The holidays would benefit from a playbook, wouldn't they? We partnered with Braun Household to arm you with resources for cooking like you wrote it yourself, with a little help from their MultiQuick 9 Hand Blender.
I find lamb chops intimidating to cook; I'm not sure why, but I think it has something to do with it being lean and easily overdone. But I pulled up my figurative britches and took a shot at it recently, armed with a few helpful tips and condiments to ease the stress. And what do you know; the preparation paid off.
First, I thought about why I was nervous about the lean nature of the meat and what I could do to counteract overcooking it. That's where EmilyC's very useful, easily adaptable marinade comes in: She takes equal parts yogurt, olive oil, and whatever spice mix or singular spice you want to use, mixes it all up together, and smears it on whatever meat she's cooking. It works every time, no matter what. The marinade keeps meat, whether it's chicken, beef, or lamb, moist and tender once it's been on the heat (grilled or seared or the like). I used a hand blender fitted with a chopper to crush whole spices—cumin, cardamom, allspice, black pepper, and cinnamon, plus ground ginger and smoked paprika—for a pantry spice mixture, and added it to yogurt and olive oil and brushed it all over the lamb chops.
Then, a relish came together: whole preserved lemon, harissa, cilantro, mint, and red onion. Let that all meld while the lamb was marinating. The lamb needs only a quick sear in a pan or on a grill once you've deemed it marinated enough; then, it's straight to a plate and topped with relish. You want the lamb to be medium rare or rare inside—honestly, overcooked lamb doesn't do anything for anyone. The result is a well-spiced cut of meat that's still tender and, presented with a brightly-colored relish, looks good enough for anyone's holiday table.
Psst: If you want to make both preserved lemons and harissa at home, here are two resources for that:
For the lamb:
- 1 tablespoon yogurt
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 ground smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- Canola oil
- 14 small rib chops or 6 large chops
For the preserved lemon harissa relish:
- 1 minced preserved lemon
- 1/2 tablespoon harissa
- 1/4 cup chopped mint
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- 1/4 cup minced red onion