I don't often make lamb at home, but for Easter dinner it always feels appropriate. I headed to my neighborhood butcher on Good Friday to pick up a few lamb lollipops, only to find out that they only sell them by the half or full rack... that was a little much for us, so the butcher directed me to these seriously thick cut lamb loin chops instead. They were still on the bone and since they were so thick, stayed nice and juicy on the grill.
I also prefer to eat lamb marinated and grilled, versus roasted the old fashioned way. Sometimes the flavor can be a bit strong for me and I find that marinating them neutralizes that flavor a bit and that grilling just makes everything taste better! This marinade is particularly good and has a nice sticky sweet and savory almost barbecue sauce-like quality about it. The flavors of rosemary, balsamic, and fig make it feel festive and elegant, while the hits of garlic and Worcestershire and red pepper flakes add some deep savory and spicy qualities.
This marinade would work nicely on a pork tenderloin and would also be great on something roasted instead of grilled as well.
- 2 lamb loin chops *I used 3-inch thick chops
- 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 2 Tbs. dark brown sugar
- 2 Tbs. fig butter or preserves *I used Trader Joe's Fig Butter
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 Tbs. dry rosemary leaves *Or you could use The Spice House Bavarian Seasoning Blend instead
- 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Place lamb loin chops in a large zip locking bag or in a shallow glass dish.
In a medium bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients until well combined. Pour mixture over the lamb and seal the bag or cover the dish. Refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours or up to 24 (the longer, the better).
Preheat a grill to medium heat. Lightly brush or spray the grates with oil. Grill the lamb chops over direct heat for 3-4 minutes on each side. Transfer to indirect heat for an additional 3-5 minutes per side, depending on desired degree of doneness. The rule of thumb for lamb is a meat thermometer should read internal temperatures as 145 degrees F for medium rare, 160 for medium, or 170 for well done.
Remove from grill and allow to rest for 3-5 minutes before serving.