In the world of lamb chops there are rib chops and loin chops. The word chops itself almost always refers to a piece of pork or lamb, but the word could be used to describe a piece of venison as well. So what exactly is the difference between a rib chop and a loin chop? A rib chop is very similar in composition to a bone-in beef ribeye while the lamb loin chop is most like a beef t-bone or porterhouse. The rib chop will be easier to eat, but the tenderness of the meat may be slightly inferior to the loin chop. However, the lamb rib chops may look better on a plate.
So, in the end, there are benefits to eating either types of chop. Try both and find out which one you prefer. For this article you can use either the loin chops or the rib chops.
1. Bring the lamb chops up to room temperature. Meat should always be cooked from room temperature, as it cooks more evenly that way. Looking at the rib chops in the picture, you will notice that there is not a lot of meat on the rib bone. In truth, it is mostly fat. You may remove that fat, and I normally do for roasts. But for these little broiled chops I decided to keep it on. After all, there is at least one small bite of meat in there, albeit surrounded by fat.
2. Season the lamb chops with salt and pepper. Lamb is a flavor that you will be unable to find in any other animal. And it will be hard for you to taste if you cover it up with a lot herbs and spices. Lamb does go well with a few herbs, like mint and rosemary. But for the most part it's best to simply season with just sea salt and fresh black pepper. Lamb is unique in that it is a strong flavor but it is also fragile and must be seasoned delicately.
3. Put the lamb chops on the broiling pan under the preheated broiler. Preheat your broiler for a full 5 minutes before putting the lamb chops under it. You may be wondering why I didn't recommend rubbing the lamb chops with oil before broiling like other broiled meats. Well, lamb has a lot of its own oil and doesn't need it. But you can rub a little oil on the broiling pan just to be safe. Place the chops on the pan so they are directly under the heat.
4. Flip the lamb chops over and broil the other side. After a few minutes the first side of the lamb chop should be getting dark and the fats should be caramelizing. Flip the chops over using a pair of spring-loaded tongs. Cook the second side of the lamb chops for a few more minutes until that side is brown and caramelized too. Use the following as a guide for checking doneness. Rare meat should be 120–125 degrees, medium 140–150 degrees, and well done 160–170 degrees.
If the butcher doesn't have any lamb chops available, ask if they have any rib roasts for purchase. That way you can cut your own lamb chops from the rib roast.
As I have stated previously, lamb is strong but delicate flavor. Keep it simple. Try cooking it with just salt and pepper first. This will enable you to focus on the cooking technique. After you have that down, add one more complementing flavor, like cumin or rosemary. It will be a most excellent meal.
If your broiler doesn't seem to be getting hot enough, it may be turning itself off because it thinks it is too hot. Try leaving the oven door open a crack. That should help. After all you aren't worried about indirect heat, just the direct heating coming off the broiler.