Pan-Seared Lamb Chops

Pan-Seared Lamb Chops

Richard and I are pounding the pavements of Main Street to fill the family stockings. He’s been quizzing me as to what I’d like to unwrap on Christmas morning. The items I’ve coveted, stopping me dead in my tracks, are the heirloom cutting boards displayed at Selo/Shevel Gallery. (Are you reading this, Richard?) These masterpieces are indestructible works of art that will certainly outlast me and be enjoyed by my children’s-children’s-children.* In the meantime, I told him a few lamb chops would suffice.

Good things come in small packages and lamb chops, after all, are quite small. I wonder if that’s one reason lamb does not enjoy the popularity it enjoys in most other countries? Perhaps most Americans just feel bigger is better–big cows, big chops; little lamps, little chops.

Lamb chops are pricey, make no mistake. However this recipe would also be delicious using the less expensive, yet tender, lamb loin or sirloin chop, as featured in a previous dinnerFeed for Balsamic Lamb Chops. Delicious lamb sirloin chops may be purchased from local breeders at Hannewald Lamp at the Kerrytown Farmer’s Market on Saturdays.

If I was serving more than 2, I’d buy a rack or two of lamb, sear the rack(s) on all sides, then roast it in a 425˚ oven 12-15 minutes, finally slicing the rack into individual ribs. I do think they are juicier and tastier that way. But that’s too much lamb and fuss for 2 so tonight I’m buying pre-cut chops and quickly pan frying them. Lamb chops are best enjoyed rare to medium rare.

Gremolata is traditionally a combination of lemon zest, garlic, parsley, and olive oil, served with Osso Bucco (braised veal shanks). Gremolata is also delicious on lamb, pork and beef. I substituted fresh mint for parsley and made extra to toss with roasted potatoes. Gremolata is best made fresh and doesn’t keep for more than a day. If time allows, however, make it an hour or two in advance so the flavors can develop.

* The Selo/Shevel heirloom cutting boards ($90 – $300) are from Larch Wood Enterprises. They are handcrafted from the indigenous eastern canadian larch, by local craftsmen from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. End-grain cutting of the wood gives them the patterns. Professional chefs, and home cooks like myself, love them because they are beautiful and last a life-time.

Recipe: Pan-Seared Lamb Chops


  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint leaves Zest from one lemon
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 lamb chops
  • 1 tablespoon grape seed or canola oil


  1. Make a mint gremolita by combining mint, lemon zest, garlic and olive oil in small bowl.
  2. Pat lamb dry with paper towels and season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.
  3. Heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium high heat .
  4. Add the lamb chops and sear. After 1 minutes, reduce heat slightly and cook until the chops are golden on each side – about 4 minutes on each side. (My chops were 1 1/4-inch thick)
  5. Sprinkle lamb with gremolita and serve.

Time: 15 minutes

Number of servings (yield): 2 servings (2 chops per person)

Copyright © Peggy Lampman’s dinnerFeed.

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