Lamb Loin Chops with Mint Chimichurri

Seared lamb loin chops, served with chimichurri sauce of mint and parsley.

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4-6.

Ingredients

Lamb loin chops:

  • 2 pounds of lamb loin chops, about 8 individual chops, 1 1/2 inch thick
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil

Mint chimichurri:

  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped (about 3 teaspoons)
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh mint leaves (spearmint), packed
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh parsley leaves, packed
  • 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Method

1 Remove chops from refrigerator and sprinkle on all sides with Kosher salt. Let sit at room temperature for a half hour (for small chops) to an hour (for large chops) to come to room temp.

2 Make the mint chimichurri sauce. Either in a food processor or by hand, finely chop the garlic, mint and parsley. Place in a bowl and stir in the wine vinegar, salt, and red pepper flakes. Stir in the olive oil.

3 Heat olive oil in a large cast iron pan on medium high heat. Sprinkle the black pepper on both meaty sides of the chops. When the pan is hot, place the chops meat-side down in the pan. Leave space between the chops, do not crowd the pan.

lamb-loin-chops-1 lamb-loin-chops-2 lamb-loin-chops-3 lamb-loin-chops-4

4 Do not move the chops, just let them brown, about 2 to 4 minutes on each side, depending on the heat of your pan and the size of the chops. Once browned on one side, turn them over and brown the other side. Quickly sear the fatty and bone edges of the chops.

5 Once all of the sides have browned, lower the heat and continue to cook until the lamb chops are done to your liking. Lamb is best rare (vivid pink on the inside), never more cooked than medium rare. The easiest way to test for the doneness of the chops is to press on them with your finger (see the finger test to check doneness of meat). You can also use an instant read meat thermometer. Remove the meat from the pan at 120° to 125°F for rare, and 130° to 135°F for medium rare. Some of the chops may cook faster than others, so check them as they cook, and pull them off the pan when ready.

6 Place the chops on a plate and cover with foil. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Serve drizzled with mint chimichurri sauce.

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Comments

  1. KalynsKitchen

    This sounds like a fabulous birthday/Valentine’s dinner to me! I love lamb and don’t get it nearly enough!

    I hope you have a wonderful day surrounded by people who adore you and cater to your every desire!

  2. avis

    That looks amazing. I want this tonight and the cowboy steak with chimichurri tomorrow. Rinse and repeat.

  3. Martha White

    Elise, I recently had to do the same process to figure out my age! Happy Birthday from one old girl to another!

  4. Jacqueline

    I hope you had a great birthday. Thank you for your wonderful, beautiful, always excellent blog. Every since my friend Chigiy told me about it, Simply Recipes has been my go-to, whether I’m seeking culinary inspiration or a good old-fashioned basic recipe. Cheers, and thank you for doing what you do!

  5. Rosa @HHR

    I’ve never cooked lamb before. I might have to try this. Also, is rare lamb okay? I never know which meats are okay “rare” and which aren’t!

    • Elise

      Whole cuts of meat like beef or lamb are fine rare. (In my opinion lamb should only be cooked rare.) The outside of the meat which is exposed to air and bacteria gets seared when cooked. The inside is relatively sterile and not an issue. You do have to take care when cooking ground beef or lamb because the grinding gets the air (and bacteria) inside of the meat. So only cook ground meat rare if the meat was just ground by the butcher and you cook it promptly. Pork depends on where you live. In the US, there hasn’t been a case of trichinosis since the 50s, so it’s generally agreed that here, it’s okay to have some pink in your pork, though most people still wouldn’t feel comfortable eating it rare. Poultry like chickens and turkeys you have a salmonella issue so those must be cooked through. Salmonella is not an issue with wild fowl like ducks and geese, and those are typically cooked rare for best results.

  6. Carla

    Happy Belated Valentine Birthday! Great choice of birthday dinner in my book. Lamb was on sale at my local favorite butcher shop yesterday. I wasn’t sure how I would cook lamb chops, so I bought the frenched rack, which we always love. Next time, I’ll go for the chops so I can try your new recipe.

  7. Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)

    Happy very belated birthday! I love the idea of mint chimichurri, and yours is making me wistful for my herb garden (and runaway mint patch) buried under more than a foot of snow! Still, spring will be here soon, and the mint will be perfect for this recipe.

  8. Fawn @ Cowen Park Kitchen

    Simple and lovely! Speaking of lamb, I’m planning to make your Albondigas soup tonight with some rich lamb stock–exciting!

  9. Jeff @ Cheese-burger.net

    Belated Happy Birthday! I love the minty aroma of these chops.

  10. Michelle

    Happy birthday!

    When I saw the bright green chimichurri, I thought it looked perfect for St. Patrick’s Day! :)

  11. Meggy

    Late birthday wishes to you and thanks for this. I often cook lamb, but not chops, your image had my belly rumbling the moment I saw it, the meat looks so moist and tender bathed in mint green – it’s a must cook and eat this weekend and I’m going to serve with mashed parsnips and potatoes with chives and parsley!