North African Lamb Chops

North African Lamb Chops

Easy recipe and satisfying flavor makes lamb chops the perfect meal any night of the week.

Lamb chops are cuts of lamb which are made by cutting at an angle perpendicular to the spine, generating a single serving of meat which is traditionally cooked and served with the bone in.

The best chops come from the loin, rib, and sirloin. These cutes of meat are tender, easy to cook, and evenly textured.

Lamb chops can cook quickly, because they are thin. If you want a juicy, tender, moist chop, then cooking them medium rare to medium is what you want.

Well done chops can be a bit dry, and the meat can become stringy.

Marinating Lamb Chops

The lamb chops are marinated in what is called “chermoula.” It is made of cilantro, turmeric, cumin, paprika, garlic and thyme.

Lamb Chops Marinating With Chermoula

Chermoula is a popular marinade and relish to North African cuisine. It is tangy, rich, and herbaceous in flavor.

The marinate is commonly used to flavor fish and seafood, though it pairs equally well with meats like lamb and including vegetables.

It is somewhat similar to the Latin American chimichurri.


Try This Deliciously Yummy North African Dish – Moroccan Baked Chicken Thighs With Broccoli


North African Lamb Chops

4-6 bone-in lamb loin chops

1 cup fresh cilantro

1 cup fresh parsley

4 garlic cloves chopped

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground paprika

1 teaspoon dried thyme

Pinch of ground turmeric

1 cup olive oil

½ cup lemon juice

1 large pinch of red pepper flakes

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Season the lamb chops with salt and place in a shallow dish.

For the marinate combined the cilantro, parsley, garlic, cumin, paprika, thyme, turmeric, oil, lemon juice, and pepper flakes in a food processor and process until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Pour three-quarters of the chermoula over the lamb and rub in. Cover and let marinate for up to 10 hours in the refrigerator. Store the remaining chermoula in the refrigerator (bring to room temperature before serving).

Heat a 12-inch cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Remove the chops from the marinade.

lamb chops cooking in a red cast iron skillet - North African Lamb Chops

Arrange chops in the pan in a single layer, taking care not to crowd them. Cook until well browned on both sides, turning as needed, about 8 minutes total.

Basting lamb chops in a red cast iron skillet - North African Lamb Chops

Bast chops a few times each size with marinate while cooking. When done remove from pan and let chops rest for 5 minutes.

North African Lamb Chops

Plate and serve over a minted couscous and garnished with the fresh cilantro and a lime wedge.

Try this West African dish with those deliciously yummy lamb chops – West African Peanut Sweet Potato Stew.


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How To Prepare Birria de Borrego

 

How To Prepare Birria de BorregoPreparing Birria de Borrego  can be considered a labor of love, as it takes more than three hours to prepare, and it is well worth it.

What is the difference between lamb and beef you may ask? Lamb tends to have less marbling than beef, and when you trim the fat around the edges after cooking, the meat ends up much leaner.

You ask what about the fat? Will to start, even though their are no studies that have linked saturated fat to heart disease or raising your cholesterol, you will be happy to know that how you prepare meat influences its healthiness.

For example, meat that is grilled, broiled, or roasted tends to reduce fat, were as pan-frying will increase it.

Buying Your Lamb At Market

Organic standards help lower the risk of contaminated feed and organic lamb has higher nutrient quality.

But to assure you are truly buying an organic raised animal, make sure that packaging say 100% grass-fed.

However, remember that the word “organic” by itself does not guarantee a natural lifestyle for the lambs.

As long as a lamb is fed purely grass from a pasture it can have higher amounts of omega-3 fatty acids.

Birria de Borrego on a serving platterIn Australia, where lamb is eaten frequently by both children and adults, recent studies have shown lamb to rank among the top omega-3 foods in the daily diet.

Grass-fed lamb has shown to average around 25% more omega-3 than grain fed lamb, including as much as 49% more alpha-linolenic acid.

The World’s Healthiest Foods (WHF) website used their nutritional profile of grass-fed lamb, and found on average that 100% grass fed lamb’s meat to have 40 milligrams of omega-3 per one ounce of roasted lamb loin.

WHF says that’s 50% of omega-3 found in an ounce of baked cod or broiled tuna, and 67% of the amount found in one ounce of sesame seeds.

