Break out your cast iron skillet and make these delicious pan seared lamb loin chops with beautiful crusts and juicy centers. Deglaze the pan with dry red wine and whisk together a quick red wine pan sauce with aromatics like garlic and shallot and fragrant, piney rosemary and thyme. To finish, serve the dish with a handful of rich and fruity kalamata olives.
This post is sponsored by Superior Farms American Lamb.
I have a dozen or so classic recipes I make for each season, year after year. But I try to balance those old favorites with new ones, because what’s the fun in making the same things over and over? One way I do it is by swapping in new ingredients. This season, instead of making beef for all of our big winter dinners, I’ve begun to love cooking with lamb (I made Greek lamb meatballs last night!). I love the cozy simplicity of these seared lamb loin chops with red wine and rosemary. They’re quick enough for a weeknight and yet special enough to serve friends.
If you aren’t used to cooking lamb, I promise it isn’t difficult at all. In fact, it’s not much different than cooking beef, but the flavor is really something special. I particularly like lamb loin chops, which I used in this recipe, because they’re easy to find in most grocery stores or butcher shops and easy to prepare, while still being tender and delicious. Plus, lamb is a delicious and nutritious alternative to chicken and beef. It’s a lean, red meat with nearly five times the essential omega-3 fatty acids and alpha linoleic acid of a serving of beef.
For this recipe, I give the chops a simple seasoning of salt and pepper to add a bit of flavor without masking the taste of the lamb itself. Then, I sear them in a heavy cast iron pan for about 4 minutes per side—just enough time to create a beautiful crust while keeping the centers of our chops juicy. Because the cooking time is so short, it’s important to get the cast iron screaming hot before adding the chops.
And to complement the sweet and mild flavor of the lamb, a little red wine adds richness and depth. I deglaze the pan and whisk together a quick red wine pan sauce with aromatics like garlic and shallot and fragrant, piney rosemary and thyme. For sauces like this, I always use a dry red wine like Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, or Merlot. A good rule of thumb when choosing a wine to cook with: if you wouldn’t drink it, don’t cook with it :) To finish, I like to serve the dish with a handful of rich and fruity kalamata olives.
The lamb loin chops that I used here are produced by Superior Farms American Lamb, the leading purveyor of ranch to table American lamb. They partner with family farmers and ranchers across the U.S. who raise their lamb naturally, kindly, and sustainably. I always respect and appreciate brands that dedicate themselves to the well-being and care of their animals and Superior Farms believes good things come from putting the flock first.
If you are looking for something new for your regular dinner rotation, or looking for the perfect recipe for guests this winter, give lamb a try. It’s a delicious and versatile red meat that can be served on more than just special occasions!
Lamb Chops with Red Wine and Rosemary
- 8 lamb loin chops each about 1-inch-thick
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 shallot finely chopped
- ¼ cup dry red wine (I like Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, or Merlot)
- ¼ cup chicken broth
- 1 tbsp fresh rosemary leaves
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tsp butter
- kalamata olives pitted, optional
- Season the lamb chops all over with salt and pepper.
- Place a foil-lined baking sheet in the oven and preheat the oven to 200°F (the pan will preheat as well).
- In a large cast iron skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over high heat until very hot. Add half of the lamb chops and cook until a well-browned crust forms, 4 minutes per side. Transfer the cooked chops to the baking sheet and keep them warm in the oven. Add the remaining tablespoon olive oil and cook the remaining chops (4 minutes per side); transfer to the oven with the rest of the chops to keep warm while you make the sauce.
- Lower the heat under your cast iron skillet to medium-high; add the garlic and shallot and cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Add the wine, chicken broth, rosemary and thyme; bring to a boil, stirring and scraping up the crispy bits on the bottom of the pan, and then simmer until the liquid is reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in the butter.
- Remove the chops from the oven, transfer to a platter, and pour sauce over them. Serve immediately, with kalamata olives, if desired.