I was introduced to za’atar by a dear friend and quickly became addicted to this spice blend. It’s aromatic. It’s earthy. It’s delicious on practically everything. Recipes can vary by brand but generally, za’atar is a combination of oregano, thyme, and marjoram blended with sumac and toasted sesame seeds. It’s great on meats like chicken, beef, and lamb or fish. It’s my go-to garnish on hummus. I toss it with sweet potatoes and avocado oil to roast as a side dish. Like I said, it’s amazing on everything.
Selecting Lamb Chops
When I created this recipe, I used a lamb shoulder chop. Lamb shoulder chops contain connective tissues and are a more worked muscle in the animal, which can make it a tougher cut, more suitable to a braising method of cooking. You may want to look for a bone-in, frenched lamb chop for this recipe, if this is a concern for you. Personally I like the lamb shoulder chop because of it’s marbled fat, similar to a ribeye steak, making it more flavorful than a standard lamb chop, which is more like sirloin. If you’re using a quality meat, the tenderness shouldn’t be an issue but if you’re concerned, definitely go with the standard lamb chop.
In some areas, lamb can be a little difficult to come by. If you don’t have a local butcher shop that carries good lamb, I’ve always been very happy with the products from Grow and Behold (kosher). They ship anywhere in the U.S. and have very good quality products.
Preparing This Recipe
To prepare this dish, combine za’atar, cumin, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Rub the spice mixture on the lamb chops and allow them to sit for about 15 minutes.
Add a tablespoon of avocado oil to a skillet, over medium-high heat until the oil shimmers. Sear each side of the lamb until the meat reaches a medium rare. Cooking times will vary depending on the thickness of the meat.
Allow the lamb chops to rest before serving so the juices redistribute.
Alternatively, you could also prepare these on a stovetop grill pan or on the outdoor grill. Give them a quarter turn halfway through their cooking time, on each side, to create beautiful hashmark grill marks on the meat.
I recommend serving these chops with my Israeli Couscous salad. Find the link to the recipe below.
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Za’atar Lamb Chops
- 2 Lamb Shoulder Chops
- 1 tbsp Cumin
- 1 tbsp Za'atar
- 1 tbsp Avocado Oil
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Combine the cumin, za'atar, salt, and pepper to a small bowl and combine. Rub the spice mixture on both sides of the lamb chops. Allow them to sit for fifteen minutes.
- Add the avocado oil to a skillet over medium-high heat. Allow the oil to heat until it shimmers. Add the lamb chops and sear on each side until the meat reaches a medium-rare. Cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of the meat. My chops took about five minutes per side.
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