North African Spiced Lamb Chops with Moroccan Pesto Sauce


I love lamb chops, and they taste especially good with Middle Eastern or African flavors infused in them.  This spice rub is also great on chicken if you choose to use that protein.

I always use grass fed organic lamb whenever I cook, and these particular chops I picked up from Stemple Creek.  Stemple Creek Farm is Marin Certified Organic, grass fed, and spectacular in taste!  This is a very  healthy entree, packed full of nutrition, flavor and can be served informally or easily for guests at a dinner party.

I suggest  the play of the African spice rubbed chops with a Moroccan  bright, light, minty pesto as a real treat for the taste buds.  However , you can serve these lamb chops with whatever you want, and it goes well with many sides and salads.   This recipe may sound complicated, but its actually really easy and fast.   The lamb chops you can spice rub up to 24 hours in advance, and then it only takes minutes to grill.   If you choose to make with the pesto, that only takes about 5 minutes to make in a food processor or high speed blender, and can be made in advance.   If there is any extra pesto, it easily stores up to 7 days in the fridge or in the freezer for 2 months.

North African Spice Rub:

  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons of turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • salt and pepper to your taste

Rub spice into 4 lamb chops (I used smaller center cut here) and let spices infuse into the meat in the fridge for at least 2 hours, I waited 24 hours.

Pull the lamb chops out of the fridge and let come a little closer to room temperature to the outside doesn’t cook faster than the interior, resulting in a super rare chop.  If you have a barbecue, go ahead a grill them there.  I usually just use an oven proof grill pan heated to medium high, once hot, I oil with grape seed oil, coconut oil,  or any other high “flash point” oil for cooking on high heat.

Heat the oven to 400 degrees for any final cooking if necessary. Put the chops on the hot oiled grill pan and grill for 3 minutes on both sides.  I prefer my meat medium rare and use a heat proof electric thermometer to check the temp at this point.  If any extra cooking is required, I transfer the grill pan to the oven for a couple of minutes until the thermometer registers at the desired done temp.  I prefer medium rare 130-140 degrees internally.

Remove from oven or heat and let rest for 10 minutes or so.

Aprox Cals per 1 small center cut lamb chop grilled, lean part only:  120 Cals, 6 grams of fat, 14 grams of protein

Photo Above served with Moroccan Pesto Sauce.  See Recipe here

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