Lamb Chops with Chimichurri Sauce
Chimichurri is the quintessential Argentinian gaucho sauce, although it may be of Basque origin, because many from that region of Spain settled in Argentina in the nineteenth century. There are many local variations, but the essential ingredients are olive oil, parsley and marjoram or oregano. It’s great with beef or lamb, but also good with goat’s cheese.
8–16 lamb centre loin chops
extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons annual marjoram, chopped
flaky sea salt and freshly ground black
Chimichurri Sauce (see recipe)
rocket leaves, to serve
First make the chimichurri sauce (see recipe).
Trim the chops of excess fat, score the back fat. Take a flat dish or dishes large enough to take the chops in a single layer, brush with oil and sprinkle with some of the marjoram. Season the chops on both sides with pepper, then place on top of the marjoram. Sprinkle some more marjoram on top and drizzle with oil. Leave to marinate for 1 hour or more.
Brush off any excess oil, season well with flaky sea salt. Pan-grill or grill on a grid 15cm from the hot coals of a hot barbecue for 10–15 minutes, depending on the thickness and degree of doneness required. Serve the chops with lots of fresh rocket and the chimichurri sauce.
1 teaspoon salt
1 garlic bulb, cloves separated, peeled and finely chopped
25g (1oz) flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
10g (1/2oz) marjoram leaves, finely chopped
1–2 teaspoons crushed chilli flakes
50ml (2fl oz/1/4 cup) red wine vinegar
110ml (4fl oz/1/2 cup) extra virgin olive oil
150ml (5fl oz/generous 1/2 cup) water
1 teaspoon salt
Bring the water to the boil in a small saucepan. Add the salt and stir to dissolve. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
First, make the chimichurri sauce. Bring the water to the boil in a small
saucepan. Add the salt and stir to dissolve. Remove from heat and leave to cool
(this is the salmuera brine).
Put the garlic, parsley and marjoram into a bowl and add the chilli flakes. Whisk in the vinegar and oil. Then whisk in the salmuera brine to taste. Pour into a jar with a tight-fitting lid, cover and store in the fridge.
You can use chimichurri sauce as soon as it’s made, but ideally it should be made
at least one day ahead to allow the flavours to develop. It will keep in the fridge
for 2–3 weeks.
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