These Aleppo Lamb Chops with Minty Peas are a bit of an elevated riff on something I ate regularly growing up. Maybe once a week, my father would simply season some lamb chops and pan-fry until the entire house was filled with smoke. Along with my Mama’s Chicken Soup, pan-fried lamb chops are of the dishes I most associate with my childhood.
My father would always serve the lamb chops with canned peas and corn, some roughly chopped tomatoes and cucumbers, and a very herbaceous, homemade tomato sauce I came to lovingly refer to as Papa’s Herby Ketchup. I made sure to include a recipe for the lamb chops and sauce in my cookbook (coming Sept 1 and available for pre-order now!).
This version is a bit more upscale than my papa’s. I season the lamb chops with Aleppo pepper and smoked paprika. And rather than serve the chops with canned peas, which are almost always contain sugar, I sauté some frozen green peas in extra-virgin olive oil with plenty of shallots and garlic, and a little bit of fresh mint. It presents beautifully on the plate and the flavours work really well together.
I don’t know about you, but when The Whole30 officially changed the rules of the program to allow green peas, I damn near did a cartwheel. I absolutely love them and they’re incredibly versatile. They’re great sautéed, blanched and added to salads, or worked into stews. You can read more about the change here.
When it comes to serving, you can try the Aleppo Lamb Chops with Minty Peas alongside a salad of choice (a classic Greek salad works really well here and actually riffs on the way I had it growing up). For something a bit more hearty, try it with some roasted potatoes or for another taste of my childhood, my father’s Half-Sashed Garlic and Dill Potatoes.
Aleppo Lamb Chops Substitutes
If you don’t have lamb loin chops on hand, can’t find them in your neck of the woods, or simply don’t like lamb, you have a few options:
- use your favourite cut of steak
- substitute pork chops
- use chicken thighs or chicken breast (see here for a pan-roasted method)
- just make the minty peas and serve it with whatever you got going on
Pairing these pan-fried Aleppo Lamb Chops with some sautéed Minty Peas makes for an easy and delicious main course. Try serving with roast potatoes or salad
- 8-10 lamb loin chops
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil
- Kosher salt and freshly-cracked black pepper
- 1 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
- 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper or crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons ghee substitute butter for non-Whole30
- 26 ounces frozen peas
- 3 shallots thinly sliced
- Kosher salt
- 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 8 mint leaves finely chopped
- Freshly-cracked black pepper
- ¼ cup water
- Massage the lamb chops with 1 tablespoon of avocado oil and season both sides with the salt, pepper, paprika and Aleppo pepper.
- Preheat a cast-iron pan over medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of avocado oil and heat until shimmering. Carefully lay in the lamb chops and cook until browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip and cook until browned on the other side, around 3 to 4 minutes, or until the internal temperature registers 135F for medium-rare. If necessary, fry the chops in batches so as not to overcrowd the pan.
- Transfer the lamb chops to a platter, tent with foil to keep them warm and set aside.
- Wipe the pan used to cook the lamb chops and return it to the stove over medium heat. Add olive oil and ghee and heat until shimmering. Add the shallots and season with a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring often, until golden brown, around 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute.
- Add the peas and cook, stirring occasionally, until they’re warmed through, around 8 minutes. Add the mint and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the water and cook, scraping the bottom of the pan to lift any brown bits, until reduced in volume by half, around 3 minutes. Taste for seasoning and adjust as desired.
- Transfer the peas to a serving platter and top with lamb chops. Serve immediately.