Double rib lamb chops, with two ribs per chop, will yield a thicker piece of meat than single rib chops, and are more forgiving with cooking time if you like your lamb rare or medium rare.
With single rib chops, which are thinner pieces, you'll have to pay closer attention, and sear quickly, to not overcook the chops.
The flavor of lamb is best when prepared rare or medium rare. Error on less cooking time than you would expect, that way you can cook them further if you want them more well done.
- 1 pound lamb rib chops
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 Marinate the lamb chops: In a small bowl, mix the rosemary, salt, pepper, garlic, and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil together. Coat the lamb chops with the mixture, massaging it into the meat with your fingers. If you are working with double rib chops, cover and let stand at room temperature for 30 to 45 minutes.
If you are working with single rib chops, and you want the result to be rare, let the chops sit in the rub in the refrigerator, do not let come to room temp or the thin ribs will easily overcook when you sear them in the next step.
You can also marinate the chops in the fridge for up to 24 hours. (Allow double rib chops to stand at room temperature 30 to 40 minutes before cooking.)
2 Sear the lamb chops: Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in an oven-proof sauté pan over high heat. When the oil is shimmering hot, sear the chops. Sear double rib chops on all sides about 2 to 3 minutes per side. If you are working with single rib chops, sear only on two sides, and only a minute (or less) on each side if you want the result to be rare or medium rare.
3 Check for doneness: At this point, if you want your lamb chops rare, they are likely cooked enough.
If you would like your chops more cooked, you can put them in a 400°F oven for 3 to 5 minutes, or keep them in the hot pan, lower the heat to warm, and cover the pan for a few minutes.
Note that rib chops are so small, and cook so quickly, checking for internal temperature with a thermometer can be impractical. For this reason I use the finger test to check the doneness of the chops. That said, if you have an instant read thermometer and want to check thick chops, aim for 125°F for rare, 135°F medium-rare, and 140°F for medium.
4 Rest the chops: When done, remove the chops from the pan, cover with foil and let rest 3 to 5 minutes before serving.