Recipe Source: Jamison, Cheryl and Bill. Sublime Smoke. The Harvard Common Press, Boston, 1996
About a year ago, as many of you are no doubt aware, my husband purchased a ceramic grill/smoker/cooker called the Big Green Egg. He's been very taken with it ever since, and even I have to agree that it does a simply marvelous job with pretty much everything. Therefore, we use the thing every chance we get. We recently hosted a small get-together - just one couple, and the male was a vegetarian to boot - and wanted to make use of the Egg. A huge hunk of meat seemed a little wasteful, but my husband remembered that we had prepared these lamb chops last summer and that they were quite good. It had the added advantage of being very easy to prepare! I realize that I've been throwing a lot of pomegranate recipes your way lately. I can assure you that no pomegranate growers' association, juice maker or manufacturer of pomegranate molasses has employed me to do so (although I am open to the idea...) I've just been going through a phase, and it tastes so good!
Do I think that you could make these without a smoker? Sure, if you must, but the smoke really does add such a wonderful dimension of flavor to this dish that it would be a real shame not to use it. A quick Google search just now turned up a whole bunch of different ways to improvise a smoker. We used hickory smoke in this recipe. I didn't really make many changes to the rest of the recipe; all I did was substitute minced jarred garlic for the fresh garlic. My Whole Foods didn't have the type of lamb chop required, so I used a different type. We skipped the searing step and this doesn't seem to have been detrimental to the final dish. The meat came easily off the bone and was so tender and juicy that I wished we had made twice as much!
8 lamb rib chops
1 cup pomegranate juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup pomegranate molasses
4 tablespoons minced jarred garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
- Big Green Egg or other smoker
- Plastic zip-top bag
- In your plastic zip-top bag, combine the pomegranate juice, olive oil, pomegranate molasses and minced jarred garlic.
- Add the rib chops. Make sure to get all the chops thoroughly wet.
- Marinate in the refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hours and up to 8 hours. We went the long route this time and it really made a positive difference in the dish.
- When you are done marinating the chops, remove them from the marinade. Reserve the marinade!
- In a small bowl, combine the cumin, oregano, salt and pepper. Rub both sides of each chop very well with this dry rub.
- Allow the chops to sit, covered at room temperature for one-half hour. In the meantime prepare your smoker.
- Cook the chops in the smoker for about 45 minutes to an hour over a temperature of 225 - 250 degrees or until done to your liking. Remember, we like our meat rare!
- Meanwhile, bring the reserved marinade to a boil and reduce by about 1/2.
- Serve the lamb chops, with the reduced marinade as a sauce on the side.