Archive for October 27th, 2011

Garlic-Buttermilk Lamb Chops With Hot Pepper Honey - BBQ And Grilling Recipes

Loin lamb chops are a better buy than rib chops. First of all, there’s less bone. The dirty secret of meat pricing is that whatever price per pound you’re paying for meat, you’re also paying for bone. Second, loin chops are more tender. They come from the center of the animal’s back, and the farther you get from the fore and hind legs, the more tender the meat will be. Best of all, loin chops usually cost less. That’s because rib chops look more familiar to most people, resembling the chop we know from cartoons and our dogs’ squeaky toys, so they are more in demand and, therefore, higher priced.

TIMING
Prep: 5 minutes
Marinate: 2 hours
Grill: 8 to 16 minutes,

BBQ TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT
– Long-handled tongs.

THE GRILL
Gas: Direct heat, high (500°F)
Clean, oiled grate on lowest setting
Charcoal:
Direct heat, red hot
10-by-10-inch charcoal bed (about 3 dozen coals)
Clean, oiled grate on lowest setting
Wood:
Direct heat, red hot
10-by-10-inch bed, 1 inch deep
Clean, oiled grate set 2 inches above the fire.

INGREDIENTS (MAKES 4 SERVINGS)
3 tablespoons coarse kosher salt
½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
Big pinch (about 1/4 teaspoon) crushed red pepper flakes
2 cups buttermilk
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons chopped garlic, jarred or fresh
1 tablespoon minced gingerroot, jarred or fresh
8 loin lamb chops, 1½ inches thick, about 6 ounces each
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Oil for coating grill grate
1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce.

DIRECTIONS
1. Combine the salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes, buttermilk, the 2 tablespoons honey, the garlic, and the ginger in a gallon-size zipper-lock plastic bag; seal and shake until the salt dissolves, about 30 seconds.
2. Add the lamb chops and seal the zipper, leaving about an inch open; push on the bag to release any trapped air through the opening, and close the zipper completely. Massage the liquid gently into the meat, and refrigerate for 2 hours.
3. Heat the grill as directed.
4. While the grill is heating, remove the lamb chops from the bag and discard the marinade. Pat the chops dry with paper towels and rub the outside of each chop with the olive oil.
5. Brush the grill grate and coat it with oil. Put the chops on the grill with plenty of room around each. Cover and grill for 4 to 8 minutes per side for medium-rare to medium-done (135° to 145°F).
6. In a bowl, combine the ¼ cup honey and hot sauce with a small whisk until well blended.
7. Serve the chops drizzled with the hot pepper honey.

GETTING CREATIVE
– Try this recipe with chicken parts, game hens, or pork chops.
– Vary the flavors in this recipe by replacing part of the buttermilk with coconut milk and adding curry to the marinade; or substitute puréed salsa for half the buttermilk and add cumin to the marinade.
– You can alter the punch of the hot pepper honey by using more hot sauce or a spicier variety, like habanero or Scotch bonnet.
– Garnish the chops with minced cilantro or with slices of grilled garlic.

TIPS
– The amount of marinating time given in the recipe is the minimum for getting the flavor of the marinade into the meat. Because the acid content of buttermilk is mild, it will not harm the meat if you marinate it longer, up to 12 hours.
– If you like your lamb more well-done, choose thinner chops or cook them over medium-high heat for 2 to 4 minutes longer.
– If your chops are very thick (1½ to 2 inches), grill them for a few minutes on their edges in order to cook them through evenly. You may have to support the chops with tongs to keep them balanced on their sides.

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