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December 17th, 2017

The Kosher Gourmet

Elegant, simple and perfect grilled lamb chops with pomegranate mint marinade

Diane Rossen Worthington

By Diane Rossen Worthington

Published Oct. 13, 2014

Elegant, simple and perfect grilled lamb chops with pomegranate mint marinade
Celebrate the pomegranate season with these savory lamb chops. The combination of lamb with pomegranate juice was a favorite in California rancho kitchens in the early 1900s. The pomegranate juice may have been intended to mask the strongly flavored lamb produced on the ranches in those days. On the other hand, the combination could have had appeal then, as now, simply because it tastes so good.

This pomegranate juice, mint and whole grain mustard marinade gives a spicy, herbal flavor to the lamb. Pomegranate juice is easy to find in most markets today. I use the Pom brand. This quick entree has been a life-saver when I've been in a hurry and wanted something a bit out of the ordinary.

Many people disagree about what the best-flavored lamb is. I tend to be an American lamb fan for its young, sweet flavor. Others prefer the stronger flavor of New Zealand or Australian lamb. I leave it up to you to decide which to choose. I have used the New Zealand lamb for this recipe with great results because the marinade is bursting with sweet herb flavor and tempers the strong, slightly gamey taste.

Watch the meat carefully as it grills -- it can burn from the sugars in the marinade. I favor the rib chop but this sauce would be equally good with the loin lamb chop too. And if you are not a fan of lamb don't worry. This marinade and sauce is a perfect match with meaty sea bass, shrimp, scallops or chicken.

This is also lovely to serve at a small dinner party. The lamb chops look very elegant when they are served with their ends crisscrossed. Begin with a tossed green salad with colorful vegetables. Serve the chops with grilled or roasted baby potatoes and green beans. Serve with an Argentine malbec or a California zinfandel.


GRILLED LAMB CHOPS WITH POMEGRANATE MINT MARINADE

SERVES: 4 to 6

MARINADE:

  • 1/2 cup pomegranate juice (Pom recommended)

  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons whole grain mustard

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint leaves, plus whole leaves for garnish

  • 2 teaspoons agave syrup

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

  • 8 to 12 thick lamb chops, up to 3/4 inch thick

  • Pomegranate seeds, for garnish

1. In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, combine all of the marinade ingredients and process until completely blended and smooth. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Set aside.

2. Put the lamb chops in a large plastic lock-top bag and pour in the marinade. Turn the lamb in the bag to coat it evenly. Close the bag and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 8 hours, turning once or twice.

3. Preheat a barbecue grill or an oiled grill pan to medium-high-heat. Remove the lamb chops from the marinade and grill for 5 to 7 minutes per side for medium rare, depending on thickness of the meat.

4. Place the lamb chops on serving plates, criss-crossing the ends for a pretty presentation. Garnish with mint leaves and or pomegranate seeds. Serve immediately.

Advance Preparation: May be prepared up to 8 hours in advance through Step 2, covered and refrigerated

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Diane Rossen Worthington is an authority on new American cooking. She is the author of 18 cookbooks, including "Seriously Simple Holidays," and also a James Beard award-winning radio show host.

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