Lamb Chops with an Italian Chilli and Black Olive Marinade

Surprisingly, this is my first lamb recipe on the blog. Where growing up in Holland gave me my love of salads, living in England gave me a love of lamb. I don’t eat it very often, but somehow saving it for special treats or occasions makes it taste even better! I love a traditional English lamb roast, but wanted to try something that felt a little bit finer. And here, it seems better to rely on the culinary expertise of the Italians (sorry England).

This recipe is one of Nigella Lawson’s, the famously beautiful British chef, who was proudly showcased by our nation on this years Eurovision (although I’m not sure whether that’s necessarily a good thing!). I decided to look for recipe inspiration from her because I got quite a few nuggets of kitchen knowledge from her when I first got into cooking as a student. For example, chicken thighs being so much cheaper but also tastier than chicken breast! She also cooks a lot of Italian food, which is usually pretty delicious.

The flavours from this recipe are all in the marinating process. I know this can be off-putting to some people, but it only needs to be for as little as 30 minutes and the difference it makes letting those flavours infuse is so worth it. This is also really easy to make, with minimal chopping involved and with ingredients that you’ll probably mostly already have in the house. I used 2 cloves of garlic because I absolutely love lamb with garlic, but if you’re not so keen just go for 1 instead. Similarly, feel free to omit the fresh chilli garnish if your spice tolerance is quite low. I had these with roast potatoes and asparagus one evening and with a fresh Greek salad the next, but I think it would go really nicely with a quinoa or cous cous tabbouleh as well. This recipe made enough for 2 servings, with 2 lamb chops each.

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Ingredients:

– 4 lamb chops

– 7 pitted black olives, finely chopped

– 1-2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

– 1 tsp oregano

– 1 tsp dried chilli flakes

– 1/2 lemon, juice and zest

– 2 tbsp olive oil (plus extra for frying)

– 1 fresh chilli, sliced (optional, to garnish)

How to make it:

1. Lay the lamb chops out on some cling film, covering both the bottom and the top of the chops. Then, use a rolling pin if you have one (I used a bottle of rum), and gently roll and flatten the chops. Then put onto a big plate.

2. Make the marinade by adding the olives, garlic, oregano, chilli flakes, Β lemon and 2 tbsp olive oil. Mix well, and then drizzle over each side of all the lamb chops in turn. Cover in cling film and leave to marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature.

IMG_1212 3. In a deep frying pan, heat some olive oil at a high heat. Scrape the marinade off the lamb chops (keeping this to save for later), and fry on each side for several minutes until it starts to brown.

4. Add 2 tbsp water and drizzle the marinade back over the lamb chops, cooking for a further 5 minutes. Depending on how thick your chops are, this will cook them to medium or medium rare. Please adjust your cooking time according to your preference.

5. Take off the heat and garnish with fresh red chilli (if using).

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Finally, the blog has a new look today so please feel free to have a bit of an explore and let me know if you have any thoughts in the comments!

Recipe based on Nigella Lawson’s ‘Lamb Cutlets with Chilli and Black Olives’

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