There are a few stars in the Lamb meat lineup, obviously the rack of lamb is a fine looking piece of meat, that is as impressive to look at, as it is to eat, reserved for dinner parties and the like. A Leg of Lamb is a family favourite, cooked on a Sunday with roasted vegetables, and a lovely home made gravy. I personally like the shoulder, de-boned and cooked on the BBQ so it’s charred, and unevenly cooked (some rare some overcooked), it makes sharing easier as some will want rare meat, and others well done meat.
The cut that I guiltily covet above all are lamb chops. The little ones, on the bone, with the tail of fat. I’m certainly no nutritionist, but I can’t believe these can be anything but bad for you. You have to eat the fatty tail, it irresistible – you are acutely aware that you are eating just fat, you try and find the slightest sliver of meat in the tail to justify the indulgence (you can’t can you?). [pullquote]You also have to eat them with your hands, like a caveman or university student would[/pullquote] You also have to eat them with your hands, like a caveman or university student would. You put the cutlery beside the plate ready for the meal, but it doesn’t get touched – you don’t even pick up the fork to eat your salad, because once you start eating with your hands, you realise how convenient they are, almost natural, and ditch the cutlery for the rest of the meal. Obviously, this cut of meat is not for your fancy pants dinner guests.
With my Lamb chops I could have simply seasoned them with salt and pepper and thrown them on the grill for a few minutes on each side, and I would have had a dish to secretly enjoy with a cold beer and some boiled new potatoes. However, as is my habit I searched online for a recipe or two to see if I could spice things up a bit and I found this recipe http://honestcooking.com/addictive-mouth-numbing-xinjiang-chilli-lamb-skewers/ after reading the extremely positive comments, I decided to give it a go. Lamb and cumin go well together, and I can’t resist Chilli.
Szechuan BBQ Chilli Lamb chops
adapted from honestcooking.com
8 Lamb Chops
2 tablespoons (30 mls) peanut oil or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon ground cumin
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 3cm piece fresh ginger, peeled
1 tablespoon chilli flakes (for medium-hot heat chops)
1 teaspoon (5 grams) Szechuan peppercorns
1.5 -2 teaspoons (7-9 grams) sea salt flakes
Freshly ground black pepper
Prepare your spice marinade by putting all the ingredients except the lamb and oil into a mortar.
Smash the ingredients with the pestle until they are completely pulverised, add the oil and mix.
Spoon the marinade over the Lamb and thoroughly coat the meat.
Cover and refrigerate, leaving it for at least a couple of hours or overnight.
Grill or barbecue the lamb until cooked to your liking. If you like your lamb pink try 4 minutes on each side. If you prefer your meat well done, try 6 minutes on each side.
Serve with BBQ fries, and a warm tomato and onion salad, and some garlic bread.