Grilled Loin Lamb Chops

“Mutton Chops” Grillés

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

Appears in

Simple French Food

By Richard Olney

Published 1974

  • About

An unboned shoulder is also marvelous grilled, its only drawback being the impossibility of neat carving; after surface fat has been removed, it should be slashed to the bone on both sides (about ½-inch-deep slashes) several times at about -inch distances to permit the heat to penetrate and cook the meat in a regular way. It is then treated in the same way as chops (herbs and oil being rubbed well into the slashes, as well); a shoulder requires about the same length of cooking time as a thick chop, but since it has only two sides on which to grill, whereas a chop has five, the former is sometimes a bit charred when finished—few people mind that and some prefer a lightly charred surface.

For those who prefer the savor of a single herb, oregano has a distinct affinity to lamb and may easily replace the thyme-savory-oregano mixture that recurs throughout this book.

The apron of a loin chop is usually rolled up and fixed into place against the filet mignon with a small skewer. I have come to prefer wrapping it fairly tightly around the entire chop for several reasons: It, unlike the filet and the filet mignon, is best well done—even rather crisp—and only in this way is its entire surface exposed to crisping; it protects both the filet and the filet mignon from too much exposure to direct heat so that they cook more slowly and remain, if desired, pink throughout; if the apron is rolled against the filet mignon, the protection is so thick as to keep it nearly raw, while the filet may be overcooked.

Ingredients

  • 1 loin chop per person, 2½ to 3 inches thick
  • 1 pinch mixed herbs per chop
  • Olive oil
  • Salt, pepper

Method

Remove all fat except for the bit joining the apron (the extension of belly which is always left attached to loin chops or saddle roasts) to the filet and carefully remove all layers of membranous tissue and fat from between the thin layers of flesh composing the apron. Sprinkle lightly with herbs and rub all over with olive oil. Pull the apron gently up over the filet mignon, across the flat bone end of the chop and down against the filet as far as it will reach, fixing it in place by running a small skewer or sharpened stick through the chop, piercing the apron wrap on both sides; thus prepared, the form should be that of a solid block of approximately equal thicknesses in all senses. Grill the chops on a preheated grill over a bed of coals of moderate intensity and good depth, counting about ½ hour and turning them every 3 or 4 minutes; first sear the two exposed filet surfaces and finish cooking by turning from one part to another of the apron surface (which will be so formed as to present three additional grilling surfaces—a swelled triangular form), the longest and last amount of time being given to the apron-covered bone surface (the bone disperses the heat, which radiates around the chop and penetrates more gently to the heart—the heat should also be lessened during the last 8 or 10 minutes by spreading out the coals, moving the chops to the edge of the grill, or by raising the grill, the relaxation period being incorporated into the final part of the cooking).

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