Paleo Grilled Lamb Chops with Asparagus
Why This Recipe Works
Lamb shoulder chops are significantly less expensive than rib or loin chops, and their flavor is much more complex due to their delicate networks of fat and collagen-rich connective tissue—an appealing option, we thought, for a quick, economical, anytime-meal from the grill. What we found, however, is that producing a grilled shoulder chop with a beautifully browned exterior and a moist and tender interior can be a challenge. Because the chops are relatively thin, we had trouble achieving good color on the outside of our chops before they overcooked. We also found that the texture of our cooked chops was uneven—meatier parts might be tender while other parts stayed chewy and tough. We knew from past recipes that a quick soak in a baking soda brine can help speed up the browning process and also tenderize meat, but when we tried it with our shoulder chops, we detected an unappealing aftertaste. We needed a gentler approach, so we tried a simple marinade of oil, garlic, salt, oregano, and just a small amount of baking soda. In under 10 minutes on a hot grill, our chops were perfectly browned, succulent, and full of flavor. We paired them with grilled asparagus (which cooked while our chops were resting) and a bright, refreshing vinaigrette.