With Australia day just around the corner we are grilling up some delicious lamb chops here at AnotherFoodBloggers house. Served with creamy homemade labneh & spicy harissa this is one dish that you are gonna make again and again. Why not head to your local store or butcher, pick up some lamb and make yourself some easy grilled lamb chops
Why I Love This Lamb Chop Recipe
Multiple reasons - easy to make, delicious to eat and great for feeding a crowd too. Let's face it there is nothing more Aussie than a BBQ and nothing better than either prawns or grilled lamb on the barbie. This recipe screams out for a group of friends hanging out in the Aussie sun, drinking beer or wine and chewing on a perfectly cooked grilled lamb chops.
The labneh adds a lovely creamy cooling element to the spicy homemade harissa. Literally grill up the meat and dunk them like a lollipop into the labneh harissa mixture -what's not to love?
How To Grill Lamb Chops
Aside from how tasty lamb chops are the quick cook time is probably the best thing about them. You get the delicious on the bone flavour cooked in a matter of minutes. Bonus points it's ok to use your hands to eat them too!
Start by bringing your meat up to temperature by removing from the fridge 20-30 minutes prior to cooking, brush or rub them with a little oil and season generously with salt. Once your grill pan or BBQ is up to temp (just starting to smoke if you are using a grill pan or about 200c if using a BBQ) lay the lamb chops down and grill for about 2 minutes per side and about 1 minute on the fat cap side. The trick is, and I know it goes against normal weber BBQ advice but keep the lid open when cooking. The juicy little lamb chops cook so quickly that you don't want to overcook them easily and with the lid being down you run the risk of overcooking by the time you get a nice char!
If worried use a meat thermometer and aim for 52-55c for medium-rare. Once cooked allow them to rest for 4-5 minutes before chowing down 😉
What is Labneh you ask? I might be shot for saying this but it's essentially yoghurt cheese! Popular in Middle Eastern cuisine it's typically made using cows milk yoghurt. It has the consistency of a smooth cream cheese or creme fraiche. It is made by mixing yoghurt and salt together and placing in musling and hanging in the fridge for up to 24hrs to seperate the curd and the whey.
In my version I add a little lemon juice for some extra tang and I find it helps to seperate quicker. For a nice smooth dipping labneh I allow it to hang for anywhere from 6-12 hours, if I want a thicker labneh then go the full 24 hours.
Some of you may ask how the hell I "hang" it in the fridge. Technically I don't hang it per se - I wrap a sieve in muslin (the inner part!) and place the yoghurt mix into the muslin and wrap it. I then place the sieve over a bowl and hey presto job done. It literally takes 2-3 minutes to prepare!
How To Make Harissa
If you haven't made harissa before you are in for a TREAT!! I have a sriracha harissa recipe already on my site but this one is a little more traditional. Using red chilis, red capsicum (pepper), garlic, a number of spices, oil & some acidity you can have a tasty spicy paste ready in about 10-15 minutes that will last about 3 months (supposedly because mine is gone already!) in the fridge.
Firstly, char the capsicum (pepper) and red chilis to add a nice smokey flavour and then peel them. I keep the seeds to add extra heat the harissa but feel free to remove them if you can't handle too much heat. While they are charring sweat the shallot & garlic in oil, cook out the tomato paste and then blend everything together. It's that easy and you can use homemade harissa in so many ways. Think eggs, roasted veggies, with grilled meats like these delicious grilled lamb chops!
What To Serve With Grilled Lamb Chops
My grilled lamb chops dish is kinda designed to be eaten as a lamb 'lollipop'! Just grab a chop and dunk it in the delicious homemade harissa and creamy labneh. Don't forget to double fist by having a delicious glass of wine in the other hand 😉
HOWEVER, if you fancied eating this as a main course in a more civilised fashion then get yourself a plate, knife/fork and sit at the table. Personally some crispy fried potatoes work AMAZINGLY with this dish as you can dip them through the harissa/labneh mix too, try some simply grilled broccoli or asparagus or maybe a litte cous cous salad would work too
You may remember or have read about my wine pairings in the past with one of my all-time fave Aussie wineries - Heirloom Vineyard. Well, this time around we are working with wines from their sister winery Dandelion Vineyards.
