I love lamb. I especially love Utah Lamb. Some people complain that lamb has a gamey taste and that they don’t like the flavor. To these people I say, you have not eaten a good piece of lamb! People also complain the price of lamb is too expensive. While legs of lamb, rib chops and racks of lamb can be expensive, there are other cheaper cuts that are just as delicious as the more expensive cuts.
It is becoming more important to people to know where their food comes from. In Utah, I know where the lamb comes from. It comes from the same place I hunt deer and elk. From the pristine mountain forests and meadows of Northern and Central Utah. In the spring and summer, Utah sheep are raised on the same grasses and forbs that deer and elk eat and they drink from the same crystal cold springs and waterholes. In the fall, the animals are herded out of the mountains and the lambs are then slaughtered. In the past, I have bought whole lambs directly from the rancher. This is the best way to enjoy Utah lamb, however if you do not have access to a Utah sheep rancher then the next best thing to do is to look for Utah lamb in your grocery store. You can also find Utah lamb Purveyors on the internet, Below are two excellent Utah lamb produces and their website addresses. Contact them and see if they can provide you with fresh Utah lamb.
The following is one of my favorite ways to cook a lamb shoulder chop. This recipe brings out the flavor of the lamb and combines it with the fresh flavors of the herbs and vegetables from my back yard garden. The recipe calls for the lamb to be grilled over oak wood and charcoal. If you can’t cook with wood over an open fire, this recipe is also good when you broil the chop in your oven.
Ingredients For Lamb
4 lamb shoulder chops.
6 sprigs of fresh Rosemary.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Salt and pepper.
Directions for cooking lamb.
- Bring the lamb chops to room temperature.
- Rub the chops liberally with the olive oil.
- Sprinkle with the garlic powder.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Take 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary and strip the leaves from the stem. Sprinkle leaves evenly over the chops and press into the lamb chops.
- Marinate the lamb chops for 2-4 hours or over night in the refrigerator
- Remove the lamb chops from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature.
- While the chops are coming to room temperature, fill a charcoal chimney with charcoal briquettes and lite.
- Once the charcoal briquettes on the top are white, pour the coals into your grill and pile to one side. Place a small piece of oak on the coals. Allow the wood to burn down a few minutes before you grill the lamb.
- Let the grill rack heat up.
- Once the grill rack is very hot, place the lamb chop on the grill and sear both sides. About 2 minutes per side.
- Move the chop to the side of the grill that has no coals.
- Now, lift the charcoal grill and place 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary on the hot coals.
- Place the chops on the rack directly over the rosemary sprigs on the coals and cover the grill. Allow, the rosemary to smoke and infuse the meat. This should take about 3 minutes.
- Remove the lid and turn the chops several times over a 5 minute time span. I prefer my lamb medium rare. If you want it cooked more leave it on the grill for longer. Remember that the thickness of the chop will effect the total time needed to cook your chop.
Ingredients for Vegetables
4 fresh green zucchinis from the garden, sliced into 1/4 inch rings. For best flavor, the zucchinis should be no larger then 12 inches long.
2 Japanese eggplant, sliced in rings.
4 sweet Hungarian wax peppers, sliced.
2 green bell peppers, sliced.
4 garlic cloves, chopped.
6 fresh basil leaves, chopped.
1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves.
1/2 tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves, no stems.
1/2 cup of fresh chives, chopped.
3 tablespoons of olive oil.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Directions for cooking the Vegetables
- Heat the oil in a frying pan until hot.
- Add cut vegetables and garlic to the pan.
- Stir vegetables and cook until they begin to soften.
- Add all of the herds, salt and pepper to the pan. (Salt and pepper to taste.)
- Cook until the vegetables are tender and soft.
- Place the vegetables on a plate and place the lamb shoulder chop on the center of the vegetables.
- Garnish the lamb chop with a few fresh basil leaves and serve immediately with a nice red wine..