Grilled Spiced Lamb Chops

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Cooking One on One

Cooking One on One

By John Ash

Published 2004

  • About

In America, we are finally beginning to use and appreciate the world of spices. This rub combines the savory and the sweet to flavor the lamb; it’s equally delicious on chicken or rich fish, like tuna. I’ve specified “frenched” chops, which means that you remove the fat and sinew along the rib bone, which makes for a more attractive presentation (ask your butcher to do it). I like to serve these chops with quickly sautéed greens.


  • 1 3-inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 tablespoon whole coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 2 whole allspice
  • 2 tablespoons sweet paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons packed light or dark brown sugar
  • cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
  • 1 cup finely chopped fresh parsley leaves (tender stems are okay)
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint leaves (tender stems are okay)
  • 2 8-bone lamb racks, frenched and cut into 8 2-bone chops (about pounds total)
  • Sea or kosher salt


Break the Cinnamon stick into small pieces and grind with the coriander, cumin, allspice, paprika, cayenne, and brown sugar in a coffee or spice grinder, until very fine. In a separate bowl, mix together the olive oil and the garlic, and then stir in the spice mixture along with the parsley and mint. Coat the lamb well with the mixture, massaging it in a bit to help it stick. Cover and marinate for at least 2 and up to 8 hours in the refrigerator.

Prepare a charcoal fire or preheat a gas or stovetop grill. Remove the chops from the refrigerator and bring them to room temperature before grilling. Season the lamb liberally with salt and grill directly over medium-high heat until rare to medium rare, 6 to 8 minutes.