The lamb chops at Costco represent great savings compared to almost anywhere else.
These lovely trimmed chops are irresistible at Costco prices. But darned if I could cook them correctly. I tried all kinds of methods. Stovetop or oven-roasted, mine were inevitably inconsistently cooked. They suffered from raw centers and overcooked exteriors. But I was not about to give them up. So I kept trying. Finally, I came across an eleven-year-old recipe from Bon Appetit. Its author, Maria Helm Sinskey, created a great herbal marinade. In 30 to 60 minutes the chops had a fantastic flavor of garlic, thyme, rosemary, and chives. Seared on the stovetop, they finished cooking in the oven. In under an hour, all told, we had perfect lamb chops. All thanks to the absolutely essential need of a meat thermometer. The recipe follows. But first, some facts about the source of this terrific lamb, Australia.
Once, Aussie lamb was not at all desirable.
Australian Lambs were raised overwhelmingly for their wool. Their meat was secondary and very inconsistent in quality. American lamb was considered the gold standard. Raised mainly in Colorado and the mid-west, American lamb is grain-fed which makes it less ‘gamey’ compared to imported and grass-fed lamb. It is also the most expensive lamb you can buy because surprisingly little lamb is raised in this county. Enter the Australians.
Aussie Lamb has an almost beef-like texture and its flavor is distinct.
By cross-breeding with American lamb, Australian lamb is now prized for its mild taste, its natural leanness, and tenderness. The Australians claim an ‘all-natural’ advantage: The lambs are free-range and fed on pasturelands. Free of both growth hormones and artificial additives, it is “a pure product of its pure environment” as its promoters at True Aussie Lamb claim. And it’s a huge success. Now exported to over 100 countries across the globe, exports of Aussie lamb totaled 258,000 tonnes or 568,785 lbs of lamb in 2019. Now here is the recipe for the perfect lamb chop.
Herb Roasted Lamb Chops
Perfectly seasoned and beautifully cooked, this is Lamb Chop perfection.
- 8 large garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves, lightly crushed
- 1 tbsp. fresh rosemary leaves, lightly crushed
- 2 tsp. coarse Kosher salt
- 2 tbsp. Extra Virgin Oil Oil
- 8- 1-1/4 inch thick loin lamb chops
- Step 1 Mix the first 4 ingredients and 1 tbsp. Olive Oil in a large bowl. Add lamb and turn to coat. Let marinate at room temperature for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.
- Step 2 Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Step 3 Heat remaining tbsp. Olive Oil in a large, heavy, ovenproof skillet.
- Step 4 Add lamb chops, cook until browned on both sides, about 3 minutes a side.
- Step 5 Transfer skillet to oven and roast lamb chops to desired doneness, about ten minutes for Medium Rare. Temperatures should be 115 to 120F for Rare, 120 to 125F for Medium Rare, 130 to 135F for Medium, 140 to 145F for Medium-Well, 150 to 155F for Well-done