There’s not much that can top some fresh young lamb for the grill. In this recipe we’ll pair it with some hickory and rosemary smoke, raw spring onions finely chopped and a delicious mint oil to go with your preferred side. Let’s roll!
What you need (to serve 4):
- 2 racks of young lamb (3 if they’re small, and small is good here)
- A fistful of fresh rosemary
- A fistful of hickory wood chips
- 6-8 spring onions
- A cup of good olive oil of the extra virgin variety
- A fistful of fresh mint
- A Thermapen or similar instant-read thermometer is very useful for this one
How to make the mint oil (can be made a few days ahead, and should at least be made the night before for max flavor):
- Finely chop the fresh mint
- Combine with a pinch of good sea salt and about a cup of quality olive oil in a mortar, and crush away
- Pour into a jar and leave it in the fridge overnight or for a couple days to let the oil take the flavor
How to grill the lamb:
- Get your firestarter going, fill it up to the top with coals. For this you want the 50/50 setup so you can sear the chops on one side of the grill, and then move them over to the other side for finishing
- Once your grill is nice and hot, might be a good time to dump some yams on there for a side dish, my recipe for ember-roasted yams is great with the mint oil.
- Slice a nice little diamond pattern in the fatty parts of the rack, making sure not to slice into the meat. This is to help the fat render, and to help with the crispiness of the skin. Important!
- Cut your lamb racks into “chops” in the order of two bones on each. Doing one boned chops is possible, but you’re going to need your grill to get REALLY hot to pull that off – so let’s go with two. It’s a handy compromise
- Season the chops with salt & pepper
- Once your yams (if youre doing those) are done and out of the way, get the grill real hot (you want the grate to be so hot it whitens for this one), and chuck in the rosemary and hickory chips right on the coals.
- The smoke will start fairly instantly, so get your chops on there (I usually do fatty side down first), and put the lid on for about a minute. Repeat for all sides so you get a good sear all round.
- When you’re done searing, move the chops to the “cold side” of the grill, and take their temp. Continue to do so until they’re all done (I usually go with 56C/132F, nice and pink in the middle, tastes great!)
- Give the chops a five minute rest while you finely chop some spring onion
- Serve on warm plates, with abovementioned yams sprinkled with mint oil and spring onion