Above (L-R): Rainbow Chop, Shoulder Chop, Lamb Chop
by Naftali Hanau // Published in Joy of Kosher, Pesach 2014
The easiest way to cook any kind of lamb chop is on the grill over a high heat to your desired doneess (we prefer Medium-Rare; see below). Grilling chops is easy, not too messy, and it can get you a nice crust if you know your grill.
However, there is a better way… We started cooking chops (and steaks) indoors when it was just too cold and nasty outside to light up the grill, but now, this is our preferred method for lamb chops. These cooking instructions can be used with any dry rub. You can find a few recipes for rubs on our site, but you can also stick to plain black pepper for delicious results.
(For larger chops, preheat oven to 400F.)
Heat a generous amount of grapeseed oil in a heavy cast iron or stainless steel pan over medium-high heat, large enough to hold the chops comfortably. When the oil is shimmering, carefully arrange the chops in the pan. Monitor the flame to prevent burning, but DON’T TOUCH THE CHOPS FOR AT LEAST 4 MINUTES. After 4 minutes, gently use your tongs to try to lift a chop. If it doesn’t lift easily, it’s not ready to flip. Once the chops lift cleanly and easily from the pan, they will have developed a beautiful and uniform crust, and should be flipped. This takes 4-7 minutes, depending on the pan and the stove.
To finish on the stove (for Lamb Chops, and larger Rainbow or Should Chops cooked to rare): Flip to second side. Cook another 4-7 minutes until the crust has developed and the chops pull easily without sticking.
To finish in the oven (for medium-rare, or chas v’shalom medium or medium-well large chops): Flip to second side, and keep pan on heat for about 1 minute. After 1 minute, move pan into pre-heated oven to finish cooking. Large chops should get to medium-rare in about 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, remove pan from oven (use oven mitts!) and transfer to stove. Check for doneness (see below). Remove from pan to plate or cutting board to rest, tented lightly with foil, for 3-4 minutes before serving.
How do I know when it’s done?
For most large pieces of meat, a meat thermometer is your best friend. However, with steaks and chops, we don’t recommend poking, since it’s hard to find the right place to test, you risk losing flavorful juices, and it’s not necessary: You have the perfect gauge on your own hand! Here’s how to FEEL when your steak or chop is done to your liking: Gently touch your index finger to your thumb, and with your other hand, press the meaty part of your palm at the base of your thumb. That is what rare feels like. Now touch your middle finger to your thumb. That’s medium-rare. Your ring finger is medium, and your pinky is well done. You can quickly (and carefully) press your chops to gauge for your desired doneness. If you are worried about getting burned, dip your finger in cold water first.