Herb Brined Lamb Chops

Lamb Chops

My good friend Janet came to visit a few weeks ago.  Janet lives in DC, though she used to live in Texas, and before that, she lived in New York, and before that, DC.  It’s been a long time since we lived close by each other in San Francisco and Berkeley, or Stockton and Lodi.  She had several hours to spend before heading back to DC, and wanted to know if I wanted to have lunch or dinner and a visit.  Often when she comes to visit, she spends a bunch of money taking me to a fancy lunch, and we have a nice visit, but she doesn’t get to see much of Ted and Maya.  And I had to work that day, so a long leisurely lunch wasn’t really in the cards.  So instead, I suggested that she come a bit later, and I’d make dinner for her.  One thing about Janet is that she loves lamb.  LOVES lamb.  So when someone who LOVES lamb is coming to dinner, what better to make?

The April 2011 Bon Apetit magazine had a gorgeous looking recipe on the cover for what they called Herb Brined Lamb Chops, among other dishes for a Greek themed Easter meal.   I had used the herb brine with lamb stew meat to make kabobs for Maya’s birthday party, but since there were fewer of us for dinner this time, I decided to get the real deal, lamb chops, which aren’t cheap.  But once in awhile, they’re OH so worth it.  Just like Janet.  Except she’s ALWAYS worth it.   Anyway, when you look at the recipe in the magazine, the recipe doesn’t say ‘Herb Brined Lamb Chops’, it says, ‘Lamb Chops with Lemon’.  Whatever.  It’s the same recipe.

Lamb Chops with Lemon


  • 3 large shallots, minced
  • 6 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 6 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 6 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 24 lamb rib chops (from three 1 1/4- to 1 1/2-pound racks of lamb, cut between bones into individual chops)
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon peel
  • Fresh oregano sprigs (for garnish)


  1. Mix minced shallots, chopped mint, chopped oregano, minced garlic, sugar, and 1 tablespoon salt in small bowl. Press 1 rounded teaspoon shallot-herb mixture onto eye of each lamb chop. Turn chops over onto large rimmed baking sheet. Press remaining shallot- herb mixture onto eye of each chop. Cover lamb chops with sheet of plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Whisk olive oil, lemon juice, and lemon peel in small bowl until slightly thickened and well blended. Season lightly with salt and generously with freshly ground black pepper. Spoon oil mixture lightly over chops. Turn chops over and spoon remaining oil mixture over. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour.
  3. Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Grill lamb chops to desired doneness, about 3 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer lamb chops to platter. Garnish with fresh oregano sprigs and serve.

You can find the recipe here.

This recipe makes enough for 12 people to have 2 chops each. So I just made enough for 4 people to have 2 each. It was delicious. Perhaps my favorite lamb recipe to date. The magazine says to serve with tzatziki sauce, which I bought, but forgot to serve. Oh well. I liked it well enough without.

This entry was posted in Recipes.

2 thoughts on “Herb Brined Lamb Chops

  1. Odd that they call it a “brine.” It’s more of a marinade, really, don’t you think? It isn’t really doing any brining, in the classic sense. No matter, though. It sounds and looks delicious. I’ve always loved lamb. Was raised on it (my dad was 100% Croatian), and while we never had the little chops, our Sunday dinners were often a huge, garlic-studded leg. Mmmmmm.

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