How to Cook Lamb Loin Chops: An Easy & Delicious Recipe
Lamb isn’t nearly as popular as other staple meats you may find in the average home. Chicken, beef, or pork all rank higher in terms of popularity in the USA, which is world-leading in meat consumption.
Because it’s not as prevalent, not everyone knows how to make the perfect recipe for lamb loin chops. This guide aims to give you insider secrets.
If this is your first attempt with lamb loin chops, don’t panic. It isn’t all too different from cooking any other kind of meat, even though it feels that bit fancier.
What Tools Will You Need?
This recipe will require only a minimal prep time of around fifteen minutes. The best way to cook lamb loin chops is pan searing. You can do this on your stovetop, which makes cooking lamb loin chops a surprisingly easy process.
- Cast Iron Skillet: You’re going to need to use high heat, so you need a pan with strong heat resistance. A cast iron skillet is best as it allows for full, even distribution of heat.
- Olive Oil: This will prevent the chops from sticking.
- Heavy-Duty Aluminum: This is for the searing process and prevents the chops from sticking to the skillet.
- A Kitchen Thermometer: This tool will ensure you aren’t undercooking or burning the meat. Your lamb loin chops should be nicely browned on the outside but remain pink inside. This pinkness can make it difficult to tell when they’re safe to eat. When your thermometer reads 145 degrees F from the thickest part of the meat, you should cook it for five minutes more before serving.
- Tongs: You’ll need these to handle the meat.
Ingredients for the Perfect Lamb Loin Chops
The wonderful thing about lamb loin chops is that they are rich with natural flavoring, so you don’t need to add a great deal to them. Your seasoning should focus on bringing out these natural flavors rather than adding to them. Otherwise, you run the risk of masking what makes lamb so delicious.
The following is everything you need for the perfect lamb loin chops:
- 4 lamb loin chops
- ¾ tablespoon of kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
- 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ½ cup of dry white wine or low-sodium chicken broth
You can add, take away, or substitute from this list to suit your tastes. For example, you can swap olive oil for any other cooking oil. Unlike chicken, lamb loin chops allow for a lot of flexibility because of the built-in flavor. Salt and pepper are generally all you need to highlight the unique flavors of your lamb loin chops.
Adding flavors such as garlic, lemon juice, and dry white wine can give your chops the edge if you feel salt and pepper may not cut it. Just make sure you include all things in moderation. Cooking lamb loin chops is a game of subtlety. Going overboard could upset this delicate balance!
How To Cook Lamb Loin Chops: Step-By-Step
Estimated Prep Time: Fifteen minutes
Estimated Cook Time: Twelve minutes (variable depending on whether you want your chops well-done or medium-rare).
Step One: Defrost Your Lamb Loin Chops
If you haven’t bought your lamb loin chops fresh, they’ve likely been in your freezer for some time. You want to make sure that you’ve thoroughly defrosted the chops before cooking. Otherwise, the frozen bits will lead to uneven cook.
You want to be cautious about defrosting the meat, though. You don’t want to expose it to room temperature for too long. Meat at room temperature causes bacteria to multiply.
To effectively defrost your lamb loin chops, allow them to thaw in your refrigerator in their original packaging or a freezer bag. You mustn’t expose them to open air at this stage. It can negatively affect the texture of the meat.
Defrosting in a refrigerator should take around six hours.
Step Two: Season the Lamb Loin Chops
Once you’ve defrosted the chops, remove them from the refrigerator. Then, with a generous coating of olive oil, massage your kosher salt, black pepper, and thyme into the meat.
The olive oil will cause the salt and pepper to become paste-like, making it easier to rub into the meat. Once you’ve completed this process, leave the chops on a plate to one side at room temperature for five minutes.
Step Three: Prep Your Skillet
Take two tablespoons of butter and melt it into your cast iron skillet. Your stovetop should be at a medium to high heat.
Add olive oil to your skillet to prevent the lamb from sticking. Heat management is crucial here. If the heat becomes too high, you may burn the butter, rendering it pointless.
At this stage, you can also add more kosher salt and black pepper if you wish.
Step Four: Add Your Lamb Loin Chops
Once you’ve successfully heated, added olive oil, and prepped your skillet, add your chops. They should remain in the pan until a brown crust begins to form on the bottom.
The length of time this takes depends on the thickness of the chop. Generally, it can take anywhere between four and six minutes. For thicker cuts, this time could take upward of ten minutes.
Step Five: Continue to Turn the Lamb Chops
Once the bottom has formed the brown crust, you need to continue flipping the chops until they reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees F in the center. You will need your kitchen thermometer for this, which you should insert into the thickest part of the meat.
Temperatures of 145 degrees F will give you a medium-rare lamb chop. If you prefer to have a well-done lamb chop, aim for an internal temperature of 160-170 degrees F. Ideally, though, you don’t want the meat well-done because it can dry out the lamb.
Once you have achieved the desired internal temperature, leave the chops to cook for a further four to six minutes.
Step Six: Transfer Your Chops from Skillet to Plate
Using a pair of tongs, remove the chops from the stovetop and place them onto a separate plate. Pour away any rendered fat (aka the fat that has liquidated rather than crisped) but keep two tablespoons worth. We’ll use that later.
Cover the chops with aluminum foil to retain heat.
Step Seven: Heat Your Garlic Cloves
Reduce your stovetop heat down to medium, and put your chopped cloves in the skillet until cooked. This process should take around thirty seconds.
The heat helps to bring out the extra flavor, but we aren’t looking to incinerate here. Once heated, scatter the cloves across your plated chops.
Step Eight: Deglaze Your Skillet
Using either a dry white wine or chicken broth mixture with lemon juice, deglaze your skillet onto your plated chops, including all of the crispy browned bits resting on the bottom. This sauce will add some of the most significant flavors you’re about to enjoy.
Step Nine: Finish Up Any Additional Seasoning and Enjoy!
Once plated up, you can add any additional seasonings you wish to the plate and then dig in to enjoy!
Remember, moderation is best with lamb since it’s so naturally flavorsome. You don’t want to overwhelm the taste the meat already provides, which can be the tastiest part.
What to Serve with These Lamb Loin Chops?
Part of the appeal of lamb loin dishes is the great juices that the dish exudes. With this in mind, you need to serve lamb chops with something that can absorb this juice. That way, you’ll achieve a delicious meal that is also fully cohesive for your palate.
One of the biggest pros of lamb dishes is their versatility. You can pair your lamb with numerous sides without compromising the quality. Listed below are just some of our favorite suggestions!
Garlic Butter Roasted Potatoes
There isn’t a better food for sponging up juice than the classic potato. Since you’re already working with garlic, it should be no extra effort to whip up some delicious garlic butter for your potatoes. The garlic links the two flavors perfectly together to make for one delicious dish.
Steamed Asparagus Spears
If you’re a little short on time and want to earn some additional healthy-eating points, steamed asparagus spears are a great option. They’re easy to prepare and take just minutes to throw together, without ever turning on the oven!
Garlic and Thyme Spring Vegetables
We’re returning to the garlic theme with this one, but who doesn’t love garlic? This dish will require the oven, so it won’t be as simple as the asparagus spears. However, it may prove more rewarding. Carrots, parsnips, and baby potatoes get tossed together with kosher salt, black pepper, garlic, and thyme work to create a delectable side dish for lamb.
Next time you’re looking for new meat to cook, try your hand at lamb! It’s surprisingly straightforward to cook and can be hugely rewarding in flavor and meal-satisfaction. For more delicious recipes, check out the many recipes already featured on our blog!