Published March 1, 1997.
These cheap, funny-looking chops deliver good flavor, are less exacting to cook than more expensive loin or rib chops, and make for a speedy braise for weeknight dinners.
When buying lamb, many people turn to the tried, true, and expensive rib or loin chop. The oddly shaped, much less expensive shoulder chop rarely gets a second look.
We wanted to come up with a tried-and-true method of preparing shoulder lamp chops.
Grilling the chops from medium/medium-rare to well-done rendered their fat, produced a nicely caramelized crust, and left the meat both tender and juicy. Broiling, though not the spectacular success that grilling was, produced a very serviceable result and offered the advantage having juices collect in the broiling pan. They can be poured over the meat as a simple sauce. Because braising is used for tough cuts of meat and therefore implies long, slow cooking, we tried it a couple of times--with poor results--until we realized that shoulder chops are not tough cuts of meat; if they were, we wouldn't have had such success with grilling or broiling. Consequently, we tried a much shorter braise--just enough to cook the meat--at 15 or 20 minutes. It worked. The lamb was tender, and the much-anticipated sauce we made with the deglazing liquid were delicious.list of recipes