Thursday, September 17, 2009

Lebanese Lamb Chops + Bulgar with Herbs

For you shrewd observers out there, no, that's not lamb. It's goat, but this recipe works equally well with either meat, and I just so happen to have a lot of young goat chilling away in my freezer, sidled up to my 35+ lbs of beef bones I scored from a local butcher shop that, unfortunately, is going out of business. Oh, do I have plans...

But back to the goat. I still haven't decided if I prefer goat curry to grilled goat, but the seasoning in this recipe just might sway me to the grilled side (which is crazy considering how much I adore curry). I generally don't eat more than a couple of bites of meat with my meals (unless it's dispersed in small pieces throughout a dish, like, shall we say, curry), but I ate 2 of these chops. Due in great part to cinnamon, the spice blend has a warming effect on your sinuses, leaving a pleasant perfume lingering in your head long after your last bite. The minty/lemony/sweet hit from the accompanying salad adds a nice final touch. Serve this alongside a savory bulgar salad balanced with mint, cilantro, lemon, and scallions, and you've got a wonderful pick-me-up meal to stave off the mid-week schlumpies.

Lebanese Lamb Chops

2 large lemons
1 tsp sugar
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp baharat*
2 lbs rib lamb chops
2 heads bibb lettuce, torn into large pieces
1 1/2 cups mint leaves

1. Prepare grill for cooking over medium-hot charcoal (medium-high for gas).

2. Grate 2 tsp zest from 1 lemon. Trim ends of both lemons, then stand lemons on a cut side and cut peel, including pith, from lemons with a sharp paring knife. Discard peel and cut lemon segments free from membranes, then cut segments crosswise into 1/4" pieces. Toss segments gently with sugar in a small bowl and stir in 2 Tbsp oil. Let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes.

3. Mince and mash garlic to a paste with 1/2 tsp salt, then stir together with baharat, grated zest, remaining oil, and 1/2 tsp pepper. Rub into lamb chops.

4. Toss lettuce with and mint with lemon mixture.

5. Grill chops, turning once, about 6 minutes for medium-rare. Transfer to a plate and let rest, loosely covered, 5 minutes. Serve chops over salad.

*Baharat can be found in most Indian markets, or you can make your own by grinding 1 tsp each of whole cloves, cumin seeds, Maras or Aleppo pepper (or, if you can't find either of these, a pinch of cayenne is better than nothing), and a 3" cinnamon stick in an electric spice grinder until finely ground.

Bulgar with Herbs

This salad is just as good (if not better) after sitting in the fridge. Even though I'm only cooking for 2, I make the full recipe and use the leftovers for lunches through the week.

1 cup bulgar
2 cups boiling-hot water
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1 cup chopped scallions
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup chopped mint
1 Tbsp roasted almond oil or olive oil
1 tsp fresh lemon juice, or to taste
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

1. Put bulgar in a bowl, then pour water over it and cover with plastic wrap. Let stand until tender, about 10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a small heavy skillet over medium heat until hot and cook almonds until golden, about 1 minute.

3. Drain bulgar in a medium mesh sieve, then return to bowl and stir in scallions, herbs, oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and almonds. Season with more salt and lemon juice if desired. Serve at room temperature.


  1. That looks great! I do not make a lot of goat of lamb in the house but I like to order when I'm out. I need to give this a try!

  2. Ha ha ha!! You said "schlumpies."

    We visited a tiny little Indian food store just around the corner. They had more flour than I knew existed and ground goat. It was frozen.

  3. Yeah, I was going to text you first and ask if it was ok that I link you but I knew you probably wouldn't mind the "extra publicity". Heehee!