These Pan Seared Lamb Chops make for quite an impressive and stunning main course with surprisingly little effort. The lamb chops have a nice browned layer with a juicy tender interior and is served with a delightful oil-based herb artichoke sauce.
Let me start off by saying that while I am a casual lamb eater, I do believe that lamb can be more then a once-in-a-while treat. I am reminded of this every time I cook lamb and fall in love with it's flavor complexity all over again.
Aside from a great tasting meat, lamb is also very easy to prepare. I find this to be specially true when it comes to rib and loin cuts.
Usually when I am craving lamb my choices are either this easy pan-seared lamb chops with some type of oil-based herb sauce or this Garlic and Herb Lamb Loin Chops.
I also very much love a lamb stew which sadly I do not have a recipe to share at the moment but it's getting added on to my list as we speak 🙂
While it is very easy to prepare and cook lamb chops, there are a few simple steps I recommend in order to enjoy the BEST lamb chops you ever ate!
how to prepare and cook lamb chops
- If you buy a whole rack of lamb chances are you will need to remove the thick layer of fat. Either ask the butcher to remove it or remove it yourself. Using a sharp pairing knife start trimming the fat alongside the meat. Using one hand and paper towels you can help by pulling the fat away from the meat and the knife will simply follow alongside the meat. Note: a thin layer of fat will remain and that's okay.
- Pat dry the lamb on both sides. This step is important to ensure we end up with a nice browned exterior.
- Holding the rack of lamb bone-side up with paper towels, cut across the meat exactly in between each bone. You should end up with about 8 lamb chops.
- Season the lamb chops with salt and pepper on both sides.
- Let the lamb chops soak in the salt and reach room temperature.
- Meanwhile you can work on the herb artichoke sauce.
what's the difference between loin chops and lamb chops?
Loin chops are located directly behind the ribs, they are more compact and and meaty. The lamb loins removed with their bones make a saddle; boneless lamb loins make delicate roasts. But most frequently you will see lamb loins cut into thick chops that look like T-bone steaks, like in this Garlic & Herbs Lamb Loin Chops.
The lamb chops (or rib chops), are cut from the ribs just behind the shoulders along the spine. Each rack of ribs, on either side of the spine, will contain seven or eight ribs. Many cooks like their rib chops frenched (the handle is scraped of all meat, fat, and connective tissue), but leaving it on gives more flavor.
what temperature should lamb be cooked to
While the USDA recommends cooking roasts to 145F degrees other reliable sources have recommended to cook lamb at no more than medium-rare (120F to 125F) especially when it comes to lamb chops. Because their tiny size it's easy to overcook this cut.
Here is a timetable from The Kitchen:
- Rare: 115 to 120°F.
- Medium-rare: 120 to 125°F.
- Medium: 130 to 135°F.
- Medium-well: 140 to 145°F.
- Well-done: 150 to 155°F.
what should I serve with lamb chops
Whenever I cook lamb chops I love pairing it with quinoa, whether that's a simple quinoa or a more flavorful quinoa recipe with vegetable, like this Instant Pot Mediterranean Quinoa.
This Mediterranean Lentil Quinoa Rice Salad and this Black Eyed Pea Quinoa Kale Salad are more like a salad and are packed with lots of delicious flavors. These recipes are perfectly paired with lamb chops.
My second option would be RICE, a simple rice recipe preferably with a little flare. This Instant Pot Cilantro Lime Rice is perfect for the job!
If you make this Pan Seared Lamb Chops recipe, be sure to leave a comment and give this recipe a star rating! I love to hear from you and always do my best to respond to all your comments. Also, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram for a special shutout and/or a chance of being featured in my newsletter!
Pan Seared Lamb Chops
- Cast Iron Skillet
- 1 rack of lamb or 8 lamb chops, trimmed
- 1 pinch salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
Herb Artichoke Sauce
- 1 tablespoon each, rosemary, thyme and parsley (or cilantro), chopped
- ¼ cup marinated artichoke, chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, pressed
- 6 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pinch salt and pepper, to taste
- Pat dry the rack of lamb with a paper towel. Trim the fat layer from rack of lamb then separate the chops by cutting down between each rib bone. Season with salt and pepper on both sides. Let the lamb chops soak in the salt while you work on the sauce. This will allow the chops to reach room temperature or close.
- Add all the sauce ingredients to a bowl. Make sure the herbs are well chopped, almost down to a grain like texture. The artichoke doesn't need to be chopped as small, but in small bits. Stir well. Add more oil if needed. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Bring a large cast iron skillet to heat but do not add oil until the skillet is hot. To know when the skillet is hot hover your hand about two inches away from the bottom, if your hand feels hot within 5 seconds that's a good point. Carefully add the oil. If needed add more than a tablespoon of oil, so as long as you 'coat' the bottom of the pan but do not create a pool of oil.
- Using a pair of long kitchen tongs add the lamb chops one by one. If needed do this in batches but do not overcrowd it. Once you place the lamb chops down do not move them. Let them cook for 3-5 minutes depending on how well you like yours done, then flip to the other side and do the same. Take the temperature at this point, it should register 125F for medium rare to 145F for medium well. You may continue to cook and flip the chops until your preferred doneness.
- Transfer the chops to a plate and tent with aluminium foil. Allow it to sit for 10 minutes then serve with herb artichoke sauce.
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