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Lamb chops and steaks should be cooked over high heat, quickly, and can be quick-roasted, too, depending on how thick they are. Barbecuing, griddling, pan-frying and grilling are all methods that suit chops with an aim to getting lots of color on the meat and any exposed fat sizzling until brown.
Chops are quick to cook and easy to portion but they differ depending on which part of the lamb they come from.
Barnsley chops – A double loin chop (see above). A single Barnsley chop is the perfect portion for one.
Chump/rump chops – A boneless slice of the chump, these are very good value and can be pan-fried or barbecued like a steak.
Leg steaks – A cross-section of the leg, these steaks can vary in size and normally have a piece of bone in the middle that the marrow can be eaten out of once cooked. A great steak to barbecue.
Lamb chops and steaks take well to being marinated. Here are some classic flavors from around the world to include in marinades and rubs, either all together or in different combinations:
British – capers, rosemary and/or thyme, or served with redcurrant jelly or mint sauce
Mediterranean – garlic, olives, anchovies, lemon, basil
North African – cinnamon, saffron, chilli, cumin
Indian – cinnamon, turmeric, coriander, ginger, lime, cumin, curry paste, gram marsala, yogurt
Ovens perform differently and barbecuing or pan-frying lamb often involves guesswork. The only way to tell how well it’s cooked is with a digital cooking thermometer.
50C – very rare
55C – medium rare
60C – medium (pink)
65C – medium well
72C – well done
Lamb, hogget, mutton and goat
‘Lamb’ is meat from an animal that’s under a year old, hogget is an older lamb (1-2 years) and mutton is the meat from a fully-grown sheep (2 years +). British goat meat is becoming more readily available and is generally sold at the same age as lamb. Chops and steak from lamb, hogget, mutton and goat are interchangeable, but hogget and mutton have a stronger, more developed flavour and the meat from goat is a bit richer than lamb.