Pickle Easter Lamb in Labna
I once had big plans for an Easter brunch with my friend Dan . We had grandiose views of pre-made cocktails, hollandaise sous-vide, and a lamb carving station, but obviously none of that happens anymore. But not being able to throw a full party is not a reason to give up my plans to eat lamb; plans just need to be cut.
Depending on your attitude to food and its preparation at the moment, a few simple recipes may be preferable to grandiose menus. I, on the other hand, prefer a lazy cooking styles, even more than usual, so the lamb, marinated in Lubna (lambneh), really appeals to me.
It’s literally three ingredients – lamb, labne, and salt – and after spending the night in the refrigerator, it’s easy to cook in a skillet. The acid and fat in the thick yoghurt cheese soften and moisturize, softening any game flavor, while the proteins help create a very deep dark crust. If you can’t find a labne, any very thick yogurt will do, but my favorite is the off-sour cream and almost cream cheese pasta.
Now about the crust. For some reason, most pan-cooked lamb chops recipes say you only need three or four minutes on each side to bring them to 145 ℉. In my experience, this takes about twice as long, which gives the residual labium enough time to form a beautiful crust-like crust. You will think that you are burning your food – and you will smoke – but don’t worry; The taste of your chops will be developed, not from burning, and the inner part is incredibly tender and juicy. (Labne can be used as a marinade for any piece of lamb, but Korean chops are the easiest to make in my opinion.)
Many lamb marinade recipes use copious amounts of herbs and spices, but I am currently not in the habit of spending a lot of time in grocery stores and this very simple cooking method allows the meat to speak for itself. If you still want something herbal, add it later in the form of pesto or chimichurri – any parts of the plant will burn during cooking. If you want a sweet counterpoint, try some fancy honey ( hot or fermented garlic ) or plain red wine.
To make these simple yet juicy chops, you’ll need:
- 1 cup labne or other thick yogurt
- 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
- 1.5 lb. lamb loin chops
- 1 tablespoon neutral oil
Combine the labne and salt in a bowl and spread the lamb with it. Place the lamb in a freezer bag and refrigerate the chops overnight. The next day, heat a tablespoon of oil over medium to high heat until it starts to shimmer. Wipe off any excess labne from the chops and cook for about 5-6 minutes on each side and one or two minutes on each edge, until a dark crust forms and the meat reaches an internal temperature of 140 ℉ (residual heat will carry it through to the final medium-rare temperature) … Remove the lamb from the skillet, let stand for five minutes, and enjoy any sauce you deem necessary. I ate two, standing in the kitchen at 10 am, with a little salt, but you do what you need to do.