Australia Day is a great opportunity to get together with friends and family and celebrate everything that we love about what the country is today. And given that Australia is a country renowned for being ‘born off the sheep’s back’ it is only right that we honour that history… by eating them… To this end, I present: Spiced Lamb Chops for Australia Day!
Lamb has become far and away the most popular meat to eat on Australia Day, no doubt due to the ever popular Sam Kekovich ads on the television.
Not being one to get sucked into fads, but also being a fan of a cleverly constructed and entertaining advertising campaign, I decided that this Australia Day I would do a very simple but very delicious meal of lamb and vegetables, all cooked on the grill.
When we’re talking spiced lamb chops for Australia Day, it all starts with your spices, and I’m going to share my secret lamb spice recipe with you: garlic powder, dried rosemary, salt and pepper – that’s it! So start by putting your lamb chops in a dish and use a toothpick to pin the tail in place. Drizzle them with extra virgin olive oil, turn them over and drizzle the other side, making sure that both sides are evenly coated. Then apply your spices in pinches. As per previous recipes, how much you use depends on how much you like. You can tell by my pic how much I’ve used. Just make sure that your coating is nice and even. Put some glad wrap over the tray and put it in the fridge for 1 to 4 hours.
While these are marinating, mix some neutral oil (Vegetable or Canola), lime juice, fresh chilli slices and salt & pepper in a zip lock bag. Cut the zucchinis into four, long ways, and put them in the zip lock bag to marinate for the same amount of time as your chops.
About an hour before you want to serve dinner, pull your lamb and zucchinis out of the fridge and start your BBQ. This time we’re using the grill rather than the hotplate. So turn on the burners under the grill to a medium heat and wait ten minutes for the grill to heat up. This will give your lamb chops a chance to rise toward room temperature.
Here’s a trick for you: when you’re ready to start grilling your chops, turn off the burners, spray the grill with extra virgin olive oil, then turn the burners back on again. If they are still on when you hit them with the spray, you’ll get fire leaping back up towards the can which can end very badly!
Place your heating rack in the grill, put some paper towel on the hotplate side, put on your lamb chops and close the lid for four minutes. Give the other side four minutes and they should be done to a medium level. Don’t go far away though: lamb can be quite oily and you’ll get a fat-fire if you’re not careful. If this happens, just move them to a place on the grill where there is no fire, and blow the fire out.
Now it’s time to put on your eggplant. While your BBQ is heating is a great chance to prepare these. Cut the ends off them and cut them length ways into steak-like slices about two centimetres thick. Drizzle these evenly with extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Move your chops onto the paper towel on the warming rack and put your eggplant slices onto the grill. These will only take about three minutes either side. The end result is a nice creamy texture.
Once your eggplant slices are finished, move them up onto the warming rack and put on your zucchini. These will cook really quickly, so will only need long enough to put some nice golden grill lines on them. On a medium heat, this should only take about two to three minutes on each side. Make sure your do all three sides.
When these are done, move them up onto your warming rack as well and throw on your broccolini. These you can hit with a spray of extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper while the others are cooking. Again, these are going to be really quick: no more than two minutes on each side.
Now you’re ready to plate up. I’ve served up the lamb chops with mint jelly and tomato slices.
These spiced lamb chops for Australia Day were one of the most delicious meals I’ve ever prepared. It was super easy, super delicious, next to no washing up, and my family was able to relax and enjoy the day, while I got to relax and enjoy my BBQ.
How did you go? Tell me about your Australia Day cooking exploits in the comments below.