Sunday, September 14, 2008

Recipe : Pepper Crusted Lamb Chops

This is a recipe you can make as spicy or as mild as you like.

Its very simple to make and just needs advance marination.

You can try this with other meats too and make it with bone-in or bone-less meat

Pepper is supposed to be a good spice to be eaten during the hot months in humid climates and is consumed in large quantities in Kerala and the Konkan coast to some extent.

1 kilo lamb/mutton/beef/pork chops
little less than half a liter of yoghurt/curd
salt to taste
as much whole black pepper as you can handle. I used a handful and a half

Run the whole black pepper in a coffee grinder or the powdering attachment of your food procesor/mixi
You don't want to powder the pepper. You just want it cracked, so it can release its flavour.
Mix this cracked pepper into the yoghurt and add salt to the mix.
If the yoghurt isn't sour at all, then add the juice of half a lemon to the marinade mix.

Tenderise the meat, using a meat mallet. Be careful not to splinter the bone.
Apply the marinade on the meat. Mix well, while keeping the meat chops intact.
Keep in the fridge for at least 8 hours. 24 hours or longer, gives a more robust flavour.

Pan grill the chops or barbeque them. If barbequeing them, be careful the peppers dont shoot up your nose :)

To pan grill them, put just a few drops of oil in the pan (lamb/mutton/pork chops will release a lot of fat)
When the oil is hot, you can (optionally) add a few strands of rosemary for a hint of a mixed flavour.
Immediately drop the chops into the pan and sear both sides before the meat starts releasing liquids. Then continue to cook till done to desired levels.

You can cook it closed, if you like your meat well done (it will cook faster closed) or open. Keep adding more marinade as it dries up.

Serve with pasta or garlic bread and veggies.

Tip: After taking out the meat from the pan, drain the oil as much as you can. There will be a lot of good tasty stuff (bits of marinade and pepper) stuck to the pan. Fry some cooked and dry rice(should not be freshly made rice that is sticky or moist)in these bits for a fantastic pilaf/pulao side dish. Or store the fried rice for another meal.

Option: You can use less salt in the marinade and dredge the marinated chops in a bit of sea salt (rock) before frying for salt and pepper crusted chops.
I wouldn't do this because my salt tolerance is low and I hate an explosion of salt in my mouth, but I know it tastes good.

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