Monday, April 12, 2010

Cooking Italy: Parmesan Lamb Chops

I was a little dubious about trying this recipe. Mostly because I've never been a huge fan of lamb dishes.  A lot of the time it always seemed to taste a little gamey to me and as a result I ended up avoiding most of the opportunities to try it again as a grown up with some more mature taste buds. But I've learned over the past several months that I have in many ways gotten into a culinary rut that is only going to shift with going outside my comfort zone and trying new recipes. So I wrote up my grocery list, went to the store, realized I had no idea of what type of lamb to buy and ended up going home with two chops from the arm region figuring it was good enough (never never EVER good words to hear from me when I'm have a moment of culinary confusion.)

First things first...this was a much thicker chop than the recipe called for. So there really wasn't a way to flatten it to the consistency that Marcella called for not without pounding the life out of it in the process. And I've never really gotten a lot of practice with frying meats for the most part so I was somewhat dubious about how long to cook this while hoping that the oil was hot enough to fry the meat. In the end, after the nice brown crust had formed, I ended up taking it out of the oil and putting it into the oven to bake. 

My sister and I were both looking a little worried as we sat down to eat. She's never eaten lamb without mint jelly. I've not even had that but am fairly sure that I've eaten it in some middle eastern foods in the past so I wasn't sure what to expect from this dish. 

In a nutshell: it was amazing. 

My sister ate the entire lamb chop humming and yumming. Both of us agreed it was tender, without any hint of the gaminess that I had feared it would. Nor did it taste of oil due to the  bath in the oil before I gave up and switched to the oven. The color was gorgeous, the breading was awesome and that cheese coating was perfect. I would definitely make lamb chops again using this recipe. And that's saying a  lot. 

12 single rib lamb chops, flattened
1/2 cup parmigiano reggiano cheese spread on plate
2 eggs, beaten lightly in deep dish
1 cup fine, dry unflavored bread crumbs on plate
Vegetable oil
Black Pepper

Turn chops on both sides in parmesan cheese, pressing firmly against the cheese until it adheres well to the plate. Tap to remove excess cheese, dip into beaten eggs and let excess egg drip off. Turn chops in bread crumbs, coating both sides and tap to remove excess. Chops can be prepared up to 4 hours ahead - bring meat to room temperature before cooking.

Pour oil into pan until it comes 1/4 inch up sides of pan. Turn heat to medium. When oil is very hot, slip chops into pan. Turn chops over when a golden crust ha formed and cook other side. Transfer to cooked chops to a warmed platter and serve promptly.


  1. I love lamb and this looks absolutely amazing!! I'll have to give it a try.

  2. Cathy, this was SO good...I think you'll really like it!

  3. Beautiful and it's nice to know the recipe can be adapted to thicker chops.

  4. So glad you ended up liking it!!

  5. I'm a life-long lamb eater, but some recipes hit me better than others. This one holds immense promise! I can hardly wait to score some lovely chops! No chops last trip...flank steak, yes. Lamb flank steak...what a puzzle!

  6. Angela...I'd probably go next time for thinner chops for ease of prep but these worked out better than I thought in a pinch.

    Mara- Both my sister and I were surprised how much we liked it.

    Believe...this is a great recipe. I hope you have a chance to try it soon :)

  7. Your chops look gorgeous. I love lamb - hey, I'm a New Zealander, of course I do. So I'm looking forward to trying these, probably on the weekend.


  8. Sue, I think you'll love them...they bring a new level to lamb chops (at last for a lamb newbie like me!)

  9. Will get to this recipe am more than eager to get to make it all sound so easy and delicious. Great photo.

  10. Kayte...I look forward to hearing how you enjoyed it!