Persian Inspired Lamb Chops With Saffron, Mint & Orange
I never realized I liked lamb until I had ours for the first time. The delicate yet rich flavor and tender texture completely won me over. One of my favorite things about cooking lamb is that it carries herbs and spices beautifully, making it perfect for exotic flavors. Persian food is famous for its amazing array of distinctive tastes, making every dish an experience. This recipe features an incredible marinade made with saffron and orange zest, and the lamb is garnished after cooking with plenty of chopped fresh mint.
Saffron Will Take Your Tastebuds On A Journey
If you’ve never cooked with saffron before, you might not know that it comes in threads. These threads are actually the part of a flower called the stigma. Each flower only produces three stigmas, and they bloom for one short week out of every year. Because of this, saffron is quite expensive, but a little goes a long way for flavor so I love using it occasionally. You can find it at Middle Eastern or Mediterranean markets, Whole Foods, and sometimes at Costco. To cook with it, you need to crush it up and make a very concentrated tea (two tablespoons) and then use the liquid to flavor the food.
Why We Choose Lamb Raised In New Zealand
Lambs in New Zealand graze on some of the world’s most lush and nutrient rich pastures. The country enjoys a unique, subtropical climate that encourages animals and plants alike to flourish. New Zealand has some of the best conditions in the world for raising lamb, which might explain why their population outnumbers humans. Cultural traditions in New Zealand make it the industry standard to raise meat humanely and naturally. New Zealand lamb is grass fed throughout its life, unlike American lamb which is often grain finished to encourage larger size and higher body fat percentage. New Zealand lambs are smaller in size, because they were allowed to grow and develop the way nature intended.
- 2-3 lb rack of lamb, sliced into chops
- ½ teaspoon saffron threads
- 1 yellow onion, finely diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- ½ cup plain, full fat Bulgarian yogurt
- ½ lemon, juiced
- 3 tablespoons avocado oil, divided
- 2 teaspoons orange zest
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup chopped fresh mint
- Prepare the saffron by grinding it into a powder using a mortar and pestle. If you don’t have one, you can make do by finely mincing the saffron and then crushing it with the side of your knife. Add the powder to 2 tablespoons of very hot water and set aside to infuse for at least 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the rest of the marinade. Combine the onion, minced garlic, orange zest, lemon juice, avocado oil, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper in a small bowl. When the saffron tea is ready, add it in and stir to combine the marinade ingredients.
- Use a baking dish to marinate the lamb. Massage the mixture into the meat on all sides with your fingers. Cover and refrigerate for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Let the marinated lamb sit out at room temperature for approximately 15 minutes before cooking.
- Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of avocado oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is shimmering, sear the lamb chops for about a minute on each side.
- Arrange the lamb chops in the cast iron skillet (if necessary you may need to use an additional baking dish) in a single layer. Place them in the oven for 3-5 minutes depending on your desired level of doneness.
- Let the cooked lamb chops rest for approximately 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with chopped fresh mint.
The Beck & Bulow Team Is Here To Help
At Beck & Bulow, we pride ourselves on our excellent customer service. We’re always here to help if you have any questions regarding your meat, want help making selections, or are just looking for some cooking tips. Every time you call our office, you’ll be directly connected with one of our team members right here in Santa Fe, New Mexico where we’re based.
Every cut of meat is pressure sealed and flash frozen immediately after butchering at the peak of freshness. We work exclusively with master butchers who make every cut with care and precision. All orders are hand packed at our Santa Fe warehouse, shipped in a reusable cooler with dry ice and delivered straight to your doorstep. Check out our selections of humanely raised chicken, elk, bison, beef, lamb, wild boar, pork and seafood.