Lamb is not as popular in Mexico as pork, chicken and fish, but it is used for festivals, and particularly at Easter.
This lamb dish rocks and is best cooked on a charcoal BBQ. If you have a gas BBQ, add a small tray under your wire rack filled with hickory pieces to give this dish a fresh smoked flavor.
What You Need
1 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
1 cup of canola or olive oil
8 medium fresh garlic cloves, peeled and whole
2 jalapeno peppers seeded and stem cut out
16 lamb chops
2 tsp coarse salt
2 tsp coarse ground pepper
4 tblsp chipotle oil
4 tblsp cilantro oil
Step One (two to three days in advance)
Put 1/4 cup olive oil in a glass bowl and add chopped chipotle peppers. Put 1/4 cup olive oil in a separate glass bowl and add 1/4 cup fresh cilantro. Cover and let flavors infuse in the oil for two to three days. Remove cilantro and chipotle when ready to use.
• 1 Cup fresh cilantro
• 1/2 Cup canola oil
• 8 garlic cloves
• 4 scallions or shallots
• jalapeño peppers, seeded
Puree all ingredients in a blender until smooth.
• 16 loin lamb chops, about 1.5 – 2 inches thick (2 per person)
• Hickory wood chips
• 2 Tablespoons kosher salt
• 2 Tablespoons cracked pepper
• Chipotle oil and cilantro oils
Arrange chops in a large glass baking dish. Pour pureed mixture from Step Two evenly over chops, cover and chill 2 hours, turning occasionally to spread marinade over the lamb chops.
Soak wood chips in water for 30 minutes.
Start your BBQ and add wood chips prior to putting lamb chops on the grilled. Remove chops from marinade and discard marinade. Sprinkle chops evenly with the salt and pepper. Grill lamb chops for 6 – 8 minutes on each side or to the desired level of doneness.
Drizzle chops with Chipotle and Cilantro Oils and garnish with fresh mint or cilantro. Serve.
Love this recipe? Check out more Mexican recipes that we love from Chef Mario and Chef David Sterling’s award winning cookbook! They have received two James Beard Foundation Awards for this glorious local resource.