Coffee rubbed lamb chops, easy gourmet in less than 30 minutes! The rub, made with coffee and ground ancho chile powder, works well with the broiled lamb as it provides a strong contrast to the rich strong flavor of the lamb. Cooked via reverse searing technique nets tender, juicy and succulent lamb chops.
Because my diet is mostly plant-based I go these long periods without any meat. As a result, from time to time I will have these cravings for meat and I’m cool with it. It’s kind of like when love calls, you gotta answer. When I do eat meat I just try to be cognizant of where it was sourced. I’m a proponent of local farms vs. mass produced meats primarily because of how the animals are treated and raised/fed but there are also noticeable quality/taste difference.
Today was one of those days where I decided meat was on the menu. I chose lamb rib chops for the taste and tenderness for sure, but more importantly, I just wanted to satisfy my primal need. I didn’t just want to eat meat, I wanted to be medieval on that ass, go sans utensils and grab the rib by hand and go straight to mouth getting meat from every nook and cranny. For those of you who eat chicken wings or shrimp with a knife and fork, I’m sorry if you find this image as disturbing as my wife did viewing it live.
Okay, feel free to eat the lamb chops as you wish, but be warned the flavor in these broiled lamb chops may make you do some strange things. On it’s on, lamb has a very noticeable and substantial flavor. It’s pleasant, grassy and sweeter relative to beef, but can also be a bit gamey depending on age, diet and where sourced from. If you’re not a fan of “gamey” meat there are a few adjustments to minimize.
The coffee rub actually is quite effective in achieving a less gamey flavor profile. The rub has strong spices like ginger, coriander, and coffee that pair well with the distinctive lamb flavor and in some ways masks both the gamey taste and aroma. Likewise, the mint and lemon juice in the sauce has the same effect. But even still if you want to rid the gaminess even further trim the fat ahead of time. Fat not only holds that gamey flavor but that odor as well. Trimming excess (I emphasize trimming the excess cause fat is essential to moistness and flavor) means less fat melting into the pan during cooking and thus less of that aroma you’ll have in the kitchen.
Do coffee rubbed lamb chops taste like coffee?
I’ve used coffee in both meat and seafood dishes including thisÂ scallop recipe, but if the idea of coffee in your food scares you, don’t worry as the ground coffee beans do not dominate nor actually taste coffee-like in the dish, but rather adds a level of earthiness to a complex mix of flavors delivered from the combination of spices. You get the pungent, peppery of the ginger, balanced with the sweetness of the brown sugar and sweetly, smokey paprika.
The coffee rub is sufficient in delivering tasty, succulent lamb chops. However, as a finishing touch I prefer to include a “lamb sauce”. It’s herbal in an Argentinian chimichurri sense but combined with some of the coffee rub. Fresh mint and basil add both a cooling and sweet node to the dish, while the lemon and vinegar cuts through the richness.
Net net you get a cool, tangy and earthy lamb chops that will inspire you to literally eat hands to mouth if you’re lacking restraint like yours truly. In all fairness to myself, I was already predisposed to going full medieval, nonetheless these coffee rubbed lamb chops are a game changer.
What’s the best method for cooking coffee rubbed lamb chops?
A quick note on cooking these. I used a reverse-sear approach. If you’re unfamiliar, it’s simply flipping the order in the normal way people traditionally cook steaks/chops. In reverse-searing you cook the chops/steak over moderate temperature in the oven first followed by a quick sear of the outsides to get that dark flavorful crust with a juicy center. If you’re cooking sous vide style you already know.
For another delicious lamb recipe try this smoked rack of lamb.
- 2 tablespoons ancho chili powder.
- 2 tablespoons finely ground espresso.
- 1 tablespoons smoked sweet paprika.
- 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar.
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard.
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt.
- 2 teaspoons ground black pepper.
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander.
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon coffee rub
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- juice from 1/2 small lemon
- Fresh basil finely chopped
- Fresh Mint finely chopped
- 4 lamb rib chops
- Coffee Rub
- Coffee Sauce
Make the rub
- Mix all ingredient well in a mixing bowl. Reserve a tablespoon for use in the sauce.
Make the sauce
- Take 1 tablespoon of the coffee rub and mix with all the other ingredients
Make the Lamb Chops
- Pat lamb chops dry then let sit until it reaches room temperature. Rub each chop generously with coffee rub. This can be done up to an hour before actually cooking.
- Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees fahrenheit. Place lamb chop on a baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes.
- Just before removing the lamb out of the oven, add a tablespoon of vegetable oil or other high-temp-friendly oil to a large heavy cast-iron skillet, then set it to preheat over your strongest burner.
- As soon as that oil starts smoking, add the lamb and sear each 1 minute per side.
- Remove lamb chops from the skillet and let rest for 2-3 minutes. Serve with the coffee sauce