Easy and elegant lamb chops

Lamb chops are lovely and elegant, yet few people know how to cook them properly. Often found on the menus of fine French restaurants, home cooks shy away from them. That’s truly a shame. There is nothing as simple or more delightful for a chic little dinner with friends or just for two.
 
Plan on serving your light-eating guests two chops, serve three to most people, but give those with a heartier appetite four.
 
The chops should be “drenched”. That means the long bone should be cleaned, but most chops already come that way.
 
Local fresh lamb is a treat, but honestly, frozen lamb from New Zealand or Australia is very good. I wouldn’t hesitate. Once, while shopping for lamb at a very posh local butcher in a lovely foodie city, I noticed – not quite out of sight – a large stack of distinctive discarded boxes for frozen New Zealand lamb. It was quite obviously the source of the meat the store was selling me. Obviously, the carriage-trade butcher had no problem with it. As it hadn’t been mislabeled or too marked-up, I bought it and considered myself wiser for the lesson.
 
This never-fail method is a variation of Julia Child’s leg of lamb recipe, and it works like a charm.
 
Preheat oven to 475 F -225 C
 
This recipe is good for eight to10 loin chops and serves six to eight people.
Clean your chops of any extra little strands of meat or fat that may cling to the bone “handle”.
Marinate your very clean and perfect chops in:
½ cup good French Dijon mustard
2 cloves of mashed or pureed garlic (yes, it’s a lot, but you need it!)
1 tbsp. fresh, rough-chopped rosemary or 1 tsp. of dry rosemary (I use a lot of rosemary.)
Lots of fresh black pepper
1tbsp. good olive oil
2 tbsp. of soy sauce
 
Put the chops and marinade in a big zip-lock bag and make sure all the chops get coated. You can do this in a bowl, but the bag is easy to store and lets you really get the meat well-coated.
 
The chops take 20 minutes flat in a very hot 475 F-225C oven. Rest them lightly covered with foil for 10 minutes. This gives you medium to rare chops. I think cooking them very rare destroys the flavours. I also put a small dish of washed, lightly salted, and olive-oiled cherry tomatoes in the oven with lamb. The tomatoes burst slightly and get sweet. They are delicious with the lamb and look great on the plate. I often serve this as part of a classic meal with roasted or pan-crisped potatoes with rosemary, and fresh asparagus. It’s always perfect.
 
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