When I think of lamb, fresh herbs and garlic come to mind, and that’s the ingredients I’m going to use for this dish. Herbs like Rosemary, Thyme, Oregano compliment the natural flavor of lamb, and I’m using them in a marinade for the loin chops.
Here’s the recipe for the marinade:
- ½ cup Olive Oil
- Juice of 2 large Lemons
- Zest of 2 large Lemons (heaping Tablespoon)
- 4-5 cloves of fresh garlic chopped
- 1 Tablespoon Fresh Rosemary finely chopped
- 1 Tablespoon Fresh Oregano finely chopped
- 1 Tablespoon Fresh Thyme finely chopped
Pour the lemon juice in a mixing bowl and add the herbs, garlic, and zest. Slowly whisk in the olive oil.
The marinade is now ready for the meat and keep in mind that it needs to sit on the loin chops for 3-6 hours. First generously season each side of the chops with Salt and course ground Black Pepper. Place the meat in a gallon size ziplock bag and pour in the marinade. Close the bag and work the chops around, so that all are covered. Place the bag in a shallow pan or bowl and into the fridge for a rest. I also move the bag around every hour just to make sure the marinade is getting even coverage on the chops.
For the cooking process I’m doing what is called a reverse sear. This process starts the meat out at a lower temperature and gradually brings it up to target. Then at the very end, the meat goes over high heat to sear in the flavor. This process is great on thick steaks as well, but it’s awesome on these thick lamb chops.
I’m cooking on a Yoder YS 480 today. This pellet grill allows me to set the low start temp which is 225. I also use BBQer’s Delight Cherry pellets on lamb. The fruit wood gives it a mild, sweet flavor.
The first target temp I’m trying to reach is 110. It will take about 30 minutes to get there cooking low and slow (225 degrees). While the grill is firing up, take the chops out of the marinade and remove any excess. I find it easy just to wipe it off with your fingers. It’s also ok for some of the herb mixture to remain on the meat. It’ll add to the flavor once it’s grilled. Let the loin chops sit out while the grill is coming up to temp.
Once it’s at 225, place the loin chops on the center of the rack and set a timer for 30 minutes. Just to make sure that I don’t over shoot the target temp, I used my Chef Alarm to monitor one of the chops. It should be set to alarm at 110 degrees.
After 30 minutes, the chops are right at 110 degrees internal. At this point remove them from the grill and fire up the temperature to 375. It takes about 5 minutes on the Yoder. You can also have a separate grill ready to go for this step if you like. It would have been easy to have had my Weber fired up and waiting.
Place the chops back over the hottest part of the grill and let them cook for 2-3 minutes. Give them a flip and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. I can usually tell by the firmness if they’re done, but it doesn’t hurt to check the internal with a digital probe thermometer. Like I mentioned earlier Lamb, especially chops, are best medium rare. I pull them off as soon as it hits 130 degrees and let the internal carry over to 135 before serving. If you give them a 10 minute rest before slicing, it will be perfect.
I served these chops with Roasted Rosemary Potatoes and a little extra lemon garnish. This marinade is great on any grilled lamb dish, but if you see these thick cut loin chops give them a try!