A few of y’all asked for a recipe for the Braised Lamb Chops and Rice I made for my family’s Christmas dinner, so here we are! Full disclosure: it might be adjusted in the future, as I’ve only made it once myself, so it might need some tweaks to ensure everyone – no matter their skill or comfort level in the kitchen – has the same success with it. Also, this is the first lamb recipe to hit deepfriedhoney.com!
What You’ll Need for Braised Lamb Chops and Rice
Feel free to jump to the full recipe, but here are useful notes about the ingredients you will need to make this Braised Lamb Chops and Rice recipe:
- Lamb loin chops, basmati rice: The bulk of this recipe. If you’re a lamb lover you might feel that loin chops are being wasted here, not being simply seared and cooked to medium-rare, and you might be right, but I don’t think so. If the idea really bugs you, use shoulder blade chops instead. Basmati is the other rice I had on hand, but any white rice would be fine.
- Garlic cloves, rosemary, parsley, yellow onion: Our aromatics, used during both marination and braising. Any type of onion will work, and feel free to swap out the herbs for others if you want.
- Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, tomato paste, zaatar seasoning, black peppercorns, kosher salt: Our seasonings. Together they create a unique flavor that I think is incredible. I guess you’ll have to let me know if you agree. Zaatar is a flavorful, kinda zesty blend with marjoram and sumac in it. If you’re familiar with it or a fan of it, substitute to it with your favorite all-purpose blend.
- Water: I opted for water to make a pure lamb stock during the braising period. You can use a broth instead if you like.
- Clarified butter, extra virgin olive oil: Our fats. You can use oil or another high smoke point fat instead of ghee if you like.
How to Make Braised Lamb Chops and Rice
Full instructions are included in the recipe below, but here is a basic overview of what you’ll need to do, along with some important tidbits to help you make the most of this Braised Lamb Chops and Rice recipe:
- Marinate and Prepare for Braised Lamb Chops and Rice. Add the lamb chops, garlic cloves, rosemary, parsley, onion slices, zaatar seasoning, tomato paste, black peppercorns, Worcestershire sauce, extra virgin olive oil, and half a tablespoon of kosher salt to a large mixing bowl. Use your hands to mix everything into a marinade, working it into the meat as you go, until all the chops are well seasoned. Cover the bowl and set aside while you preheat the oven to 300°F. Place a large braiser over medium heat and allow it to preheat for 3 minutes. After the pan is hot, add in a few spoonfuls of clarified butter.
- Sear and Start Stock. Add the lamb chops in a single layer, leaving 2 inches between each chop – cook them in batches if needed – and allow them to sear undisturbed for 3 minutes, then flip with tongs and sear the other side for an additional 2 minutes. After all the chops have been seared, add the previous batches back to the pan, along with all the aromatics and herbs they marinated in. Pour in the water, making sure the chops are all submerged completely in the liquid (add more if needed), then add in one bay leaf. Cover with a lid and transfer to the preheated oven’s center rack. Let cook undisturbed for 2 1/2 hours.
- Finish Braising the Braised Lamb Chops and Rice. After 2 1/2 hours, pull the pot from the oven and check the meat. The meat should have shrunken down quite a bit, leaving more of the bone exposed. Use a fork or your finger to pull at a corner of one of the chops, if you have to apply more than a smidgen of force to pull off a small piece of meat, cover the pot back up and return it to the oven for another half an hour. Repeat until the meat is not quite falling off the bone, but obviously tender. Once the meat is as I described, use tongs to remove the chops from the liquid and transfer them to a bowl. Place a sieve or colander over a large bowl and pour the cooking liquid through it, straining out all the seasonings and aromatics. Measure out four cups of this liquid, and find something else to do with the rest of it: it’s very good!
- Cook the Rice. Place the emptied braiser back on the stovetop over medium-heat and add the remaining clarified butter. Add the rice to the pan and sauté until it smells nutty and has deepened to a golden brown color. Once this happens, pour in the cooking liquid and stir them together. Give it a taste, and adjust for salt if needed. Bring the pot to a simmer, then use tongs to nestle the lamb chops in the rice. Once all the chops have been added, bring the rice back to a simmer, add the bay leaf. Cover and reduce the heat to low. Allow the Braised Lamb Chops and Rice to cook undisturbed for 20 minutes.
- Fluff and Serve! After 20 minutes remove the Braised Lamb Chops and Rice from heat and let rest 5 minutes. After 5 minutes remove the lid and use a fork to fluff the rice around the chops. Garnish with minced parsley or finishing pepper and serve. Dassit!