With grilling season now in full swing, lamb is a great option to enjoy and among the favorites in Greek cuisine. Try the following recipes for a traditional taste of Greece from the grill.
Greek Lamb Chops
5 large garlic cloves
4 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons Greek dried oregano
Greek sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 4 lemons)
1/2 cup Greek extra virgin olive oil
8 lamb chops, (frenched, if preferred)
Place the garlic, rosemary, oregano, 1 teaspoon of salt, and a 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add the lemon juice and the olive oil and process until combined. Place the lamb chops in a glass or ceramic dish large enough to contain them in a single layer and deep enough to contain the marinade. Pour the marinade over the lamb chops and turn them to coat both sides evenly with the marinade. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for two hours or up to overnight.
To cook the lamb chops, prepare your outdoor grill as needed. If using a gas grill, heat to medium high. Remove the marinaded lamb from the refrigerator and season with salt and pepper to taste and grill to desired doneness- for medium rare grill 4-5 minutes on each side, add an additional 1-2 minutes on each side for medium. If using a meat thermometer, the USDA recommended safe internal temperature for lamb is 165 degrees for medium well. Remove the cooked lamb chops from the grill, place on a platter, tent with aluminum foil, and set aside to rest for ten minutes. Allowing the lamb chops to rest before serving helps keep them juicy. Serve with tzatziki sauce and your favorite side dishes.
Greek lamb sliders. (Photo by Eleni Sakellis)
Greek Lamb Sliders
2 pounds ground lamb
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint, plus leaves for garnish
4 tablespoons grated onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Greek dried oregano
1 teaspoon Greek sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons Greek extra virgin olive oil
8 slider buns, split and toasted
5 ounces feta, crumbled, optional
Tzatziki (recipe follows)
In a large mixing bowl, mix the lamb, chopped mint, onion, garlic, oregano, salt, pepper and olive oil. Form into sliders or mini burgers. Prepare your outdoor grill as needed. If using a gas grill, heat to medium high. Grill sliders, turning them after about 8 minutes and continue cooking until desired doneness.
Place the cooked sliders on toasted buns, and serve with cucumber slices, feta, tzatziki, and mint leaves for garnish.
1 large seedless cucumber, grated coarsely
Greek sea salt
2 cups Greek yogurt
4-6 garlic cloves to taste, minced
3 tablespoons Greek extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
Place grated cucumber in a strainer over a bowl, sprinkle with a 1/4 teaspoon salt and let stand for 30 minutes to an hour to drain off the liquid. If preferred, place in cheesecloth and after an hour squeeze out any excess liquid. Place the cucumber in a mixing bowl with the yogurt, garlic, olive oil, lemon, and dill, and toss to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt, if needed. Cover tightly and chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes before serving.