Lamb rib chops are all fancy when presented as a rack of lamb, their bony ends trimmed to a fare-thee-well. But when they’re separated, easily, they become essentially meat lollipops — the smaller ones often featured as heavy hors d’oeuvres at the kind of parties from which you don’t go home hungry.
At the size you find most often at the supermarket, the chops can also turn into the kind of casual, pick-it-up-and-eat-it meal that cooks in less than 10 minutes. Here, the meat is pan-seared to a golden brown and left to rest for a bit while you finish a simple sauce in the blender.
All that’s left to do is to grab the chops by their untrimmed “handles” and dip the meaty ends again and again, until you only have bones to gnaw on.
Scale, print and rate the recipe in our Recipe Finder:
2 to 3 servings
To check the internal temperature, you’ll need a meat thermometer (preferably instant-read).
Serve with a quick saute of fresh spinach or Asian greens with small Kumato tomatoes.
Adapted from “Balaboosta: Bold Mediterranean Recipes to Feed the People You Love,” by Einat Admony (Artisan, 2013).
For the sauce
¼ cup regular low-fat Greek yogurt
2 cloves garlic
1 medium shallot
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1½ cups no-salt-added chicken broth
1 thick slice country bread (optional; see headnote)
For the lamb
6 to 8 lamb rib chops (see headnote)
Freshly ground black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil
For the sauce: Place the yogurt in fine-mesh strainer set over a small bowl to drain.
Meanwhile, zest the lime, then cut the lime in half and squeeze 2 tablespoons of juice into a liquid measuring cup.
Coarsely chop the garlic and shallot. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir in the shallot and cook for 2 minutes, then stir in the garlic and cook for 2 minutes.
Add the sugar, salt, pepper, half the lime zest and all the broth; increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil, stirring to make sure the sugar has dissolved. Cook for about 12 minutes, or until the liquid has reduced by half. Remove from the heat and stir in the lime juice. Let cool while you cook the chops.
Meanwhile, heat a large cast-iron skillet over high heat, for about 5 minutes. Season the chops generously on both sides with salt and pepper. Turn on the exhaust fan or open a window; this cooking will create some smoke.
Add a drizzle of oil to the skillet, then add the chops. Sear for 3 minutes on the first side for a nicely browned crust, then turn them and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on the second side (for medium-rare; registering about 130 degrees on an instant-read thermometer). Transfer to a platter and cover loosely to keep warm.
Transfer the cooled saucepan mixture to a blender. Add the yogurt and puree until smooth. (For a thicker sauce, tear the bread into pieces and add to the blender, then puree again, until smooth.)
Pour into a serving bowl, then stir in the remaining lime zest.
Serve the chops warm, with the sauce.
Nutrition | Per serving (based on 3): 600 calories, 32 g protein, 10 g carbohydrates, 48 g fat, 25 g saturated fat, 165 mg cholesterol, 290 mg sodium, 0 g dietary fiber, 7 g sugar
Nutrition | Per serving (based on 3, with bread in the sauce): 620 calories, 33 g protein, 14 g carbohydrates, 48 g fat, 25 g saturated fat, 165 mg cholesterol, 340 mg sodium, 0 g dietary fiber, 7 g sugar
Recipe tested by Bonnie S. Benwick; email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
More quick meals using lamb:
More from Food: