Most sailors follow their own routines, usually superstitions to avoid bad luck. I know one skipper who won’t let his crew bring bananas aboard, and another who refuses to let anyone whistle on the foredeck. But whenever I start a charter trip with family and friends, I have one routine that seems to guarantee good fortune: I serve grilled lamb chops for our first dinner onboard.
I’ve grilled these tasty morsels while anchored in the islands of Washington, British Columbia, California and, most recently, the British Virgin Islands. We always try to sleep aboard the night before a charter, so there’s plenty of time to marinate the chops for the following night’s dinner. Giving the meat a full 24 hours to marinate brings out the tastes that will dazzle your family and guests. We usually serve the chops with baby red potatoes and a steamed green vegetable. And because we’re Californians, we pour a proud zinfandel and toast our good fortune at once again starting a charter trip with good friends and good food.
Grilled Lamb Chops Dijon Recipe
Makes Six Servings
- 6 lamb chops (either loin or rib)
- Ground black pepper, to taste
- 3 teaspoons dried rosemary, crushed
- 3 tablespoons garlic, crushed
- 6 tablespoons Dijon mustard /Users/elawson/Desktop/heesen-tout.jpg
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons dry sherry
- 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ground sage
Rinse and dry chops. Grind black pepper onto chops and sprinkle with half of the crushed rosemary. Firmly press into the meat. Smear half the crushed garlic and then half the Dijon mustard over the chops. Pat the paste with your fingers so it sticks to the meat. Turn chops over and repeat process on the other side. Put the coated chops into a resealable bag and add lemon juice, sherry, soy sauce, olive oil and sage. Massage the air out of the bag; zip it shut. Place bag in the ice chest or refrigerator overnight, turning a couple of times to evenly distribute marinade. (If you can’t marinate overnight, do so at room temperature for two to three hours.) Preheat grill until hot. Grill chops about eight minutes per side for medium-rare meat. Each grill differs, so check meat often to avoid overcooking. When chops are done, set on a warmed plate. Tent with aluminum foil and let meat rest for at least 10 minutes while you steam the vegetables, open the red wine, and call your guests to the table.
Can be prepared at anchor, prep time is 4-8 hours, easy to prepare.
Tips for Great Grilled Chops
- Always bring chops to room temperature before grilling for faster and more consistent cooking.
- Turn chops with tongs, not a fork, to avoid piercing meat.
- Trim excess fat before grilling to avoid flare-ups. (Leave a bit on for added flavor).
- Always let meat rest for a few minutes before serving to enhance flavor.
- Grills differ; when in doubt, use a meat thermometer. Internal temperature for medium-rare meat is 125 to 130 degrees F. For well-done chops, internal temperature should be 160 degrees F.
-Lynda Morris Childress