Lamb Chops with Cilantro-Mint Sauce

Wolfgang Puck is a legend among food lovers and cooks. His food is always well thought out and tastes at least as good as it looks and sounds on the menu. Here is an adaptation of a lamb chop he made popular at his restaurants. The cilantro-mint marinade flavors the lamb chops and doubles as a finishing sauce for the grilled or pan-seared meat, lending a colorful finish to the plate. The clever cook could also use the marinade and sauce on grilled shrimp, scallops, or sea bass.–Diane Rossen Worthington

LC Weeknight Mayhem Note

This implausibly easy, elegant dinner is just as lovely if you forego the time-consuming marinade. Instead, just season the chops with salt and pepper before cooking and then drizzle the finished chops with the aromatic green-flecked sauce before serving. All you need to do is blitz the sauce in the blender while the chops are resting. It’s that simple. Honest.

Lamb Chops with Cilantro-Mint Sauce Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 10 M
  • 30 M
  • Serves 4

Ingredients

  • For the cilantro-mint marinade and sauce
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup canola or other mild vegetable oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • For the lamb chops
  • 8 rib lamb chops, up to 3/4-inch thick
  • Fresh mint or cilantro leaves for garnish (optional)

Directions

  • Make the cilantro-mint sauce
  • 1. In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, combine all of the marinade ingredients and process until completely blended and smooth. Taste and adjust the seasonings accordingly.
  • 2. Place the lamb chops in a resealable plastic bag and pour in 1/4 cup of the marinade. Turn the lamb in the bag to coat it evenly. Close the bag and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 4 hours, turning once or twice. Refrigerate the remaining unused marinade, er, sauce.
  • Grill the lamb chops
  • 3. Prepare a grill or an oiled grill pan over medium-high heat. Transfer the lamb to the grill or the grill pan, discarding the used marinade. Cook the lamb for 5 to 7 minutes per side for medium-rare, depending on the thickness. Transfer the lamb to a cutting board and let rest for a few minutes.
  • 4. Place the lamb chops on serving plates, criss-crossing the bone ends for a slightly prettier presentation. Spoon the remaining refrigerated sauce over the top and, if desired, garnish with mint or cilantro leaves.
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Testers Choice

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Testers Choice
Dan Kraan

Jul 15, 2010

I tried these both ways, one without marinating and one with about an hour of marinating. The lamb chops do benefit from a bit of marinating, but the sauce is so great that there’s really no need to wait if you don’t want to. The mint and cilantro sauce is tempered by the honey and rice wine vinegar so that you get a sweetish, smooth, cooling sauce that perfectly complements the grilled lamb.

NOTE: The recipe produces a fair amount of sauce, so you could make two racks worth of lamb chops. When cutting racks of lamb yourself, the thickness is going to vary. This recipe would still work if they were thicker—even double rib chops would be spectacular done this way.

Testers Choice
Julie Dreyfoos

Jul 15, 2010

Lamb with mint is one of my favorite combinations. This grilled lamb dish is easy to fix and simple enough for a weeknight meal, yet perfect for entertaining. The marinade is a perfect blend of mint, cilantro, ginger, and honey, with just a little bit of acid from the rice wine vinegar. I chose to marinate it for about 3 hours. You won’t want to leave the lamb on the grill for too long, as it cooks up very quickly.

Testers Choice
Sofia Reino

Jul 15, 2010

I have always been a purist, grilling lamb chops with just coarse sea salt and dried herbs, such as herbs de Provence. But I wanted to try a different one and oh, am I glad I did. What is nice about this recipe is that you can create the marinade way ahead of time, and the longer the lamb stays in it, the tastier it will be. As we were grilling, the smell was amazing. The mint and cilantro mix was pretty powerful yet was nicely balanced with the lamb itself. Lamb chops can sometimes seem a tad heavy given their natural fat content, but the aroma of the herbs really counter-balanced this. I must say, this absolutely converted me from the usual way I prepared lamb.

Testers Choice
Leanne Abe

Jul 15, 2010

I absolutely love lamb chops, but I usually stick with a simple seasoning because the flavor of the lamb is what makes it so great. However, this marinade/sauce is going into my rotation from now on! It’s so easy to blend, and the mint and cilantro give it a fresh twist. The flavors don’t really penetrate the lamb too much in an hour, but that’s what the sauce is for. Because the chops are already sliced, they grill up super fast. My only gripe is that two chops is not a serving in our house! I can easily eat three or four by myself.

Testers Choice
Melissa Maedgen

Jul 15, 2010

I really loved the cilantro, mint, and ginger combination with the grilled lamb. If your market doesn’t have rib chops, you can buy a rack and cut the chops yourself, which is what I did. The only problem with this is the spacing of the ribs—the thickness of the chops varies from one end of the rack to the other, so you’ll get thick chops from one end, and thin ones from the other. I had to adjust the timing a bit for the chops that were especially thick or thin. The next time I make this, I’ll reduce the oil in the portion of the marinade used as a sauce, adding a bit of salted water, as in an Argentine chimichurri sauce.

Testers Choice
Brenda Carleton

Jul 15, 2010

Lamb is one of my (many) weaknesses. I have tons of grilled lamb recipes, and this one will be moved to the top of the list. I marinated the lamb for 8 hours to allow the flavours to really permeate the meat. The honey and vinegar add lots of depth, and the sweetness and acidity go incredibly well with the lamb and mint. The ginger adds a bit of heat and character, while the pretty herbs add yet another layer of flavour. The final product is an impressive, high-end, restaurant-quality dish. My husband, not a lamb lover, is now being won over! I can just see him requesting this over and over and over…


Comments
Comments
  1. I cannot wait to try this! You can’t go wrong with the lamb and mint combo.

  2. Renee Schettler Rossi, LC Editor-in-Chief says:

    I keep a photocopy of this recipe in my kitchen. At all times. It bears a bewitching sweet-tart lilt, an impressive enough look, and a relatively hassle-free practicality given there are no hard-to-find ingredients, fussy techniques, or time-consuming cleanup. As a happy consequence, I never have to compromise taste when I need a simple, go-to recipe. It fancies up not just lamb but shrimp, salt-baked fish, even grilled or takeout rotisserie chicken.

  3. Tonia says:

    Give me lamb chops any day of the week! It’s my favourite of all meats and this recipe looks like a winner! The marinade appeals to me a lot and I will definitely give it a try but will only add the salt just before I cook the chops. Salt draws out the water of the meat and can sometimes leave it dry when cooked. Has anyone else heard of this?

    Thanks…

    • Renee Schettler Rossi, LC Editor-in-Chief says:

      This recipe is my go-to lamb recipe, Tonia, so I can vouch for it, with or without the marinade! And yes, we’re very familiar with the notion of salt drawing out moisture. However, in a marinade situation, I dare say this is preferable, as it facilitates a sort of osmosis in which the lamb’s excess moisture is drawn out and the marinade solution is drawn in…does that make sense to any of you more science-minded folks?

  4. Just to let you know that this dish made the list of the 25 mouthwatering dishes from different blogs in From Brazil To You…Cheers!

    • David Leite says:

      Denise, why thank you for telling us. Such great company. I’ve added a link to your comment so that all our readers can see the 24 other great recipes. Happy New Year!

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