1 cup dry red wine
¾ cup soy sauce
4 large garlic cloves, crushed
½ cup chopped fresh mint
2 Tbsp. slightly bruised fresh rosemary
1 Tbsp. coarsely ground black pepper
1 butterflied leg of lamb (about 4 to 5 pounds) or the equivalent of French lamb chops
• Put all the ingredients in a Ziploc bag and add the meat.
• Let marinate for a couple of hours, turning the bag occasionally.
• Then grill the lamb on a barbecue. It’s done in under 12 minutes.
From The Chef
How long have you been making this dish? “Probably about 20 years. It actually came from a friend. She used to do these big July 4th barbecues, and she made it as a leg of lamb. She gave me the recipe and then, somehow or other, I moved into these little chops. I make this with French lamb chops, but you can make it with any type of lamb.”
Why did you switch it up? “I just don’t really like big, chunky lamb. I like little teeny chops. Then you grill them, and they’re crispy and really good. And you can eat them with your hands.”
What’s the best part of the recipe? “That marinade is like no other. Everybody loves it. I’ve made it a million times. I make it for special occasions, too. I made it for my husband’s birthday. It’s also so easy and so quick. You can even make them as an appetizer.”
How do you usually serve these lamb chops? “I usually make them with a little mashed potatoes and a little mashed sweet potatoes.”
If someone doesn’t eat lamb, could you change the recipe up and make it with pork chops? “Try it. I love pork — pulled pork and roasts — but I don’t really make pork chops. I’ve never done it, but if somebody wants to do that and get back to me, I would love it.”
Are you cooking a lot while you’re at home during the quarantine? “Yes, too much. We order in periodically, but not that much. In fact, my husband was showing me some diet plans last night because he, more than I, has gained some weight during this time. He was like, ‘We have to do something about this.’ He also has become this Renaissance guy. He’s baking bread and smoking meats. He’s been doing all these things and it’s been great fun, but now we’re both like, ‘Okay, let’s get back to real life.’ ”
Are you planning meals or using what’s in the house and winging it? “I try not to go to the market very often, so I try to stock up. I go to the market and get, like, three heads of Romaine lettuce, and they last a long time. We have a lot of meats and fish and things like that. I’m also doing things like Cacio e Pepe. It’s a peasant Italian pasta dish. You make spaghetti and add Pecorino and Parmesan cheese, some of the pasta water, salt and cracked pepper. I’ve made that several times. I’m doing a lot of things like that, that are just simple. We’ve had that more than usual. I didn’t eat that much pasta before. I make a lot of zoodle [zucchini noodle] things.”
Have you been implementing anything from your garden into your cooking recipes? “I did plant some herbs and things in a pot that I could have readily available — basil, rosemary, thyme, oregano and tarragon. I make a turkey burger that I always put tarragon in. I have these blueberry bushes where I live, too. I’ve made so many things with blueberries. I was looking into making blueberry jam last night. That might be next to finish off the bushes season. I’m getting better at pulling things together.”