Dandelion is rated a 5 star 'red' winery by James Halliday here in Australia. Elena Brooks is the mastermind behind the wines of Dandelion and her philosophy is to spend as much time in the vineyards looking after what she describes as her "children" - the grapes. She finds that more time being hands on in the vineyards makes her job much easier when it comes to making the wine. All I can say is whatever she is doing it works as I am yet to taste a bad wine by them!
The winery is based in McLaren Vale and recently they purchased 'Firehawk Farm' where they plan on putting a cellar door in and hopefully a restaurant too. Who knows, maybe you will find this dish on the menu one day! In the meantime I suggest scrolling to the recipe and grabbing all the ingredients and whipping them up ASAP!
Lamb Chop Wine Pairing
As you guessed, it's a delicious drop from the guys at Dandelion Vineyard. There is no better pairing than grenache and some Middle Eastern flavours so when I told them I had this idea with tomatoes, labneh & harissa on toast straight away they said it's gotta be for the GSM and given Australia day is around the corner we decided to make it a lamb dish. Genius decision! So much so that I have eaten it numerous times in the last few weeks.
The Menagerie of the Barossa Grenache, Shiraz, Mouvedre comes from a plot of land in Gomersol where the 3 grapes are in adjoining blocks. A common blend (GSM) which originates in the Rhone region of France. Here the wine is matured in old French barrrels giving it nice mellow oak tones. The wine is young (2019) but packed with fruit. The nose offers black pepper, spice, dark fruits & herbal notes too. Similar offerings on the palate with some soy, eucalyptus and more red fruit than dark. Gentle acidity, great body and length and really balanced tannins on the mid to back palate.
It's a wine I am glad to have more of as it's tasty now but as it rounds out over the next couple years in bottle it will only improve. Head to their site now and get some before it's all gone (to my cellar!).
Alternative Lamb Recipes
Wowed by the delicious grilled lamb chops with harissa & labneh and want more? Well, good thing for you lamb is one of my favourite cuts so check out these other recipes of mine!
Happy Cooking & Happy Eating Friends!!!
- 12 lamb chops
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp parsley – chopped for garnish
- 1 tbsp dukkah - optional garnish
- 1 red capsicum (pepper)
- 5 red chili 125g (4-5oz)
- 1 shallots sliced finely
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 3 tbsp canola oil
- 2 cloves garlic – crushed
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp salt
- 500 g Greek yoghurt
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic – crushed
- 1 tsp salt
- Mix all ingredients together
- Place in a muslin cloth inside a sieve
- Place sieve over a bowl and leave in the fridge for 6-24hrs. I like the consistency after 6 hours as it’s thick and creamy. The longer you leave it the thicker it will become
- Char the chilis & red capsicum in the BBQ or over a gas flame
- Place them in a bowl and cover with clingfilm to sweat – this makes them easier to peel
- Sweat the garlic & shallot on medium heat with the oil – approx. 4 minutes
- Add spices, sugar & tomato paste and cook for a further 2-3 minutes
- Remove from the heat, peel the chili/capsicum & cut the green tops off them
- Place chili, capsicum, shallot mix and remaining ingredients into a blender and blend to a paste
- Store in the fridge for up to 3 months
- Brush the lamb with oil and season with salt
- Cook on a heated grill pan (on medium-high heat) for 2 minutes per side or until internal temp is 52-55c
- Rest for 5 minutes before serving
- Chef knives
- chopping board
- muslin cloth
- measuring utensils
- grill pan
- this harissa is quite spicy but when eaten with the labneh it’s cooled down. If you want it to be less spicy then remove the seeds prior to blending
- labneh will keep fresh in the fridge for 3 days