Sunday, January 2, 2011

Aromatic Yogurt-Brined Lamb Chops

I’ve been on a brining kick since Thanksgiving when I let my turkey sit for 3 days in a fragrant buttermilk-spice brine before roasting. Since then I’ve used the same technique three more times, changing the brine ingredients to suit the meat in question. For lamb chops, I substituted the buttermilk with yogurt thinned-down with water, and the resulting dish was so irresistibly tender, that hubby and I had to forego the cutlery and dive-in to the lamb chops with our hands.


For the Brine: 
1 small Onion (roughly chopped)
6 cloves Garlic (smashed)
1 tbsp whole Coriander
1 tbsp whole Fennel seeds
1 tbsp whole White Pepper
3 tbsp Salt
5 cups Water
1 cup plain Yogurt
Juice of 1 Lemon (reserve the leftover lemon—rind, pith, and pulp—cut into quarters, for use later in the recipe)

1½ lbs [750 gms] Lamb rib chops (about 16 chops) 
1 tsp freshly ground Black Pepper
1½ tsp fresh Rosemary (finely chopped)

  1. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan. Remove saucepan from heat and add all the brine ingredients except the yogurt, lemon juice and quartered lemon. Let steep for 20-25 mins until completely cool. 
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together yogurt and remaining 1 cup of water. Pour brine mixture into yogurt, add lemon juice and stir to combine. 
  3. Wash and dry lamb chops. Place lamb in a large, food-safe zip-lock plastic bag and pour yogurt brine mixture into bag. Add the quartered lemon pieces, seal bag and let meat marinate in the fridge for 6 hours (or up to 1 day).
  4. Remove lamb from fridge and bring down to room temperature. Discard brine and carefully remove any whole spices that may be lodged in the folds of the meat or in between the bones. Pat-dry any excess brine on the lamb with paper towels and sprinkle with black pepper and rosemary. 
  5. Place lamb onto a large roasting pan with the fat side up and cook in a 425ºF (220ºC) pre-heated oven for 15 mins. Then lower temperature to 375ºF (190ºC) and cook for 20 mins, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat reads 140ºF (60ºC), i.e.—medium-rare. 
  6. Remove lamb from pan and rest on a cutting board, covered in foil, for 15-20 mins. Cut lamb in between each rib bone and serve immediately.

1 comment:

  1. How long should the lamb be roasted if one wants it to be medium to well-done? bee



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