Lamb chops marinated with lemon and mint

Do you fancy some meat today? You could certainly choose between all kinds, from the finest beef to the cheapest pork. But today’s recipe is really superb if you’re a fan of the meat in question. It’s a wonderful main course of lamb chops marinated with lemon and mint: a tasty and fragrant dish, perfect, as I said, for those who like lamb and want to try something a little out of the ordinary. Lamb, because of a flavour that is sometimes referred to as "gamey", responds well to marinating. The length of time you marinade can range from a minimum of 15 minutes up to a maximum of overnight, depending on the intensity of the flavours that you want to infuse. Follow our chef’s recipe and you will have some absolutely mouth-watering lamb chops; serve with a simple salad and a glass of wine.

Ingredients

  • lamb 500 grams
  • chives 5 grams
  • mint 10 grams
  • thyme 5 grams
  • lemon 50 grams
  • whole cooking salt
Information
20 minutes Total time
5 minutes Active time
Serves 2 persons
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Preparation

Cut the lemon into segments and squeeze the juice over the lamb, add the sea salt and mix everything well. Finely chop the mint, thyme and chives, add plenty of extra virgin olive oil and mix well. Allow it to marinate for 15 minutes. Heat a pan and brown the meat for 5 minutes over a high heat in a little oil. Serve the chops a little pink in the middle, accompanied by fresh seasonal vegetables.

Tips
When preparing a marinade, try to create a perfectly balanced mix of ingredients. The choice of ingredients is up to you, depending on your preferences or the particular recipe that you are following. But bear in mind that you'll need to mix three basic ingredients for the perfect marinade: a fat, an acid and herbs and spices. The fat is usually olive oil, but you can also use milk, butter, cream, lard or coconut milk: it makes the meat more full-bodied and enhances the flavour, avoiding the possibility of excessive drying out during cooking. The acid - which can be wine, vinegar (apple or wine), lemon juice, yogurt, Worcester sauce, Tabasco, or fruit juices, in particular pineapple and apple - has the aim of soaking and ‘cooking’ the meat, leaving it really tender, sometimes almost gelatinous. Be careful, however, this ‘cooking’ process occurs only at the surface unless the pieces of meat are really small. The third component is provided by the herbs and spices, and there it is up to you to choose which to use according to the effect you desire: tarragon, cumin, basil, rosemary, citrus peel – there are many options to flavour and aromatise your meat to your liking. Are we finished? Of course not! Don’t forget to add a pinch of salt, a powerful "chemical reagent" able to activate a reaction between the meat’s juices and the ingredients from the marinade. This reaction allows the meat to absorb better the marinade’s flavour.
Trivia
Marinating meat or fish involves soaking the dish in a liquid made of vinegar or wine to which are added spices or other flavourings. The goal is to soften the meat, remove any excessive gamey smell and to flavour it. A little curiosity about the origin of the term: ‘marinate’ originally meant "to preserve food in good condition during a sea voyage." The purpose, unlike today, was therefore to lengthen the time food could be kept in order to transport it by sea from one city to another.

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