Lamb is a delicious and special meat to cook, and we are particularly fond of cooking it on the grill and serving it with an interesting sauce or salsa. This recipe for Traeger Grilled Lamb Chops with Pomegranate & Fig Salsa is such a great one. It’s even featured in my cookbook, which you can pick up online here.
Due to the tender nature of the various cuts of lamb, it does not need to be cooked long– medium rare lamb is truly amazing. You can get delicious lamb from a variety of places– but American lamb and New Zealand lamb are the most popular. Regardless of the source, it is flavorful, tender and really a treat.
We’ve recently had the chance to enjoy some lamb from Superior Farms, a group of family farmers that produce amazing pasture-fed lamb. Farmed in Minnesota, Oregon and Utah, the lamb we’ve had has been flavorful, tender and lean. The carbon footprint on lamb like this is a little bit less (doesn’t need to be flown in from across the world) and it’s great knowing you’re supporting American farms and ranches.
LAMB COOKS QUICKLY
Cooking lamb is really easy– simply season it and put it on a hot grill or hot pan for a few minutes per side until it’s medium rare. You want lamb to be on the as close to medium as possible, because it’s a tender and flavorful meat and it remains very tender when cooked just right. Using a wireless meat thermometer while you cook will help you achieve the perfect results, and thus the perfect bite.
CAST IRON VERSUS GRILL
It’s quite simple to cook lamb, and doing so on a hot cast iron pan or griddle is a great way to do it without going outside. But of course, we prefer anything and everything that is cooked on the Traeger, and the bit of wood-fired flavor you get while cooking on the Traeger really adds to the meat.
I like to use grill grates when cooking lamb because the golden grill marks that result are striking and add flavor. But if you cook it on a flat cast iron pan (even in the grill), you will end up with an epic seared crust that cannot be beaten!
CREATIVE SAUCES AND SALSAS TO ACCOMPANY GRILLED LAMB
As the winter months have arrived, it’s been fun to think about creative ways to cook (continuing to do so on the grill), while integrating winter flavors in our cooks. For this recipe, we thought about some of our favorite winter fruits– figs and pomegranates– and created a delicious fig and pomegranate salsa to go with our lamb loin chops. Rather than use olive oil or mustard as a binder for seasoning, we used a pomegranate juice reduction. While pomegranates are super sweet, they have an interesting tangy quality, that really added to the cook.
A cut like a lamb loin chop cooks quickly– it’s too small to reverse sear– so we instead cooked it hot and fast on cast iron on the grill, and allowed it to rest a few minutes before serving. Before you throw the chops on the grill, be sure to assemble the salsa, so it has plenty of time for the flavors to meld. For a different twist (that hearkens back to the traditional way lamb is served, you could replace the cilantro with mint in the salsa.
Serve these grilled lamb chops with pomegranate and fig salsa with some simple boiled potatoes and green salad for a great weeknight meal.
- Lamb chops
- Pomegranate juice
- Corn starch
- Dried figs
- Pomegranate seeds
- Red Onion
- Olive oil
- Balsamic vinegar
- Salt & pepper
STEP BY STEP
Begin by reducing pomegranate juice. Place cold juice and corn starch in a small saucepan, and whisk until blended. Put over heat and stirring constantly, cook until it reduces by half and makes a syrup-like consistency. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. Divide into two small bowls.
Cut figs into a small dice. Combine in a bowl with pomegranate seeds, jalapeno, onion and cilantro. Add lime juice, a splash of olive oil and some balsamic vinegar. Stir well to combine. Add a few tablespoons of the reduce pomegranate juice to the salsa, season with salt and pepper to taste, and set aside. Reserve remaining syrup.
Pat lamb loin chops dry on both sides. Using a brush, coat each chop with pomegranate syrup (from 2nd small bowl. Discard unused syrup from this batch). Season with your favorite herb-forward rub and set aside.
Preheat grill to high temperature.
When grill is hot, cook the chops for about 5 minutes per side. Final internal temperature should be about 130* for medium rare.
Allow chops to rest 5-10 minutes, then serve with pomegranate and fig salsa and drizzle additional pomegranate syrup and seeds if desired.
WHY GRILLING LAMB CHOPS ON THE TRAEGER WORKS
As mentioned before, anything cooked on the Traeger is better in our opinion. This is absolutely true for lamb chops, as they cook quickly, are tender and flavorful and pick up just the right amount of wood-fired-flavor from the Traeger.
Even in the depths of winter, cooking lamb chops on the Traeger is pretty quick and simple. With the push of a button, you can get your grill up to temperature for this cook and the quick-cooking nature of lamb means you’ll only be outside for a few minutes.
These grilled lamb chops with pomegranate and fig salsa are such a perfect, delicious and quick weeknight meal. Give it a try today!
OTHER LAMB RECIPES TO ENJOY
Give this recipe for grilled lamb chops on the Traeger a try and let me know what you think!
If you cook it up, tag me at @thisjewcanque so I can see your results!
Grilled American Lamb Chops with Pomegranate & Fig Salsa
- Traeger grill
- Knife and cutting board
- 6 lamb loin chops
- ¼ cup pomegranate juice
- ½ tsp corn starch
- 6 dried figs
- arils from 1 whole pomegranate
- ⅓ fresh jalapeno, finely diced (about 1 tsp)
- finely diced red onion (about 1 tsp)
- finely chopped cilantro (about 1 tsp)
- juice from 1/2 a lime
- a splash of olive oil
- a splash of balsamic vinegar I used golden balsamic
- salt & pepper to taste
- Begin by reducing the pomegranate juice. Place cold juice and corn starch in a small saucepan, and whisk until blended. Put over heat and, stirring constantly, cook until it reduces in half and makes a syrup-like consistency. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. Divide into two small bowls.
- Cut figs into small dice. Combine in a bowl with pomegranate seeds, jalapeno, onion, and cilantro. Add lime juice, a splash of olive oil and some balsamic vinegar. Stir well to combine. Add a few tablespoons of the reduced pomegranate juice to the salsa. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Then set aside. Reserve remaining syrup.
- Pat lamb loin chops dry on both sides. Using a brush, coat each chop with pomegranate syrup (from 2nd small bowl. Discard leftover syrup from this batch). Season with your favorite herb-forward rub and set aside.
- Preheat grill to high temperature.
- When grill is hot, cook chops for about 5 minutes per side. Internal temperature should be 130° for medium rare.
- Allow chops to rest 5-10 minutes, then serve with pomegranate and fig salsa and a drizzle of additional pomegranate syrup.