Espresso, chili powders give lamb chops a kick

Few foods in our house are so simply, supremely satisfying as seared or grilled lamb chops.

Served with a baked sweet potato and handful of fresh greens, the chops need little besides salt and pepper to accent their luxurious savor. And with just a pat of butter for the sweet potato and a little oil and vinegar for the greens, this meal of pure flavors requires just minutes in the kitchen and only enough forethought to thaw the lamb, if frozen, and give the potatoes about a 30-minute head start.

Consequently, it’s a meal that my kids enjoy on a fairly regular basis, so long as our 4-H lamb lasts. Knowing the family who raised our meat, of course, is a large part of its appeal. And the lamb we’ve purchased over the past three years has been so conscientiously raised, so mild-flavored that we devour every bit of fat that encircles each cut in a 1/2-inch ribbon. Then my 3- and 5-year-old sons eagerly gnaw the bones.

While the straightforward flavors of this meal are perfect for kids, I occasionally crave something a bit spicier or outside-the-box. This recipe incorporating espresso powder is decidedly a more grown-up take on lamb chops but also could be used on beef steaks, pork shoulder or even kneaded into burgers.

If ancho chile powder is not available, chili powder may be substituted, but omit the cumin.

Tribune Service photo

Ancho-Espresso Lamb Chops

1/4 cup pure ancho chile powder

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

1 tablespoon espresso powder

1 tablespoon dried, minced onion

2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/8 teaspoon ground cumin.

6 loin lamb chops, each about 1 to 1 1/4 inches thick, total 1 3/4 pounds

In a small bowl, mix the spices, sesame seeds, espresso powder, salt and sugar. Measure out 3 tablespoons to rub onto the lamb. Store remaining spice mixture in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Makes about 1/2 cup.

Pat lamb chops dry and place on a broiler pan or a shallow baking sheet with sides. Press rub into all sides of chops. Let stand, for 30 minutes. Or refrigerate up to 1 day.

Position oven rack 6 inches from heat source; heat broiler. Broil lamb chops for 4 minutes. Flip chops and continue broiling until meat feels nearly firm when pressed (medium-rare), for 2 to 4 minutes more.

Transfer chops to a serving platter and serve with a baked sweet potato, roasted vegetable or vinaigrette-dressed greens.

Makes 3 servings.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

  • Blog Author

    Sarah Lemon

    Sarah Lemon covers the Rogue Valley’s food scene with an enthusiasm that rivals her love of cooking. Her blog mixes culinary musings and milestones with tips and recipes you won’t find in the Mail Tribune’s weekly A la Carte section. When ... Read Full
  • Categories

  • Archives