It used to be that when I thought of lavender several things came to mind. Perfume, air freshener and soap to name a few. The one thing that I never even dreamed of was a lamb marinade.
A few years ago I bought a package of fresh herbs labeled “lamb marinade mix”. I was surprised to see that one of the herbs was lavender, but I decided to give it a try. Am I ever glad I did! The flavor and aroma this little herb imparts to your lamb is like nothing you would ever expect, and it’s beyond description. I can tell you this though, when I cook lamb outside on the grill, I’ve had many of the neighbors come over and ask me what smells so good. Once, when I was cooking a leg of lamb outside on a charcoal fire, a fellow actually followed the aroma from two blocks away. I gave him a slice of lamb, a beer and my marinade recipe. Nice summer memory.
These days I grow plenty of herbs in little pots on my deck. They are easy to grow and it’s always nice to have fresh herbs at hand when you need them. Also, I just like watching them grow.
Here is what you need for the marinade:
Hand full of fresh lavender,chopped
Hand full of fresh oregano,chopped
1/4 red onion sliced
3 cloves fresh garlic, peeled, crushed and sliced
2 cups olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup white vinegar
Here is what you do:
I mix all of the above ingredients in a large glass baking dish. Put in the lamb and cover with plastic wrap. Put in refrigerator. About once an hour I turn over the lamb and poke it all over with a fork. This kind of injects the marinade into the lamb.
4 hours of marinating gives good results for lamb chops. A whole leg of lamb is better if marinated over night.
Take your marinating lamb out of the fridge and set on the counter about 45 minutes prior to cooking. Your meat will cook more evenly if started out at about room temperature. And whatever you do, don’t over cook your lamb chops! 10 minutes on each side under a 500 degree broiler seems to work perfectly for me. Remember your meat keeps cooking for awhile after you take it away from the heat, so take it out when it looks almost done.
I hope you enjoy this dish as much as I do. It’s one of my favorites!