Grilling and smoking lamb chops with rosemary and hickory smoke
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
Peaches are right up there with pineapple as a great fruit to grill for dessert. I also think they work well with the taste of some good small batch bourbon, cinnamon and the sweetness of maple syrup. So here’s a quick and easy dessert suggestion that lets you exploit the rest of the heat from the charcoal after grilling dinner for your guests. This recipe will serve 8 people. Grill’em up and serve with vanilla ice cream on the side.
What you need:
A box of quality vanilla ice cream
0.5 cup of good bourbon (I used Woodford Reserve and it worked great)
A couple cinnamon sticks
1 tbsp ground chili flakes
0.5 cup of 100% natural maple syrup (if it says breakfast, maple flavoured syrup or anything really but 100% natural maple syrup, steer clear of it, it will be cheap corn syrup with artificial flavouring…)
How to make the glaze (can be made ahead):
Put 0.5 cup of good bourbon, 0.5 cup of maple syrup, 2 cinnamon sticks and 1 tbsp freshly ground chili flakes in a saucepan
Heat it slowly and let it simmer 10-15 minutes to reduce and get rid of some of the alcohol (so you won’t set fire to your grill)
How to grill the peaches:
Slice your peaches in half and take the pits out. Brush the flesh side with some of your glaze, and grill them over medium-low direct heat flesh side down to get some nice grill marks, turning 45 degrees at “halftime”
Flip the peaches, brush liberally with your glaze on the flesh side, grill another 10-15 minutes over indirect heat
Serve, with vanilla ice cream. Any leftover glaze can be used as a sauce.
Grilled, Bacon Wrapped Tenderloin with Zucchini and Tomatoes
There’s some real nice South American tenderloin to be had at my local store here in Oslo this year, thanks to the Rema 1000 chain of food stores. This meat is of much better quality than what you normally can get here in Oslo for a decent price. So I plan to take advantage of that this summer. So, I went and bought myself a piece of tenderloin, cut it into some nice large steaks and gave it a quick sear on the grill. This is what chef/author Steven Raichlen likes to refer to as “millionaire grilling”. You’re really buying yourself success, because you have to be an idiot not to get tenderloin right on the grill, all it takes is quick sear, to serve this meat done anywhere over medium rare would be a crime to bovines everywhere.
Time: 60 minutes total Skill level: Easy Grilling method: Direct Grill temperature: About 250 degrees centigrade, or more (480F) Equipment: Hickory wood chips for smoke
You’ll need to get hold of:
A piece of tenderloin, two pounds should easily serve 4
4-6 Vine tomatoes
Some strips of quality bacon
Some hickory wood chips for a quick smoke
Some yams, 1 for each person eating
Weber’s thin, double-pronged skewers, or some wooden skewers