Lamb Chops are a festive holiday meal! Even though they may seem fancy, making them at home is quite simple! Pair your lamb chops with a quick pan sauce made with butter, shallots, and fresh thyme, and serve alongside garlic smashed potatoes. It’s the perfect holiday meal!
Thanks to our friends at the American Lamb Board for sponsoring this post! All opinions are my own.
The holidays are upon us (where did any of the time go this year??) and if you’re like me, you’re probably contemplating your menu! May I propose these Lamb Chops? They’re surprisingly quick to make at home, they’re crazy delicious, and they pair so well with a simple side like these garlic smashed potatoes! Let’s dive in.
First up, get your potatoes going. Boil them for about 12 minutes first, so they are tender. Next, add them to an oiled baking sheet, and smash them down with the bottom of a bowl or glass (this is some fun stress relief!). Drizzle them with a little olive oil mixed with minced garlic & fresh thyme, and give them a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper. Pop these in the oven, and let’s get started on the lamb!
First, rub your lamb loin chops with a simple spice rub – we’re just using fresh thyme, salt, and pepper. Easy peasy! One tip I always share is to make sure you buy locally produced lamb – it’ll ensure that you’re getting the freshest cut and best flavor possible. And, it helps support our local producers & farmers. Win win!
Melt some butter in a large skillet, and add your seasoned lamb chops. Cook about 4-6 minutes, until deeply browned and then flip. Use a meat thermometer to monitor them while they cook on the second side. We’re looking for 145 degrees F for a medium rare chop, 160 degrees F for one that’s medium, and 170 for one that’s well.
Once the lamb chops are done, set them aside on a plate and tent with foil to keep them warm. Get your pan sauce going! In the drippings left behind by the lamb, add a minced shallot, some garlic and some fresh thyme. Sautee until softened. (Also, how satisfying is it to sautee things in a pan to make a sauce?! I’m ready for my chef of the year award, heh.)
Next, add a knob of butter and a splash of lemon juice. Cook the sauce for a minute or two to help it thicken, and you’re done! See how easy this all was?
Return the lamb to the pan and spoon the sauce over the top of the lamb chops.
Serve immediately, with our garlic smashed potatoes from earlier! If they come out of the oven a ways before you finish up the lamb chops, never fear – just pop them back in to warm them back up a bit. This is why I have us start with the potatoes – we can reheat them a little more easily than the lamb (the potatoes won’t dry out from a little re-heating, but we don’t want to try out our nice cut of meat!)
For help sourcing locally-produced lamb, visit American Lamb’s website and use their “where to buy” page – linked here.
American Lamb is running #TheLambChallenge to celebrate the season! Check out their page (@fanoflamb) on Instagram and Facebook, and leave a comment letting them know what lamb recipe you’ll enjoy for the holidays, to be entered to win great prizes.
Happy cooking, friends!
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Lamb Chops with Shallot & Thyme Pan Sauce and Garlic Smashed Potatoes
Lamb Chops are easier to make at home than you might think! These come together quickly, and are finished with a delicious pan sauce. Serve them with an easy side of garlic smashed potatoes for the perfect holiday meal.
For the Garlic Smashed Potatoes
- 24 ounces baby golden potatoes, rinsed & dried
- olive oil
- 3-4 large cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp fresh thyme, minced
- salt + pepper
For the Lamb Chops
- 4 medium lamb loin chops
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp fresh thyme, finely minced
- pinch of pepper
- 2 tbsp salted butter
For the Pan Sauce
- 1 medium shallot, minced
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1/2 cup vegetable or chicken broth or white wine
- 2 tbsp salted butter
- 1/2 tsp lemon juice
- pinch lemon zest
- salt + pepper to taste
Prep: Get your ingredients out and ready. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F. Get out your pan to cook the lamb in. Lightly oil a baking sheet with olive oil for the potatoes.
Season the Lamb: Mix together the salt, thyme, and pepper. Rub this all over the lamb chops. Let them rest at room temperature for 5 minutes (while you prepare the potatoes, below).
Start the Potatoes: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Boil potatoes for 15 minutes. They'll be fork tender. Drain them and transfer to the prepared pan. Smash each one down with the bottom of a bowl or glass. Add 2 tbsp olive oil to a small bowl with the garlic and thyme. Mix together, and drizzle over the smashed potatoes. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Cook for 16 - 22 minutes. The potatoes should be deeply golden brown and crispy on their undersides. If these are done before the lamb, set aside and cover with foil or a clean kitchen towel to keep warm.
Cook the Lamb Chops: Once the potatoes are in the oven, start on the lamb chops. Melt 2 tbsp of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the lamb chops, and cook 5-6 minutes - they'll be deeply browned on the bottom. Flip them over, and use a meat thermometer to monitor their temperature as they finish cooking. Cook 4-6 minutes more. We're looking for 145 degrees F for medium rare chops, 160 for medium, and 170 for well done. Make sure to stick the meat thermometer into the thickest part of the meat, and stick if halfway through the meat - don't let it touch any bones or the pan, for an accurate reading.
Once they're done, set aside on a clean plate and cover with foil to keep warm.
Make the Sauce: Don't clean out the pan. Add the shallot, garlic, and sprigs of fresh thyme to the drippings in the pan, and cook for 1-2 minutes, until the shallot is softened. Add the broth (or white wine) and stir it in. Cook 2 more minutes to let the liquid reduce a bit. Add 2 more tablespoons of butter, along with the lemon juice & zest. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook this for 1-2 minutes to let the butter melt and the flavors meld together.
Finish: Return the lamb chops to the pan and spoon the sauce over them. You can gently reheat the potatoes in the oven if they've cooled down too much while you finished up the lamb and sauce.
Serve + Store: Enjoy immediately! Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
Note: I wrote this recipe to serve just two people, for sake of practicality with smaller gatherings & cancelled gatherings this year. You can absolutely scale the recipe up as needed! But, don't crowd the pan when you cook your lamb chops - use a large pot or pan, or cook them in two batches or in two separate pans if doing more than 4.
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