Our featured recipe is a locally grown 100% grass-fed Birria de Borrego or Roasted Lamb, and here is what you will need.

By the way, if the area were you live doesn’t raise lamb, check out these websites…

www.localharvest.org

www.eatwild.com

They can help you find small local farms in your area, and both sites are searchable by zip code.

Preparing Birria de Borrego

2 pounds lamb roast

Dried Anchos with description6 ancho chilies, dried

3 chilies Negron, dried

1 ½ cups water

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon oregano

2 bay leaves

¼ teaspoon thyme

2 teaspoons wine vinegar

2 tablespoons avocado oil

8 tortillas – Link here for homemade recipe

Salsa Verde – optional

Guacamole – optional

Place lamb roast in a large pot with tight lid. Add 1 ½ cups of water, garlic, pepper, cinnamon, oregano, thyme, vinegar and bay leaves to the pot.

Bring the pot of lamb to a boil. Once the lamb is boiling, lower the heat to a simmer and place the lid over the pot. Simmer for two hours until the lamb meat comes off the bone easily with a fork. Remove pot from heat.

Allow to cool some, then remove the lamb from the pot and place on a plate or cutting board. Shred the lamb with a fork and cut with a knife if necessary. Salt to taste and place shredded meat into a large pot.

Cut the stem off the chilies and slit them lengthwise. Remove the seeds and place the chilies in a small saucepan with two cups of water. Bring the chilies to a boil and boil for two minutes or until the chilies are tender. Remove chilies from the water and chop coarsely.

Birria de Borrego - plated

Add the chopped chilies to the lamb and mix thoroughly. Reheat the lamb before serving. Serve on tortillas with salsa or guacamole topped with cilantro. A great meal for your Cino de Mayo celebration this May 5th, 2016.

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Greek Cucumber Yogurt Sauce for Gyros

Greek Cucumber Yogurt Sauce with Lamb - Beef Sirloin StripsTzatziki sauce is a Greek sauce served with grilled meats or as a dip. Tzatziki is made of strained yogurt, usually from sheep or goat milk, and is mixed with cucumbers, garlic, salt, olive oil, sometimes lemon juice, and dill, mint, or parsley.

The culinary cuisine of Bulgarian, Macedonian, and Serbian use this sauce as a cold soup by just adding water to thin it out.

Caucasus Mountains Map LocationThe people who live in the Caucasus Mountains, between the Black sea and Caspian sea, use kefir instead of yogurt to make Tzatziki. Doing so makes the sauce a drink that is poured over a mixture of vegetables, eggs and ham to create a variation of okroshka, a Russian cold soup by origin.

This cool and creamy Greek Cucumber Yogurt Sauce or Tzatziki sauce is used in preparation of  Greek Gyro Sandwiches.

You will need whole grain flat bread, the soft and thin kind ready for wrapping up your Gyro.

Depending on the amount of servings you want you will need both Lamb and Beef  sirloin strips, about 1/2 pound of each. BBQ the meat is the best way to prepare it.

As for the sauce you will need…

diced English Cucumber1 English Cucumber – peeled and diced
1 tablespoon Himalayan salt

Place diced cucumber in a colander and spread out evenly and sprinkle salt over it. Place colander over a large plate or bowl and top the colander and set aside for 30 minutes. The salt will drain the water from the diced cucumber. Leaving the moisture in the cucumber will make for a runny sauce.

ingredients for Greek Cucumber Yogurt Sauce1 garlic clove minced

1 tablespoon fresh dill

Juice of one fresh medium lemon

2 to 4 pepper corns – either white or black

3 cups of real Greek Yogurt – the one that is authentic strained

Place all ingredients but the yogurt into a blender or food processor – processes or blend about 30 seconds to 1 minute.

mixing cucumber sauce with Greek yogurtAdd mixture to the yogurt and mix in until well combined. Cover bowl and let sit for 2 to 3 hours in refrigerator, which will allow flavors to blend and infuse.

Greek Cucumber Yogurt SauceIt is optional to add more salt, but doing so after you have prepared the sauce.

Greek Cucumber Yogurt Sauce with Lamb - Beef Sirloin Strips for GyrosThis sauce can also be used as a dressing for a Greek salad or any salad of choice that goes well with cucumber.

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