Lamb Chops with Charmoula

February 4, 2009

Charmoula is a lively, fragrant North African herb and garlic concoction which enhances the natural flavors of vegetables, meat, poultry and fish either as a sauce or marinade. It is equally comfortable ladled over asparagus as over grilled swordfish.


1 8-bone rack of lamb, trimmed and frenched,* carved into 8 individual chops
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
2 T extra virgin olive oil
2 T unsalted butter

*Frenched is when the meat at the tips is trimmed and cut away, exposing the ends of the bones.

1 T cumin seeds
1 T coriander seeds

1 C fresh Italian parsley leaves
1/2 C fresh mint leaves
1 C fresh cilantro leaves
3 plump fresh garlic cloves, pealed and cut in halves
1 T sweet paprika
1 t sea salt
1/2 t cayenne pepper

6-8 T extra virgin olive oil
juice and zest of 1 fresh lemon

Heat skillet over medium heat, then add cumin and coriander seeds; toast until aromatic and slightly darker so as the release the essences, about 2 minutes. Transfer seeds to food processor along with parsley, mint, cilantro, garlic, paprika, salt and cayenne pepper. Pulsing the processor on and off, blend until a coarse paste forms. With maching running, gradually add 4-6 T of olive oil in a slow, narrow, steady stream; continue blending and add 1/2 of lemon juice.

Stir together and retain chilled in a bowl a couple tablespoons of the mixture and the remaining lemon juice and zest to serve over the finished lamb chops.

Season lamb chops with salt and pepper; then, the rest of the charmoula should be liberally lathered over the lamb chops and then placed covered in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight. A heavy plastic bag could be used for this coating process. Remove lamb and retained charmoula in bowl from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before cooking.

Melt butter and olive oil in a heavy large skillet over medium high heat. Once hot, carefully place lamb chops in pan and saute around 3 minutes on each side, until medium rare. Do not constantly turn the meat or you will damage the connective tissue and mar the surface. Remove and allow lamb to rest for at least 10 minutes, then when served, top with retained charmoula.


One Response to “Lamb Chops with Charmoula”

  1. […] Lamb Chops with Charmoula « A Lay Cook’s Musings […]

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