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- Go thicker: Because the eye of the meat is so small on the rib and loin chops, get them cut thickly -- about 1 1/2 inches is ideal. This will give you some leeway and help make sure you won't overcook the meat.
- The Ole' Salt and Sit: Like steaks, lamb chops should be salted and allowed to reach room temperature before cooking. Allow 20 to 30 minutes for the rib and loin chops, and 30 to 40 for the shoulder chop. This will ensure even cooking, and the pre-salting will act as a kind of quick brine to tenderize and flavor the meat.
- Conquer your fears: If you love the taste of lamb, go out on a limb and try purchasing a slightly older animal. Mutton has a very negative connotation in the U.S., but a more mature animal will have more flavor and better-developed marbling and fat. You just might find that, when it comes to sheep, you prefer a more mature specimen.
What's your idea of the perfect lamb chop? Tell us in the comments!
Cara Nicoletti is a butcher and writer living in Brooklyn, New York. Cara started working in restaurants when she moved to New York in 2004, and was a baker and pastry chef for several years before following in her grandfather and great-grandfathers' footsteps and becoming a butcher. She is the writer behind the literary recipe blog, Yummy-Books.com, and author of Voracious, which will be published by Little, Brown in 2015. She is currently a whole-animal butcher and sausage-making teacher at The Meat Hook in Williamsburg.