Marinated Lamb Shoulder Chops with Fresh Mint Sauce

Serves 4

Lamb blade shoulder chops are far tastier than their more expensive center-cut cousins, because they have more marbling. Marinate the chops first, then broil or grill them, and serve with fresh mint sauce.

2 cups packed, whole, fresh mint leaves
1 cup water
3 tablespoons honey, divided
Pinch salt
4 blade-cut lamb chops
1 large clove garlic, minced
Juice of 2 large lemons
1/3 cup fresh minced mint leaves
1/4 teaspoon coarse black pepper
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1. Combine the whole mint leaves with the water and 2 tablespoons of honey in a small saucepan, and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered until the liquid is reduced by half. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl. Add salt to taste. Set aside and keep warm, or make several days ahead and refrigerate. Reheat when ready to use.

2. In a shallow bowl large enough to hold the chops in a single layer, mix the garlic, lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of honey, minced mint leaves, pepper and olive oil. Place the chops in the marinade, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. Turn the chops over once or twice while they are marinating.

3. Prepare a gas grill or preheat the broiler. Drain the chops from the marinade, and grill or broil them. Use an instant-read thermometer for gauging when they are done: 145°F for rare, 160°F for medium and 170°F for well done.

4. Serve with some of the mint sauce.

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