A taste of North Africa, Grilled Harrissa Lamb Chops (Sirloin steak can be used) served with grilled vegetables and quinoa, all washed down with an elegant and aromatic Pinot Noir.
Recipe by: Sylvia Fountaine
2–3 lbs lamb chops, lamb loin chops or sirloin steaks.
Grillable veggies – your choice of Zucchini, summer squash, bell pepper, onion, eggplant, mushrooms, etc.
Spray olive oil (or regular)
15–20 fresh Mint leaves
Harissa Spice Rub:
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon coriander
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon dried mint
1 teaspoon whole caraway seeds (optional)
1 cup plain, full-fat Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon harissa paste ( store-bought or homemade Harissa paste) more to taste
1 teaspoon smoked paprika – optional
Serve with Grilled Veggies and your choice of grain, quinoa, basmati rice or couscous.
Garnish: a few torn fresh mint leaves and/or Italian parsley leaves
Preheat Grill to med-high.
Cut lamb chops into single chops or portions. ( Use a sharp chef’s knife and slice in between the bones.) Pat dry.
Mix spices and salt together in a shallow bowl ( big enough to fit chop)
Dip both sides of each chop, as well as fatty edge, into the Harissa rub, tap the excess off and place on a sheet pan.
If grilling veggies, lightly toss with olive oil, salt and pepper, and grill these first. Cover, set aside until serving.
Grill the lamb chops. Spray the grill with olive oil spray. Place the chops down and grill 3 minutes (covered) or until good grill marks appear. (Don’t fiddle with them too much). Spray the top of lamb chops with spray olive oil, and turn them over. Turn the heat down to medium and grill another 3 minutes. Then, place the fatty edge of the lamb chop on the grill, so they are sitting upright, on their side, leaning them up against each other. ( See picture). Cover, and cook another 2 minutes or so, to melt off that fatty layer. (These are delicious served medium, but feel free to cook through on lower heat if that is your preference. ) Remove from grill, cover with foil until ready to serve.
Mix the yogurt with the harissa paste, starting conservatively, adding more to taste. Each Harissa paste has different levels of heat. I like to a whisk in a teaspoon of smoked paprika to bump up the smoky flavor- up to you.
To serve, cut the grilled veggies into bite-size pieces, and place them on a platter. Top with the grilled lamb chops. Garnish with fresh mint leaves.
Serve the Harissa yogurt on the side or spoon a little on each chop.
Serve with a cooked grain like quinoa, basmati rice or even couscous. I used Israeli couscous in the photos.