Simple Lamb Chops with Tzatziki Sauce
Lamb has long been a second-class citizen in American households, a meat you turn to maybe once a year when you've grown tired of chicken and beef. Too bad, since lamb is not only jam-packed with flavor and easy to cook, but surprisingly lean when you work with the right cuts. (The notion that lamb is "gamey" doesn't hold true anymore, partially because most lamb is so lean.) And tzatziki, a Greek-style yogurt sauce, matches perfectly with a charred lamb chops recipe. It also can—and should—be applied to grilled chicken, pork, and fish on a frequent basis. Plus, tzatziki is packed with all sorts of health benefits, so pile it on and enjoy!
Nutrition: 260 calories, 15 g fat (4 g saturated), 390 mg sodium
1 cucumber, peeled, halved, and seeded
1 cup Greek-style yogurt (we like Fage)
Juice of 1 lemon
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 tsp minced fresh dill
Salt and black pepper to taste
4 loin or shoulder lamb chops (about 4 oz each)
How to Make It
- Preheat a grill.
- Grate the cucumber with a cheese grater, then use your (clean!) hands to wring out all the excess water.
- Combine the cucumber with the yogurt, lemon juice, half the olive oil, garlic, dill, and a good pinch of salt and pepper.
- Set the tzatziki aside.
- Rub the lamb with the remaining olive oil, then season all over with salt and pepper.
- Grill, turning once, until a meat thermometer inserted into the deepest part of a chop reads 135°F, 10 to 12 minutes, depending on the thickness of the cut.
- Serve with the tzatziki.
Eat This Tip
Beautiful, perfectly trimmed loin lamb chops come with a steep price tag, often fetching up to $15 or more a pound. Many supermarkets sell individual shoulder chops, though, for about half the price, and they work every bit as well in this recipe. The same could be said about leg of lamb, which goes for about six dollars a pound and proves to be an amazing cut for both roasting in the oven and tossing on the grill. Bottom line: Don't pass on lamb because you can't afford the priciest cut.
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