Broiled lamb chops in Mediterranean marinade
Lamb with an Israeli accent.
Israelis consider lamb a special meat to serve on festive occasions. In most parts of the country, householders only find it fresh in the markets a few times a year. And in restaurants, lamb chops are among the more expensive items on the menu. So when I was offered the chance to buy fresh lamb rib chops, I jumped at it.
Lamb chops are most often grilled or broiled here, with the simplest seasonings: salt, pepper, olive oil and a little garlic. The thinking is, if the meat’s good enough, we’ll enjoy its own good flavor. I enjoy them that way too, but this time I decided to season them with aromatic Mediterranean herbs, and a marinade seemed the right way to do it.
I’m glad to say that it was a good decision. The chops emerged from the oven juicy and tender, with a herby, meaty fragrance that drove everyone to the table in seconds. I served them with crisp-skinned potatoes, hummus and Israeli salad. And a pile of pita in the middle of the table for everyone to take as they desired.
You can choose to broil the chops in the oven, or take them out to the grill. Broiling was convenient for me at the time, and the chops were excellent.
- 2 pounds lamb chops
- 1/2 teaspoon powdered sumac herb *
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried za'atar or oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 1/2 tablespoon garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon silan date syrup **
- 3 tablespoons cognac or gin
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
Put the chops in a large bowl and rub them with the sumac, salt and pepper, thyme, za’atar, cumin and garlic.
Spoon the Silan, cognac, soy sauce and olive oil over the seasoned chops and turn them around in the liquid a few times.
Cover and refrigerate, 1 hour. Remove and allow them to come to room temperature – about 15 minutes.
Preheat the broiler. Place the chops in a broiler pan or cast-iron skillet (or other oven-safe pan)
Broil the chops 3-4 minutes on each side for medium-rare.
Tips and notes:
* Don’t have Mediterranean edible sumac in the pantry? Substitute 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice. Read more about edible sumac here, at our recipe for spinach and feta turnovers.
** No silan either? Substitute agave or dark corn syrup, reducing the quantity to 1/2 tablespoon. But if you like Israeli food, it’s worth getting Silan. Look for it in Mediterranean stores, or order it online. (And if ordering online, you might as well get a little sumac and za’atar too.)
For our full listing of recipes, check out the Israeli Kitchen recipe page.