How to cook lamb chops

How to cook lamb chops

There are a few types of lamb chops you’re likely to come across. Here’s a quick guide on the different types of lamb chop available, how to cook lamb chops to perfection and what you can serve alongside them.

Different types of lamb chop

The rib chop (or cutlet)

More commonly known as the lamb cutlet, this is probably the most prized cut of the entire lamb. This chop includes the tenderloin, which sits under the ribs doing no work (unlike a muscly leg or shoulder), leaving it soft and sinew-free. You’ll often find them ‘French-trimmed’ which means the meat in between the ribs has been scraped from the bone, providing a natural handle to pick up the chop, making it an ideal canapé or luxury snack.

The loin chop

This is essentially the T-bone steak of lamb and features the loin on one side of the bone and a small piece of fillet on the other side. The bone gives the meat added flavour and helps make the chops harder to overcook as the meat stays nice and pink nearer the bone. Slightly thicker than a cutlet, these chops are ideal on the barbecue as they can take the direct heat for a little longer, meaning they have more time to take on that lovely smoky barbecue flavour.

The Barnsley chop (or saddle chop)

Said to have been first used in a hotel in Barnsley (hence the name), this is basically a double loin chop. Due to its larger size, it makes a great portion for one person and can be cooked similarly to a regular loin chop. It can also take on a long, slow cook due to the bone running through it which will prevent the lean meat drying out and leave you with a melt-in-the-mouth chop.

The shoulder chop (or blade chop)

This is an often forgotten, cheaper cut due to the high fat and bone content. It is ideal for long, slowly braised dishes like stews or curries which will give the chop time to render out all the fat and soften those chewy connective tissues. Having said that, as long as you don’t mind a bit of a chewier texture to your lamb, the shoulder chop can also be seared or barbecued with delicious results. With a quicker cooking method, you won’t necessarily have time to render out all of the fat, which will give you a deeper, lamby flavour to the chop (or you can trim it off before cooking if you'd prefer).

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How to cook lamb chops

The most common types of lamb chop are loin chops and the more expensive cutlets, but it’s definitely worth seeking out Barnsley chops for a more substantial piece of meat or shoulder chops for larger braised dishes. If you’re looking for a basic guide on cooking lamb loin chops in the pan, however, this recipe will ensure fantastic results. Cutlets are a little more delicate and best server pinker, while Barnsley and shoulder chops will require a little more cooking time, so adapt the timings depending on what chop you’re using.

Ingredients

1

Place a large frying pan over a medium heat. Season the chops on both sides with salt and pepper and once the pan is hot, stand the chops upright in the pan with the thin fatty edge touching the pan

2

Render down the fat for a few minutes until golden and crisp. If not much fat has rendered out and the pan is still quite dry, add a small dash of oil

3

Knock the chops onto their sides and cook for 2 minutes

4

Flip the chops over and cook for 1 minute before adding a knob of butter with the rosemary and garlic. Baste in the rosemary and garlic-infused butter for 1 minute, then remove the chops from the pan onto a plate and pour over the butter and juices

5

Cover with foil and rest for a couple of minutes before serving

Classic flavour pairings

Spiced lamb chops

Lamb chops on the barbecue

Quick lamb chop recipes