Lamb Chops “a Scottadito”, with Tzatziki and Mint Sauce

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I know that nowadays many people, meat eaters I mean, don’t like the idea to eat lamb, but even if I eat much less meat than the average, I’m not vegetarian/vegan so in Easter traditionally I also eat lamb. Actually in my family we use to eat the kid goat (always bought from a farmer, neighbor of my father’s field), but in Hungary I can’t find it easily.

Usually we do a roast, but this year I opted for an easier and faster recipe, but also very delicious. Indeed the chops need few minutes and they are ready 🙂 actually the real recipe “costolette di agnello a scottadito” are made on the grill, but also in a good iron pan or cast iron pan you can have a very good result. Why scottadito? Literally it means “burning your fingers”, because you have to eat them with hands and immediately, simply that 🙂

Obviously the Tzatziki sauce it’s not Italian, but it fits perfectly with lamb so I use to do it and it goes very well with this recipe.

It’s important that the butcher cut the chops in the correct way, like in the photo below. You can ask him to cut the single chops too, but that’s very easy and you can do it yourself. It’s important also to have the fat on the external side (not too much, but enough), it will add the real lamb flavor.

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INGREDIENTS (4 people):

  • 1,4-1,6 kg lamb chops 
  • 1 glass dry white wine
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • fresh rosemary
  • a bit of red wine vinegar
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt

For the mint sauce:

  • a handful of fresh mint leaves
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • half clove of garlic
  • chili
  • 1 ice cube
  • salt

For the tzatziki sauce:

  • 750- 800 ml yogurt (or 450-500 g of authentic strained Greek yogurt, if you find it)
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic (or few more if you want, but for me this quantity is definitely enough)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 spoon wine vinegar or lemon juice (often used, but someone prefer to skip this)
  • fresh dill (optional)
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • salt, a teaspoon

 

  1. First I suggest to prepare the Tzatziki sauce, so the garlic will lose some of its sharpness by the time you will eat it (this sauce it’s even better one day later). First of all take the cucumbers, peel them and then grate them. Then squeeze the pulp with your hands as much as possible and then put it in a colander, until all its liquids are out: this will prevent to have an unpleasant too liquid sauce.
  2. Take a bowl and add the Greek yogurt, the cucumber pulp, the squeezed cloves of garlic, the lemon juice or the vinegar (if you want), the salt and a generous amount of good extra virgin olive oil. Mix well all together, and if you want add also some black pepper and fresh dill.
  3. Cover and place in the fridge (remember, a strained yogurt should be used for a perfect result, if you can’t get strained Greek yogurt it’s possible to strain it also at home, overnight or at least 4-5 hours earlier: you take a colander, place a clean towel inside, and then you pour all the yogurt inside, and let it strain in the fridge).
  4. Then cut your chops as I said above, and place them in a deep dish with a mixture made with half glass of white wine, a generous amount of extra virgin olive oil, 2 cloves of garlic in slices and the fresh rosemary. Cover with a plastic wrap and let it marinade for about 45-60 minutes.lamb_chops_5
  5. Meanwhile we can prepare also the mint sauce: simply take a deep glass, add the mint leaves, enough extra virgin olive oil, a bit of chili, half clove of garlic, salt and the ice cube (it will help to better keep the color), and simply make a cream with an immersion blender.
  6. After the meat has spent enough time in the marinade, season it with salt on both sides, then take an iron/cast iron pan or grill, and heat just a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil with a clove of garlic and fresh rosemary. Then remove them from the pan and add the lamb chops (before remove the garlic and the rosemary of the marinade), first on vertical, on the fat side, for just 1-2 minutes. Then other 2 minutes on each side, but it’s just about, it depends on your taste too. They are ready 🙂lamb_chops_4
  7. I also immediately prepared a sauce some dry white wine (half glass about) and some red wine vinegar in the hot iron pan, deglazing all the juices remained attached to the pan, I roughly reduced it very fast and pour it over the meat to add even extra flavor.
  8. Serve it with the tzatziki, the mint sauce (not too much, it’s quite intense if you use fresh good mint) and I suggest also oven baked potatoes, simply baked with extra virgin olive oil, some garlic and rosemary. Enjoy! With a good wine 🙂

 

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