A Delicious Discovery: Lamb Chops with Rosemary Roast Potatoes

I think families are extremely influential on an individual's eating habits. My family enjoys a relatively large range of foods and cuisines, but up until last year, I had never tried lamb. We would never cook it at home and, with my parents' warnings of its funky, animal-y flavour ringing in my head, I would shy away from it on menus.

Then last year, at a dinner party, I finally (hesitantly) nibbled on a lamb chop and enjoyed it immensely. Sure, the meat is more strongly flavored than chicken or pork, but when marinated and roasted just so, I was sold (and frankly, a little peeved that I had been missing out on something so tasty for so many years).

Now, lamb makes the occasional appearance at home. I find lamb (rib and loin chops especially) pretty forgiving to cook and it stays juicier and more tender than other types of meat. This is my new favourite way to prepare them.

A note on shopping: I haven't had much experience shopping for lamb. However, I learned that if you are looking for the classic frenched chops (with the bone running the length of the chop), look for rib chops. I ended up buying loin chops which also have the bone in, but it does not penetrate into the meat part as deeply, making for a less sturdy lamb "lollipop".

Recipe after the jump...

Lamb Chops with Rosemary Roast Potatoes
Serves 3-4

Lamb rib or loin chops (I used 9)
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, coarsely chopped
1 lemon
2 cloves garlic, minced
Olive oil, about 1/4 cup
Salt and pepper

1 1/2 pounds small red or white skinned potatoes (or a mixture)
1/8 cup olive oil

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 cloves of minced garlic
2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
    Place lamb chops in large freezer bag. Add rosemary, garlic, oil, salt and pepper to taste. Halve the lemon, add the juice to the marinade and add the lemon halves as well. Squish the bag to mix. Allow chops to marinate for 15-30 minutes at room temperature, or up to 2 hours in the refrigerator.
    Preheat frying pan (or grill pan) over medium high heat. Brush off excess marinade from chops. Season both sides with salt and pepper if desired. Cook 3-4 minutes per side. Do not move the chops while cooking to ensure golden brown crust. Allow to chops to rest for a few minutes before serving.    

    For the potatoes:

    Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
    Cut the potatoes in half or quarters. Parboil in a pot of boiling salted water until potatoes begin to soften but are still firm (a knife should go in with some resistance). Transfer potatoes to a baking sheet and toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic and rosemary. Roast in the oven for at least 30 mins. Flip occasionally with a spatula during cooking to ensure even browning.

    Potato recipe from Ina Garten

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