Lamb’s rich flavor and buttery tenderness make it a star choice for everything from grilling to braising. Lamb is an excellent source of high-quality protein and an average three-ounce serving of lamb has only 175 calories.
Chef Allen Susser believes American lamb, in its own right, adds a full-flavor component to the plate. “It can be combined with any number of forward aromatic seasonings such as garlic, fennel or rosemary. The unique flavor is so delicious and lamb is versatile enough to be presented casually or elegantly,” he says.
Adobo Crusted Lamb Loin Chops
- 1 tablespoon fennel seed
- 1 tablespoon cumin seed
- 2 teaspoons coriander seed
- 2 teaspoons cracked pepper
- 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic cloves
- 2 teaspoons fresh oregano leaves
- 2 teaspoons lime zest
- 1/2 teaspoon each fresh thyme and rosemary leaves
- 8 American Lamb loin chops, 1-inch thick
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- In a dry skillet, toast fennel, cumin, coriander and pepper for a few minutes until aromatic; let cool and grind coarsely in a spice grinder or blender. Stir in salt, garlic,oregano and lime zest. Add the thyme and rosemary to the spice mixture. Rub both sides of each lamb chop with about a tablespoon of the spice mixture; cover and marinate for at least 1 hour.
- Heat oven-proof large skillet over medium-high heat; add 2 tablespoons of oil, heating until it shimmers.
- Place lamb chops in the hot pan and sear for 3 minutes; turn lamb to sear the second side for an additional 3 minutes.
- Place the pans into the 400ºF oven; bake for 5 to 10 minutes or until lamb is cooked to your liking.
For those that do not have a lot of experience cooking with lamb, determining when it is done is the biggest challenge. Avoid guessing and use a good meat thermometer. Visit the American Lamb website for Lamb 101 and cooking times.
WINE SUGGESTION: Zonnebloem Pinotage.
By April Gosling Naude. Available at Gosling’s Stores
This ever popular, robust Pinotage has a brilliant red colour with intense cherry and vanilla aromas and nuances of wood on the palate. Savour this full-bodied wine on its own or try it with poultry, game or red meat dishes. Serve slightly chilled; put in the fridge for 25 minutes prior to opening.