I feel like people are always really divided on lamb but it’s only because I know a decent number of food lovers who just cannot love its gamey flavor. Maybe it wasn’t prepared right or perhaps it wasn’t fresh enough. Who knows! Personally, I love lamb but I tend to be pretty safe when I cook it: I typically season them with plain old salt and pepper, sometimes with a little ras el hanout too, before cooking it — nothing too complicated or time consuming in the prep process.
Last week, I came out of my comfort zone and marinated them in a harissa mixture because harissa, a savory chili pepper paste, and lamb are often paired together in Tunisian cuisine. I ended up making one of the best things I’ve ever made [this year]! I wish you knew how juicy, flavorful, spicy, savory…I can’t even find the right words to describe the taste and smell.
Grilling was my preferred method of cooking but you can pan fry the chops instead. And if you are not a fan of lamb, you could try to use the harissa marinade on beef, pork, or chicken instead.
For 4 servings:
- 8 lamb chops (about 1 1/2 lbs.)
- 4 tbsp. olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tbsp. light brown sugar
- 2 tbsp. soy sauce
- 2 tsp. harissa
Trim any hard excess fat from the lamb chops; set aside.
In a large gallon-sized ziplock bag, slosh around the remaining ingredients until it looks like the ingredients are well mixed and there are no sugar chunks. Add the lamb to the bag.
Slosh the sauce around so the lamb chops are coated. Refrigerate for at least two hours. Fire up the grill — I used a gas grill; transfer the marinated lamb chops to the grill and grill for about 2 minutes. Flip the chops over and cook about 3 minutes on the other side (Serious Eats has a really good grilling guide for lamb). Serve hot.
I’m a big fan of harissa now and I can’t wait to try these traditional dishes:
I also want to try these “out of the box” harissa ideas too!:
- Harissa-Pancetta Breakfast Pizza
- Pumpkin & Harissa Vegetarian Sausage Rolls
- Harissa Focaccia Bread
- Harissa-Roasted Carrots, Fennel and New Potatoes
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