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lamb chops -- broil or saute?

Chowpatty Jan 15, 2007 11:47 PM

I know little about cooking meats, but my New Year's resolution was to learn to cook more meats because my family likes them. I bought some small marinated lamb chops at a Middle Eastern market. It's way too cold to light the barbecue plus it's a worknight. Do I broil them or cook them in my cast iron skillet? If skillet, do I add any fat to cook in? About how long should they cook?

  1. m
    marlie202 Jan 17, 2007 06:19 PM

    I broil them in their own juices with a touch of black pepper

    1. BobB Jan 16, 2007 01:53 PM

      Most home broilers just don't get hot enough to give a good char to the outside without overcooking the interior. I go with either sauteeing in a very hot iron pan, or grilling on the Weber preheated as hot as I can get it.

      1. Pincho Jan 16, 2007 07:52 AM

        The marinade probably has oil, I don't think you'll want to add more fat to the pan. In fact, try your best to blot them dry so you can get a nice crust.

        I like cooking single-rib chops in a very got cast iron pan. Not an option for you but I usually do not marinade them, just season and use a little olive oil. I cook them 2 minutes per side and they come out with a nice brown crust, still pink inside.

        1. e
          ESNY Jan 16, 2007 05:04 AM

          I like doing lamb chops, and most meat for that matter, in a ripping hot cast iron skillet and finish it in the oven if necessary. Preheat the pan over high for at least 5 minutes. Rub the excess marinade off the lamb chops and cook for 2-3 minutes per side. Depending how thick they are and how well you like it done, you might need to finish in a 400 degree oven for a few minutes.

          1. m
            ML8000 Jan 16, 2007 02:25 AM

            Whatever method gets the fat to render best...which could be either depending on technique. High heat seems to be the key. Sear in pan and finish in the oven sounds like a winner.

            1. f
              FlavoursGal Jan 16, 2007 02:04 AM

              The lamb chops have already been marinating for who knows how long, but probably too long (meat CAN be over-marinated; the outside turns mushy).

              Grumpy, Patty does not want to go out in the cold to grill, so the only choices are broil or pan-sear.

              Re-marinating little lamb chops that are already marinating would be overkill. Broiling, unless done in a professional-type broiler or salamander, will probably not heat the outside of the meat in a sufficiently short time to really sear it.

              If you want a really good crust on your lamb chops, rub a little oil on them and put them in a really hot dry pan (cast iron or stainless, NOT non-stick). Turn only once. If you want, add some minced shallots to the pan after removing the lamb to a plate to rest, deglaze with some dry red wine, reduce a bit, turn off the heat, and add a couple of pats of butter (or some heavy cream) to finish the sauce.


              1. j
                jcanncuk Jan 16, 2007 01:34 AM

                I like broiling too. I marinate with EVOO, lemon juice, garlic and rosemary.

                1. NYchowcook Jan 16, 2007 01:21 AM

                  I would broil

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: NYchowcook
                    hotoynoodle Jan 16, 2007 06:07 AM

                    you have far more control if you pan sear. remember, the chops will continue to cook when off the heat and resting. if they're baby chops they cook in a heartbeat. smoking hot cast iron is the way to go.

                    my grandmother once babysat for me, and my mom had left baby lamb chops for her to cook for dinner, knowing we both loved them. she put the chops under the broiler and took the dog for a walk! no, she wasn't senile, just a terrible cook. nearly burnt down the house!

                  2. g
                    GrumpyDad Jan 16, 2007 12:55 AM

                    Toss with extra Virgin Olive Oil, Kosher Salt, Cracked Black Pepper and grill them.

                    1. f
                      FlavoursGal Jan 16, 2007 12:45 AM

                      I would definitely blot them well, as HPLsauce suggests. Proper searing (and caramelization) just won't happen if the meat is at all wet when going into the pan.

                      1. HPLsauce Jan 16, 2007 12:04 AM

                        Either method is good; use very high heat. If skillet, a little oil won't hurt and might reduce sticking since they're probably a little wet from the marinade. You might also blot them w/ paper towels to absorb excess marinade. I'd cook them just long enough to get a good sear -- but I like rare (and raw) meat.

                        You don't say if these are rib chops or loin chops (which are wee T-bone steaks). The former are more often broiled and the latter more often fried/sauteed, but either should come out pretty well regardless of method.

                        1. s
                          Sugar Jones Jan 15, 2007 11:58 PM

                          Stovetop cast iron grill. Then finish in the oven if necessary.

                          1. r
                            rtmonty Jan 15, 2007 11:57 PM

                            I like to saute small chops. A light coating of oil in the skillet is fine. If the chops are rhick (2" or so), you might brown them on both sides and finish them in a 350F oven. If not, just cook on both sides 3-4 minutes each for medium.

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