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Saturday, June 16, 2007

Lamb Shoulder Chop Packets

First of all, I'd like to remind everyone to vote for Mario's Father's Day dinner in the sidebar, if you haven't already. I am going to go shopping for the ingredients tomorrow morning. Mario keeps checking back to see if his favorite is winning. He thinks I should have let HIM pick his Father's Day Dinner... but really, how much fun would THAT be!

Last night we had what I like to call a "packet dinner". In two of those BBQ packets there are lamb shoulder chops.... if you want to find out what was in the other packets, you will have to come back tomorrow!

Lamb shoulder chops are a little tougher than some other cuts of lamb, and I think they benefit most from braising. Since I didn't want to have the oven on so long on such a hot day, I decided to try slow cooking them on the BBQ in packets. To do this, I had to tell Mario to go easy on the heat in the BBQ. It was really hard for Mario to practice this sort of restraint. This is a guy who giggles like a 10 year old when he manages to build the campfire 12 feet high and I couldn't even tell you how many times, since I've known him, that he burnt off his arm hair and eyebrows...

I only had time to marinate the lamb for about an hour, but I think if you had more time it would be even better. When I marinate meat, I use my food saver machine and put all the ingredients with the meat in a bag and suction seal it. This accelerates the marinating. I think I might have got a little carried away when I was chucking stuff into the bag, and I hope I remembered everything I put in. In the end, the dinner worked out great. The lamb was juicy and tender and the [insert your guess here] in the other packets was fabulous!

Lamb Shoulder Chop Packets

4 Lamb shoulder chops
2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 large red onion, roughly chopped
1 green onion, chopped
1 small green pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/2 cup red wine
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper

1. Put all ingredients together in a bag or container with a lid and marinate for at least one hour and up to one day.

2. Place the meat onto large rectangles of foil (2 per packet) arrange the vegetables on top of them and pour the remaining marinade over the chops. Seal the packets.

3. Barbeque over indirect heat for about 1 hour (alternate: you can put the packets in a 300°F over for about 1.5 hours)

4. After an hour open the packet and take a look, chances are it will look and smell so good, you will eat it then even if it could use a few more minutes!