, placing the chops in batches is recommended, as this will make it easier to keep everything under control, and the meat will cook better.
Let each chop cook for 3 minutes on each side. When you turn them over, season them to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve with your favorite garnish.
The accompaniment for this recipe is up to you. Some people prefer to give it a refreshing touch with a salad of onion, lemon, cilantro, and tomato. In contrast, others prefer something more substantial and accompany the chops with rice or potatoes.
Secrets for a perfect grilled preparation:
Thaw the chops: The temperature of the chops, when they touch the grill, is very important. They must cook longer if their interior is cold, making their flavor different.
Cook the chops at room temperature; their center should be neither frozen nor cold. Take the meat out of the freezer about two or three hours before cooking.
Right fire, right time: If you don't have powerful coals to cook the meat, the result will be disappointing. Lamb chops come in small pieces, so it is necessary to have coals at a very high temperature so the meat can cook quickly. In this way, the meat will not dry out and will keep its juices.
It is best to cook the lamb for about 3 minutes, maximum 5 minutes. More than that is considered too long.
The best embers: Most people use charcoal to make the grills. However, this traditional recipe began cooking over firewood. Therefore, it is recommended to use firewood for this preparation, especially vine sticks, as it is done in La Rioja and Castilla del Norte. If you do not manage to get them, then pine can be a good option.
Light the firewood; in about half an hour, you will have coals at a good temperature for cooking on the grill. You must make sure that these embers are uniform, so you will have to spread them along the grill so that each piece of meat is cooked equally.
The position of the chops: The grill should be separated from the fire by at least 10 centimeters so that the coals will cook the meat without burning it.
The salt on the chops: Many people make the big mistake of salting the meat with the marinade, and this does nothing more than force the meat to lose its juices prematurely. Therefore, when making lamb chops, add salt and pepper as a final step.