Whole roasted lamb (cordero asado) is a typical Christmas Eve dish in much of Spain. If there aren't too many people eating, half a lamb (split longways, nose to tail) may be roasted instead. Unfortunately, I have not had a chance to cook a whole lamb, or even half of one, so I made lamb chops instead.
When Esperanza, my mother-in-law, sees this post, she's going say, <<¡Qué va! ¡Eso es de cada dia!>> ("Get out of here! That's everyday food!")
True, lamb chops are ordinary fare in Spain, but I wanted to do a post on grilled lamb chops anyway. They're simple, easy, and very Spanish. For a future holiday season I will roast the whole lamb. For now, it's lamb chops, chuletas de cordero.
You can cook these in a heavy skillet (I like cast iron), in which case your chops would be a la parrilla. Or you can grill them. Either way, they're great.
For this post I did them on a kamado (Big Green Egg).
When I grill or pan-fry chops, I turn them a total of 4 times. In other words, I quickly cook the chops twice on each side. This ensures the chops are cooked evenly.
The chops are then allowed to rest for 8 to 10 minutes on a warmed plate. During this time the chops are still cooking inside, so the rest is essential.
These cooking times are for chops about 1 inch thick.
Here's how to do it:
Put however many lamb chops you want on a plate. Sprinkle them with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper. If you're cooking them in a skillet, rub them down with a little olive oil.
Preheat your grill or your pan to medium-high, about 450 degrees.
When the grill or pan is hot, put on the lamb chops.
Let them cook 2 minutes.
Turn the chops, and let them cook 2 minutes more.
Turn the chops again, and cook them--you guessed it--2 minutes.
Turn the chops one last time, and let them cook 2 minutes.
Got it? That's four turns, two minutes per turn, for a total of eight minutes cooking time. This is for medium rare lamb chops. If you like your chops well done, you might add 30 seconds extra per turn, for a total cooking time of 10 minutes.
Now remove the lamb chops from the grill or pan and place them in a warmed cazuela or plate. Cover them with foil and let them rest for 10 minutes.
When the ten minutes are up, your lamb chops are ready to eat.