Lamb Chops help

Every Valentine’s Day, I make these cider-glazed lamb chops for my family. It’s one of my wife’s favorite meals.

But I got a problem.

Locally I can only find lamb loin chops, not lamb rib chops. And they’re about 1 1/2 - 2 inches thick. When I make this recipe, it’s very, very hard to get the middle cooked at all while not turning the outer meat gray and awful.

I don’t have sous vide equipment.

Does anyone have an idea how to cook a thick lamb chop so it’s red but not raw in the middle, and seared on the outside but not a bunch of gray meat?

Maybe a reverse sear?

You could do something like a reverse sear. Heat your oven to 225. Start your lamb chop there until it reaches, I dunno, 105-115, depending on how pink you want them, then finish over high heat. (I would probably use a searing hot cast iron pan for this, but any very hot method would work. Ideal might be a blowtorch with a Searzall attachment, but I’m assuming you don’t have one of those. Hell, I don’t even have one of those – though I did Xmas gift one to my brother, because I’m good like that.)

Luckily, I was able to find a decription of the method for lamb chops. And here’s a video.

I use this all the time for steaks and thick cut pork chops, so I imagine it would work well for thick lamb chops.

Actually, looking at the video, I’m not entirely sure that’s the best example out there, but you get the idea: start cool, bring up to temp, finish high.

I first ran into that technique on a BBQ blog. The blogger called it Red Neck Soo Veed.

Awesome! I knew of techniques like that, but I thought you had to cook the meat for a few hours on a very low temperature, and I won’t be able to start cooking until about 2 hours before we eat. If it just takes about 30 minutes at the low heat and 5 minutes at high heat, that’s very doable.

Okay, a question: part of the recipe I linked to is that you have a very sticky, tangy sauce made of cider, vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, and honey–almost like a sticky barbecue sauce. Normally that goes on during the broiling process, and caramelizes under the high heat of a broiler.

With reverse sear, the caramelization doesn’t happen (I don’t think it’d be wise to put the sauce on for the sear). So which would be better:

  1. Leave off the sear and just do a final broil, with the sauce;
  2. Sear and then sauce, leaving out the caramelization; or
  3. Sear, sauce, and broil.

That’s a good question. My instinct would be to sauce them up and throw them under the broiler or on a grill. The broil step would be equivalent of a sear step. But you wouldn’t want to broil them anywhere near as long as the original recipe. I’d say 1-1:30 a side at most. It may even work on a cast iron pan, but I’m afraid of burning the glaze (though, would it really be that much hotter than under a broiler? I couldn’t say for certain, as I’ve never tried panfrying something with a glaze. But it may stick to the pan. That’s probably what you want to avoid.)

Ohhhhh… Lamb Chops… the cutlet not the puppet. :frowning:

Yeah, I think that direct heat would sear much faster than broil heat. If I stuck my hand under the broiler for a half-second, it’d feel hot, but if I touched it to a searing pan for a half-second, Valentines Day would end in the ER.

I think this would sacrifice the crust, but I’m not sure–and with the caramelizing, maybe that’s okay.

The reverse sear is my go-to method for cooking steak. It is pure magic. I gave up on lamb chops years ago because I always screw them up - I do my lamb as roasts or curries these days.

You can finish the reverse sear process under the broiler, but it won’t be the same as if you’d followed the recipe. The only purpose of the reverse sear is to get a nice char on the meat, so you might not have enough time to develop the flavors you want from the glaze. Since this is for a special meal it’s probably worth a test run if you can get away with it.

Final note: make sure to use a meat thermometer. The reverse sear hinges on getting the meat exactly where you want it before taking it out of the oven. And don’t forget to let the meat rest before searing.

Another thought: you could try a marinade using pretty much everything in the glaze minus the honey. Do the reverse sear method as normal (cast iron, not broiler), and then use the actual glaze from the recipe strictly to drizzle.

Mary had a little lamb… with mint jelly. :wink:

Ooh, I like this idea! But can you reverse sear marinated meats?

Sure. And it should work better than the traditional sear first approach as it dries the surface of the meat in the initial slow cook.

I don’t see why not, though I’ve never tried it. I generally only bother with the reverse sear when I’m cooking a nice cut, like a ribeye, and those just get salt and pepper.

Definitely let us know how it goes.

Speaking of lamb roasts – I love lamb chops. But I’ve discovered that I can roast a rack of lamb and it’s even better. The entire interior stays pink, and I can roast it until all the exterior fat is crispy. Then I slice it into “chops” and serve.

Instead of potentially ruining some very expensive meat, why not ask the butcher at your favorite meat counter if s/he can order the proper cut for you?

@Left, I know you said you don’t have sous vide equipment. In case you’re not aware, you can just use a pot and an Anovaor similar product that costs about a hundred bucks. There are cheaper variations out there as well. A ziplock baggie works. So you can do sous vide on a budget pretty well. Chef Kenji alt-Lopez is Anova’a premier chef and here is his rack of lamb

I haven’t tried lamb chops or rack of lamb. But here are the lamb chop recipes.

I make steaks and have tried other stuff. I use it primarily for mashing wort in my beer brewing. My wife doesn’t like anything she didn’t discover first, so I only sous vide when she isn’t around. Go figure, She’ll probably fight over it in our divorce.

Anyhoo, no help to your request, but you might want to look into sous vide if a dedicated sous vide machine (and corresponding price) was holding you back.

Sous vide certainly is the first thing that comes to mind, but…

Are they double chops (2 bones)?

If so, maybe cut them in half???