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Advice for Lamb Loin Chops?

I've got a whole butchered lamb in the freezer, thanks to my mother in law. Problem is, I'm not a heavy red meat cooker so I have no idea how to cook it. I'm a pretty apt culinarian so I'm confident I'll be able to figure it out, but I need a nudge in the right direction.

First up is the bone-in loin chops. I've marinated them overnight in plain yogurt with garlic, evoo, and three kinds of pepper. I'm planning on pan broiling them - starting them in a hot cast iron skillet and then finishing them up in a 400F oven. I have three questions:

What's the best way to sear the chops with the bones still attached? I prefer to leave them in, but I'm afraid the meat will shrink away, and that I'll only be able to brown one side well.

If I just sear the outside of the lamb on the stovetop, how long should I have them in the oven for?

Can I toss some of the yogurt in the pan, or will that cause a problem? Should I wait to throw the yogurt in after I'm browned the meat and before it goes in the oven?

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  1. I really wish I could help you but I have never cooked or eaten lamb chops in my life. What does it taste like?

    2 Replies
    1. re: LadyintheKitchen

      Too cute :) It tastes like.................LAMB, of course!

      1. re: LadyintheKitchen

        Seriously? ;) They taste like... lamb. It's hard to explain if you've never had it - it tastes a little gamey and stronger than beef. I love it!

      2. I've only ever done them on the grill - about four minutes a side. What was the point of the yogurt? I like lamb chops medium rare. Seem to be alot of variables here. Perhaps you can check epicurious.

        3 Replies
        1. re: c oliver

          Yogurt is a great tenderizer due its live cultures and lactic acid, and I'm making a middle eastern-inspired, where they use a lot of yogurt (think tandoori chicken). Here's one recipe I found that you might check out:

          http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recip...

          1. re: morphone

            I think I'm rather a purist when it comes to lamb. All I want to taste is lamb. Will the yogurt burn if seared etc.?

            1. re: c oliver

              Not at all - mine tonight turned out amazing. The meat seared beautifully on medium high heat, and the finished in the oven for a few. No burning at all. :)

        2. I don't know why you felt the need for the yogurt marinade. I simply brush the chops with EVOO, dust with S&P, and broil 4 minutes per side.

          3 Replies
          1. re: pikawicca

            Flavor and tenderizing? Yogurt's a great carrier for garlic, pepper, and other seasonings.

            1. re: morphone

              You don't need to tenderize loin lamb chops, and I think their flavor needs no enhancing.

          2. I just prepared a set of 4 lamb chops. I marinaded them for about an hour in a mix olive oil, sherry, rosemary, salt and pepper. Then heated the oven to 400. Set an ovenproof skillet on the burner. When hot, put the chops in, and then put the pan in the oven. In effect I let the oven do the searing with the help of the preheated pan.

            I didn't time things, just kept an eye and ear on the sizzle. Turned them once, and started testing with a thermometer. These were 1" thick chops (2 bones each, roughly).

            While I let them rest, I drained the fat, poured the remaining marinade in the pan along with some sherry and stock, and made a quick pan gravy.

            1 Reply
            1. re: paulj

              I used this method last night for two little lamb loin chops. Super easy & delicious.

            2. tandoori lamb chops are phenomenal.
              http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/lu...
              http://www.curryfrenzy.com/curry/reci...

              the marinade with yogurt (famously a tenderizer) and spices lets the lamb shine, but at a whole new level of flavorfulness.

              another lamb recipe with yogurt marinade is "boti kabob": http://www.cookitsimply.com/recipe-00...

              one taste of either the tandoori lamb chops or the boti kabob will clarify the beauty of lamb marinated in yogurt and spices.

              morphone, you did or did not add in the yogurt to the pan? i'd say not. if so, how did it hold up? didn't it break?

              3 Replies
              1. re: alkapal

                Thanks Alkapal! I will definitely try those.

                I did add yogurt to the pan - and then once the meat was done I added a little white wine to get up the fond, then reduced the whole thing with mushrooms. It was a brilliant gravy. I don't understand what you mean by "break" though. Do you mean did the yogurt curdle?

                1. re: morphone

                  no, i meant break (as in a sauce breaking, liquids coming out of the emulsion...or with yogurt, the solids separating from the moisture. whey?), but also maybe "curdle". usually when yogurt is added to hot ingredients, or isn't tempered.

                  http://uk.answers.yahoo.com/question/...

                  http://www.discusscooking.com/forums/...

                  http://www.cheftalk.com/forums/food-c...

                  i googled the concept to see if i was nuts. see instruction #5 here in this fabulous looking recipe for kofta curry!!!! http://www.opensourcefood.com/people/...

                  this food blog entry concerns certain mid-eastern cooking with yogurt: http://desertcandy.blogspot.com/2007/...
                  it has nice links, too.

                  oh my goodness, i am SOOOOOO making this mango in yogurt curry: http://blog.sigsiv.com/2007/11/mambaz...

                  1. re: alkapal

                    Those recipes look AMAZING. Thanks :)

                    And I didn't have a problem curdling or separating, probably because I cooked the yogurt in the pan with the meat - perhaps the juices helped prevent any weirdness.