Portuguese-Style Grilled Stuffed Lamb Chops

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

The Mediterranean Kitchen

By Joyce Goldstein

Published 1998

  • About

This filling mixture resembles a Catalan picada except for the cilantro. Instead of using the mixture to enrich a sauce, as does a picada, the Portuguese use it as a stuffing. Incidentally, the stuffing is also great in a boned leg of lamb.



  • 6 tablespoons (or as needed) unsalted butter, melted
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 6 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped pitted Kalamata olives
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Lemon-Cilantro Butter

  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • Juice and grated zest of 2 lemons
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 12 lamb loin chops, about inches thick, a generous pocket cut in each
  • ¼ cup olive oil


For the stuffing, heat 2 tablespoons butter in a small sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and combine with the remaining butter, the bread crumbs, almonds, cilantro, and olives. Season to taste with salt and pepper. The stuffing should hold together when squeezed in your hand; if it is too dry add 1 to 2 more tablespoons melted butter.

For the lemon butter, place all the ingredients in a food processor and process until blended. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Heat the grill or broiler. Stuff each chop with 2 tablespoons of the filling and brush with the oil. Lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper and grill or broil 4 minutes each side for medium-rare. Spread with the butter and serve with fried potatoes and sautéed carrots with mint.