This is a popular main dish served at Peter Chang's China Grill in Charlottesville. The vegetable-fruit marinade mixture is traditional and is said to lend a sweetness to the lamb.
Serve with steamed rice.
Make Ahead: The lamb needs to marinate in the refrigerator for 3 hours.
Servings: 6 - 8
- For the marinade and chops
- 16 rib lamb chops (from 2 small racks; about 2 1/2 pounds total)
- 2 bunches scallions, white and light-green parts, coarsely chopped
- 1 1/2 to 2 inches unpeeled ginger root, cut crosswise into smaller chunks, then smashed
- 4 medium (6 or 7 ounces total) carrots (unpeeled), cut into chunks
- 2 medium (12 ounces) apples, cored, then cut into chunks
- 2 medium (16 ounces) onion, cut into medium dice
- 2 medium (16 ounces) pears, peeled or unpeeled, cut into medium dice
- Dash kosher or sea salt
- For assembly
- 4 small dried whole Chinese chili peppers
- 1 bunch scallions, white and light-green parts, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces, for garnish
- 1 teaspoon crushed Sichuan peppercorns, or to taste (available at some Asian markets and at Williams-Sonoma stores)
- 1/2 bunch (5 ounces) cilantro, for garnish
- Fried onions, for garnish (optional)
For the marinade and chops: Arrange the lamb chops in a single layer in one or two glass baking dishes.
Combine the scallions, ginger, carrots, apples, onions, pears and salt in a mixing bowl, then spread evenly over the lamb so that the mixture completely covers the meat. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Discard the fruit-vegetable marinade mixture; arrange the lamb chops on a large rimmed baking sheet or in a roasting pan. Roast them for about 15 minutes, rotating the pan front to back and turning the chops over about halfway through the cooking. The lamb should be nicely browned and barely medium-rare, registering about 140 degrees on an instant-read digital thermometer (inserted away from the bone).
For assembly: In the last few minutes while the chops are in the oven, heat a large, dry, well-seasoned wok or nonstick skillet over medium heat.
Add the dried peppers, scallions and peppercorns, stirring constantly, then add the lamb chops and stir-fry for no more than a minute or two, to season them.
Transfer the mixture to a serving platter. Garnish with the cilantro and fried onions, if desired. Serve hot.
Adapted from a recipe by chef Peter Chang of Peter Chang's China Grill in Charlottesville.
Tested by Nicole Schofer.
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