Sunday, April 11, 2021
Home Recipe Reviews Meat & Poultry Lamb Shoulder Chops with Smoky Red Pepper-Shallot Butter

Lamb Shoulder Chops with Smoky Red Pepper-Shallot Butter

I love lamb in almost any form, and I’ve been craving lamb chops lately. I knew I had a couple in the freezer, so I started searching for a recipe. Something a little different than the usual lemon, oregano, or rosemary. This Lamb Shoulder Chops with Smoky Red Pepper-Shallot Butter recipe didn’t look different at first glance, but I’m glad I took the time to read over the recipe. It’s got the usual oregano, but it’s also full of flavors I don’t usually have with lamb. But I do love steak with a good compound butter, and lamb chops are kind of similar. It made me curious, and I had to give it a try.

Lamb shoulder stands up well to the Spanish-influenced spice rub of garlic, oregano, cumin, and smoked paprika in this recipe. Serve with crusty bread to sop up the buttery sauce.

Recipe Author: Molly Stevens at Fine Cooking
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The Ingredients

As I mentioned, I had the lamb shoulder chops in my freezer. I also had most of the other ingredients on hand, leaving me to pick up the fresh shallot, oregano, and peppers.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the piquillo peppers, so I went with roasted red peppers. From what I have read, they are similar to the sweetness piquillo peppers without their heat. I like how food, so I was a little disappointed.

Lamb Shoulder Chops with Smoky Red Pepper-Shallot Butter Ingredients
Lamb shoulder chops, roasted red peppers, extra virgin olive oil, butter, shallot, sherry vinegar, cumin seeds, smoked paprika, salt, oregano, and garlic

The Process

I have to admit that I was a little worried about the difficulty of this recipe when I saw it was from Fine Cooking. That name just makes me think ‘complicated’, but good food doesn’t have to be complicated. This recipe sure wasn’t. It didn’t take too long, either:

  • 19 minutes to prep
  • 1 hour to marinate
  • 6 minutes to cook
  • 1 hour 25 minutes total

It does require a couple of special tools, though. A mortar and pestle is needed to make the garlic-spice rub. I have to confess that I minced the garlic before I added it to the mortar. That did a lot of the work involved in making the garlic into a paste.

The next item you’ll need is a spice grinder to grind up the toasted cumin seeds. You could use regular ground cumin, but the flavor just isn’t nearly as good, trust me. BTW, I recommend toasting the cumin seeds first so they have a few minutes to cool before you grind them.

Rubbing the garlic paste on the lamb chops
Rubbing the garlic paste on the lamb chops

The process of making the lamb chops and compound butter was pretty straightforward. First, make the garlic paste, rub the lamb chops, and let them marinate for 1-8 hours (I marinated them for 1 hour).

Start the compound butter toward the end of marinating the lamb. One thing I discovered was the warmed sherry vinegar helps to soften the butter. Just be careful not to heat it too much and melt the butter.

Actually cooking the lamb chops wasn’t unusual–just sear them in a cast iron pan and turn after a few minutes. The real work was done at this point, and this part was very simple. I did have a little trouble getting the butter to thoroughly melt on the cooked chops, though, so you might want to tent yours with aluminum foil to help the process along.

So how was it?

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These lamb chops feature a prominent flavor of toasted cumin and garlic. It works wonderfully with the lamb! Unfortunately, the compound butter wasn't as good. The roasted red peppers really didn't add any flavor, and I found myself wishing I had found the piquillo peppers. The sherry vinegar added too much of a malt vinegar-like flavor that didn't pair well with the lamb. I think the butter would have been much better without it. This recipe was very easy to make, however, and I had it ready in less than half an hour (not counting time to marinate). Overall, this recipe was one I liked but didn't love. I might try it again if I can find the piquillo peppers, but I will skip the vinegar if I do.
I'm Candice, and I'm The Hungry Pinner. I created this blog to share my love for cooking and my experiences with the MANY recipes I've found on Pinterest over the years. Join me as I blog my way through those recipes to find out if they are worth trying yourself.


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