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Grilled lamb: your favorite cut/prep?

I'm planning on grilling lamb for dinner on Friday, since we are finally scheduled for some nice warm weather, and am trying to turn it into a somewhat elegant dinner party, so don't want to do kebabs (which is my usual lamb grilling m.o.). I cook lamb fairly frequently, but it's usually a roasted leg of lamb or rack of lamb, so I'm looking to broaden my lamb horizons.

What cuts of lamb are best for grilling and how should I prep it? Can I grill lamb chops successfully? How about a rack of lamb?

Thanks in advance.

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  1. I love grilled lamb. You can grill most cuts of lamb. My local grocer has bonelss butterflied leg of lamb, which is perfect for grilling. I just season let it marinate for a bit in salt, pepper, olive oil garlic and lemon juice. Since the meat is the same thickness thorugout, it grills quickly and evenly. I have also grilled rack of lamb and lamb chops./ Have to be careful with the chops- they flame up easliy, i also love lamb burgers on the grill. As it is cooking, throw some asparagus on the grill, too- makes a nice side.

    4 Replies
    1. re: macca

      I like the leg of lamb idea too. When you grill the butterflied leg, do you just lay it on the grill in a "slab"? How do you serve/present it?

      1. re: farmersdaughter

        Yes, lay it on the grill in a slab. Present by slicing and arranging on a platter with garnishes, eg lemon wedges, roasted grape tomatoes, roasted cipollini, flat leaf parsley or cilantro

        1. re: sarah galvin

          Yup- I simply slice it too, and serve on a platter. We like grape tomato/red onion salad with lemon, grilled asparagus and a bit of parsley- somtimes rice pilaf in the middle of the platter, instead of the salad.

          1. re: macca

            I like to add fresh chopped rosemary and mint to the marinade. I lay it on the grill in a single piece which means some will be well done and then becomes rarer as we move toward the thickest part---there are always a couple people in the group who like in very done or very rare and even they will have some that's "just right."Never really garnish it though if I do slice it on the bias and will add roasted potatoes to the big platter and then sprinkle all with fresh mint and rosemary.

    2. Grilled lamb chops are wonderful - they come out so tender and juicy! I use two recipes - one is my father's speciality: marinate the lamb chops all day with olive oil, lemon juice, lots of crushed garlic, lots of sliced onion and lots of freshly cracked peppercorns. My other favorite I got from an Italian grilling cookbook - salt the chops generously and while grilling baste frequently with bacon grease (it's amazing). In both cases grill over medium high heat about 4 minutes per side for 1 inch thin=ck chops.

      1. My man's half Armenian, so lamb shish kebab is on our menu a lot in the summer. Not very elegant, though. You can get shoulder chops or leg chops, both of which tend to be fairly large steaks (often 3/4 of a lb.), so they're not super-elegant either. I'd go with loin chops, bone-on -- i.e. the rack just broken up into little lollipop type chops.

        We marinate 24 hours in olive oil, fresh mint, thyme, oregano, basil, rosemary, parsley, tons of garlic and onion. No lemon, as it starts breaking down the meat after 30 minutes or so.

        I guess the lollipop chops is your most elegant option, and given that it's a cut you're familiar with, I'd say go for it.

        1. Butterflied leg, marinated in grainy mustard, soy sauce and peanut oil (equal amounts; I usually dump in the mustard and fill the mustard jar with the others. ) Best ever---and I don't like mustard ;-)

          1. If I'm grilling for a crowd I like to do boneless leg of lamb.

            for a smaller group I'll do loin chops.

            we eat a lot of shoulder chops as well. I don't usually serve these for guests unless very informally with folks I've fed numerous times. Tastes great, just not really elegant.

            Typically I'll use garlic, lemon, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper.

            For chops I'll sometime marinate with yogurt. In this case I'll vary the seasonins... along with the above. I like to use ras al-hanout with yogurt. Mint is also nice.