Captain Peter and I haven’t made it across the Atlantic yet to cruise the coasts of Greece and Turkey, but it is high on our list. Until then, we whip up a good Greek-inspired meal now and again to get in practice. These lamb chops are a quick and delicious favorite, served with couscous and a quick Greek salad.
(Pirate Caroline has a great recipe for Greek salad here, but working with what was on hand, I went with fresh tomato and hothouse cucumber, red onion, fresh oregano, feta cheese, olive oil and red wine vinegar).
These lamb shoulder chops are a frequent choice for us. While they are pretty fatty, much of the fat can be easily cut off post-grilling — do be careful while grilling as they tend to flame up a bit as the fat drips onto the fire! We like the flavor and they are FAR cheaper than many other cuts of lamb; this also makes me imagine they are closer to what you might be able to get in many ports of call, where the “Whole Foods” standard of fastidiousness isn’t quite in play.
Salt and pepper the lamb chops. The aromatics for the marinade are lemon zest, garlic, and rosemary. This is the PERFECT time for my frequently-touted ulu and bowl.
Pare the zest off one lemon. Since this will just be in a marinade and not chomped down upon in the dish, you don’t have to be too tidy about avoiding some of the white pith.
Using your ulu, or a good-sized knife on a cutting board, finely mince together the lemon zest, 3 or 4 cloves of garlic, and a healthy sprig or two of fresh rosemary leaves.
Put the chops into a heavy ziploc bag — maybe two — and dump the aromatics on top. You want a heavy, strongly-sealing bag, and possible a double-wrap, so that the bones in the chops don’t poke holes and leave marinade dripping all over your icebox and into the bilge!
Add 3/4 cup olive oil and a cup of red wine to the bag and seal tightly. Toss this around a bit to distribute the aromatics, combine the marinade, and get it around and under each chop. Let this marinate for a few hours — at least one! — in the icebox. Heat your barbecue grill to very hot, pull the chops out of the bag and place them on the grill, and immediately lower heat to medium. Grill the chops as you would any steak — to the degree you like — and enjoy!
Head to the dock or seawall to give Eddy the bones…that’s a mess you don’t want on the teak decks, but the happy dog is a highlight of the dish!