Enjoying Variations of Lamb Dinners

Almost everywhere that travel to has a traditional lamb meal, but it isn’t as common here in the United States. And because it isn’t as popular here, it can be expensive to buy, but it certainly worth treating yourself to from time to time. Ground lamb isn’t as expensive as other options and, if you’re only cooking for a few people, lamb chops are another good choice. If you really want to have a dinner with a dramatic presentation, then cooking a rack of lamb is an obvious choice. Since lamb can have a stronger flavor, it is often paired up with other flavorful spices such as those found in Mediterranean or Indian cooking. Whatever style of cooking you prefer, hopefully one of these options will tempt you to give lamb a try.

Roasted Lamb

Roasted Leg of Lamb with Gravy – There is something about having lamb that is very emblematic of the coming of spring to us and we look forward to this meal every year. We don’t get leg of lamb very often because it is just the two of us, but we enjoy using the leftovers for other meals. Oven roasted red potatoes is definitely our favorite starch to serve with lamb and sautéing spinach made for a light and refreshing vegetable.

Spicy Lamb Biryani

Delicious Lamb Biryani – Our favorite meal when we visited India was Lamb Biryani. It isn’t a particularly difficult dish to create, but it does take a bit of time and preparation. It turned out to be quite delicious and very fragrant. Depending on how spicy you like your food, you can control some of the heat by changing the amount of cayenne pepper or type of green chili that you use. We served ours over Basmati rice, but regular rice would be just as good.

Rack of Lamb Cut into Chops

Roasted Rack of Lamb – Rack of lamb can be an elegant meal and it is a good idea to ask the butcher to “French cut” the bones, which is simply removing the meat and fat from the bone tips. Some people like mint jelly with lamb, but we prefer to simply roast it with herbs like rosemary and thyme. Our preference is to cook the lamb to medium-rare or medium at the most, which keeps it moist and tender.

Lamb Chops with Roasted Red Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts

Lamb Chops Marinated with Dijon Mustard and Herbs – This is a simple recipe and yet it is quite delicious. We served ours with oven roasted red potatoes and brussels sprouts, which made for perfect accompaniments. You can substitute dry herbs for the fresh herbs, but you should use fresh herbs if at all possible as the flavors will be better.

Greek Moussaka at a Restaurant in Frankfurt

Moussaka – One of the dishes that we truly enjoyed while we were staying in Europe was Moussaka. Although we went to Athens, Greece, it was in Frankfurt that we ended up trying Moussaka for the first time. Most of the staff at our favorite restaurant were actually Greek and although it was a French Bistro, they sometimes put something Greek as their special of the day. This is an inexpensive and easy dish to create, but the flavor is quite wonderful.

Greek Lamb and Rice Dinner – We used a tajine to cook the dish, but it could just as easily be entirely cooked in a skillet. Finishing the lamb chops in the rice and tomatoes keeps it moist and tender. Similar to cooking with wine, when cooking with olives it is always important to use an olive that you would eat on its own without adding it to a dish.

Cooked Rack of Lamb

With so many options for cooking lamb, it can be a perfect weeknight dinner or centerpiece for a special occasion. Of all of these meals, the one that is probably our favorite is the Lamb Biryani as it reminds of us of our time in India. Although that might be our favorite, looking back at each of these has inspired us to cook a nice lamb dinner sometime soon.

Greek Lamb and Rice Dinner

Greek Lamb and Rice Dinner

We enjoy many different types of lamb dishes and one of our favorites are lamb chops. Although they are delicious simply grilled with garlic and herbs, this one pot dinner is an excellent alternative. We used a tajine to cook the dish, but it could just as easily be entirely cooked in a skillet. Finishing the lamb chops in the rice and tomatoes keeps it moist and tender. Similar to cooking with wine, when cooking with olives it is always important to use an olive that you would eat on its own without adding it to a dish.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Greek, Mediterranean
Servings 2 people

Equipment

  • Skillet
  • Tajine

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb Lamb Chops
  • 1 cup Uncooked Rice
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 14 1/2 oz Can Diced Tomatoes
  • 2 cloves Fresh Garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 1/3 tbsp Fresh Rosemary chopped
  • 1/3 cup Kalamata Olives pitted and halved
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Parsley for garnish

Instructions
 

  • Boil the rice for about 8 minutes, drain and set aside. The rice will continue to cook in the oven.
  • Season the lamb with salt, pepper, and 1/3 tablespoon of rosemary.
  • Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and brown the lamb chops for about 2 to 3 minutes per side (including the fat side).
  • When you pull the lamb out of the skillet, add the garlic and cook for about a minute just allow it to release some of its flavors.
  • Either in the skillet or in a tajine, mix the rice, tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, and rosemary.
  • Nestle the lamb into the rice mixture and sprinkle the olives around top of the rice. Cover with a lid.
  • In an oven heated to 325 degrees, cook the lamb and rice mixture for about 30 minutes or until the internal temperature of the lamb reaches about 145 degrees for medium-rare.
Keyword lamb, olives, rice

Lamb Chops Marinated with Dijon Mustard and Herbs

We enjoy having many different varieties of lamb dishes, especially during our travels, whether it be leg of lamb, lamb biryani, rack of lamb, or in this case lamb chops. Some people find lamb to be a little “gamey”, but we enjoy the robust flavor and it can stand up to a variety of spices. This is a simple recipe and yet it is quite delicious. The key to lamb is to ensure that you get the temperature right because if it is over-cooked, it can become dry, but if it isn’t cooked to mid-rare it can be chewy. We served ours with oven roasted red potatoes and brussels sprouts, which made for perfect accompaniments. You can substitute dry herbs for the fresh herbs, but use fresh herbs if at all possible as it will taste much brighter. Many people have to have mint jelly with their lamb, but if you try this more savory version, you might never go back to the mint jelly. This recipe serves 2 people.

Mustard and Herbs

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 Lamb Chops (about 1 lb)
  • 1/8 cup Dijon Mustard
  • 1/2 tbsp Minced Garlic
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Rosemary – finely chopped
  • 1 tsp Fresh Thyme
  • 2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
Marinating the Lamb Chops

INSTRUCTIONS

Combine the mustard, garlic, rosemary, and thyme in a bowl and thoroughly mix. Salt and pepper both sides of the lamb chops. Smother all sides of the lamb chops with the mustard and herb mixture, cover, and put in the refrigerator for an hour. Remove from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for another 30 minutes in order to finish marinating and so that it cooks more evenly. Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the vegetable oil and then cook the lamb chops for 4 to 5 minutes on one side, then flip. Cook for another 3 to 4 minutes and then set the chops on their fat side (assuming that they are 3/4 to 1 inch thick) for another couple of minutes. Cook until the internal temperature is 135 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cooking the Lamb Chops in a Cast-Iron Skillet
Lamb Chops with Roasted Red Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts