Australia is sometimes referred to as the land down under, but I think it would be just as appropriate to call it the land of abundant milk and honey. After all, Australia has a reputable and long-thriving dairy industry, and it produces some of the world’s best honey in territories like Tasmania and Kangaroo Island.
Whenever I’m in Australia, I always enjoy going to the market and buying fresh fruits, vegetables and meat. One of the dishes I cooked recently while staying in my brother’s house in Sydney is braised lamb chops, which I coated with olive oil and herbs then browned in a skillet to caramelize the meat and the layer of fat around the sides.
I then cooked the lamb in the oven along with the drippings in the skillet. The verdict from everyone at the table? Yummy!
Here’s the recipe for readers to try.
Herbed Braised Lamb Chops
(Four to five servings)
8-10 pcs lamb chops or lamb shoulder chops or lamb loin
Salt for seasoning
½ c extra virgin olive oil, divided
½ c mixed herbs (rosemary, thyme, sage, oregano)
To serve: Mint sauce or mint jelly (store-bought)
Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Season lamb on both sides with salt. Place about ¼ c olive oil in a shallow dish. Dip each lamb chop in the olive oil then sprinkle both sides of the lamb with the mixed herbs.
Heat remaining olive oil in a skillet and brown the chops on both sides, around two to three minutes each side. If desired, brown also the fatty sides by standing each chop on its fatty side in the hot oil for several seconds (you may need a pair of kitchen tongs to hold the lamb chops upright).
Transfer the browned chops to a baking dish or roasting pan and pour in all the pan drippings. Cook in preheated oven for 10-15 minutes or until of desired doneness (medium rare, medium well, etc.)
Serve immediately, with mint sauce if desired.
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The thicker the lamb chops, the longer they take to cook. Hence, for medium-well doneness, you may need to cook thick lamb chops a bit longer.
For the herbs, you can also use Herbs de Provence, if available—a combination of various dried herbs that may include rosemary, thyme, sage, marjoram, parsley, tarragon and lavender.
Use good-quality olive oil, preferably extra virgin olive oil.
Mint sauce or mint jelly is available in bottles in big supermarkets and in specialty shops.