Shoulder chops are an economical and flavorful alternative to rib or loin lamb chops. It is a strange quirk of meat pricing that the most flavorful meat is also the cheapest. This is because flavor and tenderness are inversely proportional. Since meat prices are mostly determined by a cut's degree of tenderness, tough, flavorful cuts, like lamb shoulder, are a great buy. The main difference between grilling shoulder chops and more expensive lamb chops is the level of heat. Keep the heat relatively low, no more than medium, and turn the chops several times to keep the heat distribution even.
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 4 bone-in lamb shoulder chops (about
- 8 ounces each)
- 1 large head escarole
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons cracked black pepper
- 1 lemon, cut into 4 wedges (optional)
Combine the olive oil, garlic, and vinegar in a shallow dish. Coat the lamb steaks with half the olive oil mixture and set aside for 30 minutes.
Light a grill for direct medium heat, about 375°F.
Trim the outer dark green leaves from the escarole. Cut the head in half lengthwise and hold under cold running water to wash away any dirt trapped between the leaves. Cut each half lengthwise into 4 wedges, making sure that each wedge contains a piece of core holding the wedge together. Add the salt and ground black pepper to the remaining olive oil mixture, and toss the escarole wedges to coat.
Season the lamb steaks on both sides with the cracked pepper.
Brush the grill grate and coat with oil. Put the lamb steaks on the grill, cover the grill, and cook until browned on both sides and resilient to the touch, about 30 minutes, turning the lamb about every 8 minutes. (An instant-read thermometer inserted horizontally into the center of the thickest chop should register about 155°F.)
During the last 8 minutes of grilling, put the escarole wedges on the grill and cook until grill-marked and tender, about 4 minutes per side.
Serve each lamb steak with 2 wedges of escarole and a wedge of lemon, if desired.
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