This past weekend I went back in time and grilled some lamb with this marinade I first discovered in the late 90’s, when I began cooking with passion. I would try different combinations, attempt any cuisine and sample new and exciting ingredients. One of my favourite recipes EVER has to be this grilled lamb dish, using rack of lamb or better still, lamb chops.
The original recipe calls for using racks of lamb that would be covered in this exotic marinade for an hour room temperature at a minimum. A rack of lamb works if you’re entertaining a more formal gathering but this dish soars to greater heights when you cut the rack into chops and allow the marinade to cover all sides of the lamb. That’s more flavour!
There are 2, no 3 cuts that will give you delicious, tender lamb chops: the best are the rib chops, where one also gets the French rack of lamb. Then there’s the loin chops, which look like T-bone steaks, just smaller…lamb T-bones. Then the third class is the shoulder chop. With a good marinade overnight, this cut can/will be very tender. All three of these cuts will work with this marinade and most certainly made for grilling.
If it’s winter or you don’t have a grill, apply this marinade to a rack of lamb, liberally painting the marinade all over the rack. If it’s summer or if you’re as tough as a Canadian and grill in the winter in -20C conditions, opt for the grilled lamb chop route. This way, more surface area of the lamb is covered in this…..magical marinade that smells so good you want to eat the lamb chops raw!
To this date, I cannot find the recipe card but I’ve made this dish enough times to remember the ingredients and with some playing around with the measurements, I’ve got it down.
Before anyone accuses me of snapping up a recipe as my own…let it be said that I only recall that this recipe was in a booklet of dishes presented by the winery Jackson-Triggs. If anyone recognizes the recipe and remembers the chef who created this dish, please let me know so that I can give due credit.
There are many who are “iffy” on lamb. This is the dish that will convert the lamb-hater. Worried about lamb’s gamey flavour? Not here.
Looking for a lamb recipe that’s moist and succulent? This is the one.
Want to impress someone on a date or dinner guests with minimal effort? Try this recipe.
I’ve made this dish in record time with the meat covered in the marinade for an hour at room temperature and I’ve also patiently waited with an overnight marinate. The overnight marinate always wins.
Tangy Maple Mustard Lamb
2 racks of lamb loin or approx. 1 1/2 kg. of loin or shoulder chops
1/4 cup of olive oil
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary
2 cloves of minced garlic
1 tsp. black pepper
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1/4 cup of Maple syrup
1 tsp. orange zest
1 tsp. sea salt
Pre-heated oven, set to broil
- Rinse and pat-dry your lamb. If using racks of lamb, turn them to their underside and using a knife, scrape some of the silver skin to loosen enough of it to be held by your fingers. Tear if off the racks and discard it.
- In a bowl, add all the ingredients together, mix with a spoon and reserve about 1/3 cup for coating the lamb when it’s cooked. Spread the marinade all over your racks of lamb or lamb chops. Marinate at room temperature for an hour or better yet (recommended), overnight in the fridge.
- If cooking indoors, pre-heat your broiler and place your oven rack to the position closest to the broiler. Season your lamb racks with some coarse salt and fresh ground pepper. Set your racks of lamb face up (bone side down) on the tray and place under the broiler for 5 minutes a side for medium-rare. Brush reserved warm marinade over the top of the racks of lamb.
- If using gas or charcoal grill, pre-heat your grill to a high heat. Brush the grill surface with a grill brush and just before grilling, wipe the grill surface with a towel dampened with some vegetable. Grill for 3 minutes a side for medium rare, 4 minutes for medium. Allow your lamb to rest for 5 minutes before serving. Present on a platter with sprigs of rosemary and wedges of lemon.
- Serve with rice pilaf, grilled vegetables and pair with this Cypriot white from Paphos, a Kamanterena Xynisteri.
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