Not so long ago, my wife and I were touring some of the wine country in Spain when we stopped at Remelluri, a maker of excellent Tempranillo, located high in the hills of Rioja. Click here to view their site.
We were seated at a small dining area within the winery, when the waiter brought out a platter piled with lamb chops quite unlike any I had seen before: instead of thick and rare, they had been grilled dark brown over high heat, but previously pounded thin, bone and all, almost of if one were preparing some kind of schnitzel. Absolutely delicious!
The secret, I think, lies in the size and consequent quality of the baby lamb in the southern Mediterranean. As an archaeologist, I used to spend considerable time in Greece, and well remember that whole lambs in the Athenian central market seldom weighed more than fourteen pounds, including the head. Somehow all of that youth produced a singularly concentrated flavor.
Try this: at Costco, instead of buying the lamb chops, get the very small and fresh racks of lamb from New Zealand. Cut them into individual chops and pound them thin. Brush with olive oil, add salt and pepper, and, if you like, some garlic. Grill them over very high heat until crispy, squeeze some fresh lemon juice over them just before piling them on a platter to bring to the table.
As Poe once wrote: “Only this and nothing more.” I would suggest, of course, a nice glass of Remelluri Tempranillo to go with your lamb.