Have you ever had a Lamb Saratoga chop? Neither had I. But they looked so pretty in the butcher’s case at Whole Foods that I splurged for a fancy Saturday night dinner. According to this site, a Saratoga roll “refers to a boneless center lamb roast obtained from the blade portion of the lamb shoulder and is also known as a chuck eye lamb roast.”
Now that we got the lamb anatomy lesson out of the way, I can tell you what it tasted like. My mom was right on when she said it was like a lamb filet mignon. The chops were small, very lean and super tender. Almost melt in your mouth tender. And since they were so lean, they didn’t have as strong a game-y flavor as most lamb chops.
I grilled the chops simply with a little salt and pepper, then topped them off with a little mint gremolata. Gremolata is just a fancy word for chopped herbs, garlic and lemon zest. The mint and lemon were an extremely refreshing counterpoint to the lamb, and the raw garlic added just the right amount of bite.
I served the chops with a simple heirloom tomato salad and Pepita Rice Pilaf. It was pretty much the perfect meal for a summer night and a great way to officially kick off the grilling season.
Lamb with Mint Gremolata
4 lamb saratoga chops, or same quantity lamb loin chops (about 1.5 lbs.)
1 tbsp. salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 cup chopped mint leaves
3 large cloves garlic
zest of 1 lemon
2 tbsp. olive oil
Preheat your grill to medium-high. Sprinkle the chops with salt and pepper on both sides then place them on the grill. Let the chops cook for 7 minutes on each side, or until they’re charred on the outside and quite pink on the inside.
Since the thickness of your chops and the heat of your grill will vary, check them often. They should be springy when you poke them with tongs, but not too springy. (Hope that helps!)
While your chops are cooking, make the gremolata by combining the ingredients in a small bowl.
When your chops are ready, serve them with a big spoonful of gremolata over them.
Makes 4 servings.