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Peppered lamb chops

Peppered lamb chops
Los Angeles Times

Forget arugula. The true symbol of how far American cooking has come in the last few decades is black pepper. When I went to restaurant school in 1983, our bible of ingredients, "Wenzel's Menu Maker," listed only two varieties, Malabar ... Read more

Total time: 25 minutes plus time for chops to temper, about 1 hour | Serves 4
  • 8 rib lamb chops, about 1 1/4 -inch thick, trimmed of excess fat
  • Salt
  • 1/2 cup panko
  • 4 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 4 tablespoons canola or peanut oil

Step 1Bring the lamb chops to room temperature so they will cook quickly and evenly. Season them on both sides with salt to taste.

Step 2Combine the panko, black pepper and thyme in a shallow dish.

Step 3Heat two large, heavy skillets, preferably cast-iron, over medium-high heat.

Step 4When the skillets are very hot, add 2 tablespoons of oil to each and swirl to coat the bottom. Press the chops firmly into the pepper mixture on both sides to coat evenly and thickly. Place the chops in the skillets and cook 4 minutes. Turn the chops over and carefully pour off the fat from the pans.

Step 5Continue cooking for 3 minutes, then turn the chops on their sides to sear the fat for 3 minutes. Return to the second side down and cook until the chops are done to taste, about 2 minutes longer for rare. The crust will be very brown.

Note: Ask your butcher to cut the chops 1 1/4 -inch thick. They may be single- or double-bone chops depending on the size of the lamb. You or the butcher can trim the excess fat; leave a little for flavor and so that the chops don't cook too quickly.


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