The boyfriend and I have been grilling up a storm these last couple of weeks. We’ve been experimenting with different flavors and marinades for spare ribs, juicy lucy’s (a personal favorite of my guy), whole branzino, and lamb chops. Lately we’ve really been into adding a little spice and heat to all things grilled and one of our favorite dishes in the recent are these grilled lamb chops, brushed with a generous helping of harissa. If you don’t have harissa or don’t want to whip any up, feel free to substitute it with your favorite hot sauce. There’s just something about the flavors of lamb and heat-spice that go so well together.
If you’re novice to lamb and grilling then I HIGHLY recommend starting out with lamb chops. They’re totally foolproof and grill up in minutes! You’ll feel super accomplished without having to go through too much fuss. I love how meaty lamb chops are, but that they’re not as overwhelming as an entire steak. Something that is also helpful is to think about how you cook your pork chops when you’re grilling lamb chops, because they’re pretty similar in the way they cook up. (i.e. time, temperature, etc.).
Today we’re serving these chops up with a fresh stone fruit salsa. I love the combination of the sweet apricots and the spicy Serrano chilies, especially paired with the luscious chops. I think they balance each other out quite nicely. The honey is included in the salsa to help cut the heat from both the chops and salsa itself and if you can’t handle lots of heat, then the honey will really help. We put everything on a bed of pearled couscous just to round out the dish into a complete meal. I basically made a pearled couscous pilaf with pearled couscous, chopped shallots, slivered almonds, and chicken stock. Then I tossed in some lemon juice, dried cranberries and seasoned it with salt and pepper. Super simple. ☺
If you’re looking for a low maintenance, but totally impressive and delicious dish to serve friends and family this summer, surprise them with these harissa marinated lamb chops with apricot-serrano chutney! Enjoy! xx, Jenny
P.S. Remember that the American Lamb Board is hosting a super fun photo contest for a chance to win a trip for two to California. It’s so easy!
Harissa Grilled Lamb Chops with a Fresh Apricot-Serrano Salsa
Serves 4 to 6
fresh apricot-serrano chutney:
6 ripe apricots, seeded and diced
1 serrano, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon honey, warmed
2 tablespoons mined cilantro
1 tablespoon minced mint leaves
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
juice of 1 lime
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup harissa
2 tablespoons coconut oil, plus more for brushing onto the grill (can sub vegetable oil)
8 lamb chops, room temperature
salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat grill or grill-pan to medium-high heat.
2. Salsa: Place all ingredients into a mixing bowl and toss together until well combined. Season with salt and pepper, gently toss together, cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours.
3. In a small mixing bowl whisk together the harissa and coconut oil. Brush mixture onto both sides of the chops and generously season with salt and pepper. Allow chops to sit for 15 minutes.
4. Brush grill top with oil and grill chops (about 1 inch apart) for 4 to 5 minutes on each side.
5. Remove from heat when the chops’ internal temperature reaches between 130-135 degrees and let rest for 5 to 7 minutes for medium doneness. Lightly season with salt and pepper. Serve with apricot-serrano salsa.