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Lemon & Oregano Lamb Chops

May 21, 2011

Lamb chops used to be every Australian mother’s fallback. Cheap ‘n’ easy: quick grill, mash potato and two veg, bit of tomato sauce, and dinner was taken care of. And don’t complain: “You’ll be glad of lamb chops one day, my girl,” as an acquaintance’s mother once sternly reprimanded.

My, how times change. Nowadays, lamb is generally about the most expensive meat, although the good old chump or barbecue chops are still usually reasonable, if not the cheap’n’cheerful staple they once were. Hell, I remember back in the 90s when butchers still used to all but give away shanks!

Plain old grilled chops are still great, but variety is after all the spice of life, so I like to find interesting variations to riff on the ol’ chops. This is one I stumbled across just the other day on the web: recipe by Yianni Sourris, courtesy of

What do I need?

  • 8-10 lamb chops (chump, barbecue, loin – I usually just get whatever’s cheapest that day)
  • Generous slurp of olive oil (however much you like, couple of tbsp or so)
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp cracked pepper
  • Plain yoghurt or tzatziki to serve

What do I do?

Mix together the oil, garlic, lemon, oregano and pepper in a large ceramic bowl, throw in the lamb chops, and toss the whole lot around until the chops are good and coated. Cover the bowl with some glad wrap and put it in the fridge for a couple of hours at least, or overnight if you think that far ahead (which I usually don’t).

You shouldn’t marinade in metal bowls as the acid in the lemon might react with the metal. Also, if you’re going to fry the meat, drain the marinade off, as too much liquid in the pan will stew the meat rather than fry it.

Tupperware also make a really great basting container thingy. Basically, you just clip the two halves together and toss everything around without worrying about it leaking. Turn the whole thing over periodically so that everything gets equally basted.

Grill or pan fry the chops for about 6-8 minutes a side (or a bit longer if they’re still a bit pink for your liking). Baste them with the marinade now and again.

These are also great to do on the barbecue.

Serve them with a dollop of plain yoghurt, or some tzatziki if you’ve got some handy.

Serve with crispy herbed potatoes and some sort of leafy greens – lettuce, salad mix, baby spinach, whatever.

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