Grilled Lamb Chop Appetizer
Lamb Chops tend to be the focus of a Main Dish serving in most Western households. Here however, nice plump loin chops are marinated in a tangy Mint Sauce, Grilled with Yoghurt, Garlic, and Rosemary, then served atop a bed of Sweet Bell Peppers sautéed with Sherry. They make a lovely appetizer, and could just as easily be served as one dish in a Tapas style meal.
A Note on the Mint Sauce
The recipe card below calls for Mint Sauce to be used as the marinade. You can make your own version, of course, or you can follow my own recipe for Homemade Mint Sauce. Alternatively, you could use a commercially made bottled Mint Sauce, or a store-bought Mint Jelly diluted with a little vinegar.
The first step is to marinate the Chops in the Mint Sauce for at least two hours, turning each chop from time to time so that all surfaces get immersed. As you can see in the picture, I have also slashed through the edge fat and underlying fascia in a couple of places. This not only helps the marinade to penetrate but also prevents the chops from curling at the edges under high heat.
For grilling my chops, I made a simple basting preparation consisting of a little yoghurt, salt, pureed garlic and chopped fresh rosemary. You can add to this as you see fit, but the basic idea is that you make a light ‘glaze’, not a sauce.
The Chops are served medium rare by grilling on all sides for a total time of about 8 minutes. For illustration purposes, I have shown the all chops, each in a different stage of grilling. Naturally, this is not the way I would do things in the normal course, but it shows my preferred progression…
Generally, when I cook thick lamb loin chops, I cook the flat end of the bone first (as shown in the two chops on the right). After that, I cook the thick part of the fat until it is browned (see the upper right chop), then I cook the chops on each of the two flat sides. Here, you can see that I have basted each side before grilling and, during the cooking process I turned the chops a couple of times each, basting with the remaining Yoghurt glaze.
Finally, I made a ‘bed’ for my chops by sautéing some thin slivers of red and green bell pepper in a little olive oil and just a tiny bit of minced garlic. For a bit of additional flavor, and to provide a little steam action, I added a few teaspoons of sherry.
Your Recipe Card:
Grilled Lamb Chop Appetizer
- 4 Lamb Loin Chops
- ½ Cup Mint Sauce
- ¼ Cup Plain Yoghurt
- 1 pinch Salt
- ½ tsp. Garlic Purée
- ¾ tsp. Chopped Fresh Rosemary
- ¼ Cup each Red and Green Bell Pepper sliced into strips
- ½ tsp. Minced Garlic
- 1 Tbsp Dry Sherry
- Put the Chops in a suitable dish with the Mint Sauce and marinate for at least two hours, turning the Chops periodically.
- Mix the Yoghurt, Salt, Garlic Puree, and Rosemary together in a small bowl.
- Grill the Chops on all sides at a moderately high heat, basting with the Yoghurt blend, and turning at frequent intervals for approximately 8 minutes in all for medium rare.
- While the Chops are grilling, heat a little oil in a pan and sauté the Pepper strips with the Minced Garlic for a moment or two, then add the Sherry and continue cooking until the Sherry is evaporated.
- Remove the Pepper strips to a serving plate, or plates, and place the Chops on top.
- Garnish as desired and serve while still hot.