Charcoal-grilled lamb chops with peas

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Smoky lamb chops and freshly podded peas are dressed in a Sicilian-inspired cumin and mint dressing in this simple recipe from Ben Tish. While you can cook the chops in a griddle pan, it tastes even better with a lick of smoke from the barbecue. This recipe is taken from Moorish by Ben Tish (Bloomsbury, Absolute, £26), which is out now. Photography by Kris Kirkham.

First published in 2019

There’s nothing like the smell of lamb chops cooked over charcoal – they seem to be made for it with the tasty fat lightly charring and crisping, the outside flesh caramelising and then the juicy pink inside. Absolute heaven. Here I’ve paired the chops with a simple but really interesting dressing I sampled in Sicily, although there the vinaigrette came with chalky broad beans and fresh fennel fronds instead of the peas and mint. Both versions are delicious.

I usually say that with grilling you can achieve the same result indoors as out, and it’s mostly true, however for this I really think it’s worth wheeling out the barbecue and lighting some charcoal.





Prepare a charcoal fire in your barbecue or heat a ridged grill pan
Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and blanch the peas until just tender. Drain and refresh in iced water. Drain again and set aside
Season the chops well and rub with olive oil. Place on the barbecue or grill pan and cook on one side for 4 minutes. There should be a good caramelisation when the chops are turned over, along with a slight charring along the fat. Cook on the other side for 3 minutes for medium rare – the meat should have a good spring when pressed. Remove the chops from the heat to a wire rack set over a tray and squeeze over the lemon juice. Leave to rest in a warm spot for 5–7 minutes
Meanwhile, whisk together the extra virgin olive oil and vinegar in a small saucepan. Season well and add the cumin and garlic. Heat until the garlic just starts to fizz. Add the peas and remove from the heat. Pour in the lamb resting juices that have dripped into the tray and check the seasoning
To serve, divide some of the peas, along with some of the vinaigrette, among 4 serving plates. Place 2 lamb chops on top of each pile of peas, then spoon over the remainder of the peas and vinaigrette. Finish each plate with a sprinkle of mint leaves

Ben Tish is the chef-director of The Stafford London. His latest book, Moorish, celebrates the flavours of Sicily and other parts of the Mediterranean.

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