Worthy Is The Lamb...!
..that was slain!...
(apologies to G F Handel and Revelations.....)
I made some comments recently, somewhere, about the Australian fondness for lamb. It's been said that for a very long time Australia's economy 'rode on the sheeps' back' (which included a lot of wool, too), and all good Aussie families grew up on lamb chops on the barbie and roast Lamb for family dinners. Lamb (or more usually, mutton) was the most affordable meat in this country for a very long time.
Nowdays lamb is more expensive, and not the bargain meat it once was, which is due to a number of economic and climatic reasons amongst others. It also has to compete with beef and chicken, which are both easily affordable. But its popularity hasn't changed at all; Australians still really love their lamb! Especially young Spring lamb; Mutton and hogget are almost impossible to buy any longer. I'm still surprised when I hear of people in other countries who don't eat it, or have never tried it (especially USA...I think the beef lobby has a real stronghold there) and I read somewhere that in some countries lamb would be more popular if people knew how to cook it. But it's easy! Especially on a grill or pan; just cook it like a steak to the same degree of doneness you like your steak. In fact, treating it in a similar way as beef is pretty standard, I think.
Anyway, last night I had the most spectacular lamb chops I can remember in a long time. They were lamb rib chops crusted with a savoury herby topping and baked in the oven. These were astoundingly good lamb chops. The were the Lamb Chops of Perfection! (imagine that in a Hollywood movie-theatre commercial voice!) We used lamb rib chops, which have a convenient little handle to hold when you're tearing every little shred of meat and crispy skin off the bone...mmmmm.
Get your lamb chops -they don't have to be rib chops like above; those gorgeous thick loin chops with the little tails would be excellent too (but not those nasty BBQ chops) and make up a topping of breadcrumbs, grated parmesan cheese, garlic, fresh sage, salt, pepper & a little olive oil to moisten and press onto the chops. Place in a hot oven for about 20 minutes until the skin is crisp and golden and the inside is pink and juicy inside (you never want to overcook lamb...but maybe that's just my preference). Really, these were one of those food-defining moments where everything just comes together and you think 'wow!'. Oh yeah, and we had some crisp vegetables and rice with them...but they were nothing exciting compared to the Glory Of The Lamb (bonus points to any of you who immediately started humming "Worthy Is The Lamb that was slain" from Handel's Messiah. lol!)
Okay, I know the plating above is nothing special, but I was really hungry and not going to wait a minute longer to eat!