Five Unexpected Lamb Cuts That You Should Be Grilling

Are you grilling lamb this summer? Think beyond the rack with these five cuts that are D’Artagnan favorites on the grill. Treat your grill like an oven – just close the lid and use indirect heat to roast large cuts like shoulder or leg of lamb – with the added benefit of smoky flavor. Read on to discover fresh lamb cuts for summer meals. 

1. Lamb Porterhouse Chops

For true fans of lamb, these are the ultimate chops. Thickly cut, with bone-in, these 8-ounces of tender lamb are the equivalent of a porterhouse steak, only smaller. They will cook up quickly on the grill, with great flavor. Season simply with salt, pepper, garlic, rosemary or any herbs you like.

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Juicy lamb porterhouse chops.

Try the reverse sear method on the grill; start the chops on the cool side of the grill with the lid closed, then move them to the hot side when they are just shy of done (125-130°F). This will give the chops a good finish and leave the inside rare to medium-rare (the only way to enjoy lamb). Use a thermometer to gauge the temperature.

The harissa spice rub in this recipe is excellent for any lamb cut, including these chops.

2. Boneless Lamb Loin

These boneless lamb loins – popular among our chef clients – offer incredible tenderness and flavor without the gaminess often associated with lamb. Lamb loin simply adorned with traditional rosemary is a standout during grilling season. Fennel seeds make a refreshing accompaniment, and if you have fresh fennel bulbs, grill them along with the lamb.

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Try our domestic lamb loin with a fat cap, or lean grass-fed Australian lamb loin.

Be sure to score the fat side before grilling. Start the lamb loins skin side on the grill for 6 – 8 minutes or until some of the fat is rendered out and some browning occurs. Flip and continue cooking until a thermometer reads 125°F at the thickest part. Let it rest for 10 -15 minutes before slicing.

Try the spice rub from our lamb loin shawarma recipe or season with sumac to add Middle Eastern flavor to your backyard parties.

3. Lamb Denver Ribs

Lamb Dever ribs are smaller than pork ribs and are packed with great lamb flavor; the cut includes seven or so rib bones from the breast. While they are great when braised or slow-cooked, you can briefly poach the ribs and finish on the grill. Think of them as an alternative to baby back pork ribs … so, lamb spare ribs.

Denver Ribs Lamb

Start the lamb ribs meat side down on the grill, over moderately low heat. Turn them once to get a char all over. Reduce the heat, or move the ribs to indirect heat if grilling over coals, baste with sauce every ten minutes or so. It will take an hour or more over low heat before you have tender ribs. Let them rest tented with foil for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Marinate with your favorite spices, use a standard BBQ recipe, or try our recipe for harissa rubbed lamb ribs. Lambtastic!

4. Lamb Shoulder

You might think a hefty lamb shoulder should be slow-roasted in the oven. Just use your grill like an oven to cook this cut, with indirect heat and a closed lid to create a smoky convection effect.

Rub with seasoning or marinate overnight. Place the lamb fat-side up in a roasting pan and add half a cup of water; cover tightly with a lid or aluminum foil. Place on grill and cook covered until the meat is fork-tender and gently pulls away from the bones, about 3 – 4 hours, checking and occasionally adding more water if needed. Remove the foil and let the lamb brown all over. Let it rest for 30 minutes before serving. When ready, shred lamb off the bone and serve it like pulled pork.

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This 6-lb shoulder comes from Australian grass-fed lamb.

5. Boneless Leg of Lamb

We saved the best for last. A boneless leg of lamb is an ideal candidate for grilling. It cooks fairly quickly and will develop a lovely crust. Rub with a mix of olive oil, garlic, rosemary, fennel, salt, and pepper, or your choice of seasoning. This cut can even be butterflied to cook more evenly when flattened on the grill.

Bring to room temperature, then sear the meat over the hottest part of the grill until evenly browned on all sides. Then close the cover of the grill and cook until the internal temperature at the thickest part is about 125°F. Let rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

Boneless Leg of LambWhat are your favorite cuts of lamb on the grill? If you try one of these lamb cuts on the grill, let us know – we love to hear what’s cooking!

Explore all our tasty lamb options at dartagnan.com.


Since 1985, D’Artagnan has been at the forefront of the farm-to-table movement, producing superior tasting products by partnering with small ranches and farms. We are committed to free-range, natural production, sustainable and humane farming practices and no use of antibiotics or hormones. That’s why D’Artagnan products have been revered by America’s most renowned chefs for over 30 years. We offer the same high-quality products to home cooks at dartagnan.com, along with recipes and guides to help you live the tasty life.

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Bonnie says:

    Could a boneless leg of lamb be cooked sous vide and finished-off on a grill?

    1. D'Artagnan says:

      Yes, that would work well! Let us know if you try it.

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