Seared Lamb Chops with Mint Salt Dry Rub

Seared Lamb Chops with Mint Salt,, Maureen Abood

The funny thing is, I wasn’t even thinking meat rub when I came up with the Mint Salt idea.

The goal was to make any food, especially salads and vegetables, taste authentically Lebanese, not to mention out-of-this-world fresh and delicious, with one pinch of the fingertips in a spice tin.

Brainstorming what to call this new spice with my sissie, we had ideas like “Salad Salt,” which hardly seemed to stress how good a sea salt with a mint profile really is. And how unique. We pushed on: Ultimate Salt? Go-To Salt? Ultimate Go-To Salt?

Lamb Chops, Maureen Abood Market

I know, we sound kind of, uh, not so creative. But then as the recipe-testing played out for the salts (one with garlic, one without), I realized there’s nothing more important and evocative than that one special word, meaningful to all Lebanese and even to cooks everywhere, including chefs at the highest end of fine dining:

Mint.

At nearly every #rosewaterbook event, I’ve gone through my Lebanese ingredient run-down. Mint is the star of that show. I say with a smile, and with no offense to our Italian cousins, that I do believe “Mint is the new basil!” Everyone seems to get it, and to want it.

Favorite Mint Salt, Maureen Abood Market

Mint Rubbed Chops, Maureen Abood

We love our mint fresh, and we grow it. Or some of us do. And we love our mint dried, and we dry it. Or some of us do.

I have found there is always a need for more mint than I dry, and I just want my spice blend at the ready. When I gave some newly minted Mint Salt to Geralyn, she got wide-eyed tasting a tomato-cucumber salad with the spice: You mean I just sprinkle a hefty pinch of this over my salad, and voila, it’s Lebanese salad? No making my own dried nana? No measuring?? OMG.

Mint Rubbed Chops V, Maureen Abood

 

This from a girl who cooks Lebanese great like a Sitti, but has next to zero time to do it. The prepared Mint Salt takes out a whole huge process, since it is not so typical to find dried mint in the spice aisle at Meijer.

Now, nowhere on the Mint Salt tin will you see anything about rubbing it on your meats, lamb in particular. What? I know. As happens in this fast-paced world of cookbook writing and product development, we learn things after the fact that would have been great to know sooner (i.e., my new talami-making method that shuts down the method in the book in a hearbeat, it’s so much easier. My apologies!! Find it right here!).

Searing Lamb Chops, Maureen Abood

Searing Lamb Chops Flipped, Maureen Abood

I made lamb chops not long ago and my tin of Mint Salt was there on the counter as I cooked.

Eureka! My own eyes got wide as I rubbed the salt generously on all sides of the chops, then pan-seared them. As Geralyn would say, and as we all would most definitely say: O.M.G.!!! It’s crazy.

Seared Lamb Chops with Mint Salt,, Maureen Abood

So let’s don’t limit ourselves to just a pinch and sprinkle of Mint Salt on salads and vegetables. Get your quality meats on, and rub the Mint Salt in but good, before and after. After all, the tins do say they’re great on vegetables, in dips, yogurt, “and more!”

Much, much more.

Seared Lamb Chops with Mint Salt Dry Rub
Serves: 3
The chops can be broiled or grilled rather than pan-seared. For searing, it’s helpful to use a splatter guard.
Ingredients
  • 6 lamb chops (or more, or fewer)
  • [url href=”http://maureenaboodmarket.com/collections/spices/products/mint-salt?variant=1070769937″ target=”_blank”]Mint Salt[/url], [url href=”http://maureenaboodmarket.com/collections/spices/products/garlic-mint-salt?variant=16601511361″ target=”_blank”]Garlic Mint Salt[/url], or your own combination of dried mint and sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • [url href=”https://maureenaboodmarket.com/collections/holiday-gifts/products/mint-love?variant=31602817665″ target=”_blank”]Extra-Virgin Olive Oil (with Mint if you please!) for finishing[/url]
Instructions
  1. Rub the lamb chops liberally with mint salt on all sides. Rest for up to an hour, or refrigerate over night, then bring the chops to room temperature.
  2. In a heavy saute pan, heat the olive oil and butter over medium high heat until the butter is melted and hot, but not smoking. Swirl the pan to combine the fats.
  3. Place the lamb chops in the hot pan, listening for the big sizzle. Adjust the heat down a touch if needed. If there’s no big sizzle, remove the chops and heat the pan until it’s hot but not smoking.
  4. Cook the chops until they are deep golden brown, about 5 minutes. Flip and continue to cook to desired doneness. For medium rare, cook for about 15-20 minutes.
  5. Be sure to turn the chops to sear the fatty sides so those are golden and the fat is somewhat rendered.
  6. To finish, drizzle with a touch of Extra-Virgin Olive Oil infused with mint, and a dusting of more mint salt.

 

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20 Comments

  1. Jim Abood on March 21, 2016 at 12:56 PM

    Mint Salt! What a great idea! And those lamb chops look amazing! Bravo Cousin, Bravo!

  2. sue|theviewfromgreatisland on March 21, 2016 at 1:50 PM

    Perfect timing, i was just thinking about heading to the supermarket for some lamb — love the mint salt!

  3. Geralyn Lasher on March 21, 2016 at 2:25 PM

    OMG is EXACTLY what I said when I tasted how delicious this was! Can’t wait to make the lamb! You are the best!

  4. Beth on March 21, 2016 at 3:00 PM

    Where do you buy it?

    • Maureen Abood on March 21, 2016 at 10:27 PM

      Hi Beth–buy it here!

  5. pat abraham on March 22, 2016 at 11:15 AM

    Maureen,
    Love lamb and this recipe looks so easy. I’m one of those who grow and dry my own mint. Thank you for a great website!

    Pat

  6. Mignon on March 23, 2016 at 3:28 PM

    Hi Maureen,

    What’s the best way to dry your own mint?

    Thanks for superb recipes!

    Mignon

    • Maureen Abood on March 27, 2016 at 7:00 AM

      Hello Mignon–you’ll find the method in my cookbook and here, on this blog!

  7. Emz on March 25, 2016 at 5:38 AM

    Hi Maureen , This so reminds me of Tayta drying her mint and sorry not sorry mint kills basil any day lol.

  8. Rose on April 3, 2016 at 10:01 PM

    Hi Maureen,
    This sounds wonderful. Never thought about seasoning the lamb chops with mint but usually only used salt and pepper. Would you do anything different if you wanted to cook these on the outside grill?

    • Maureen Abood on April 4, 2016 at 11:45 AM

      Thanks Rose! The mint salt rub is excellent for the grill too. You can dab the chops with a touch of olive oil before you grill, taking care to preserve the rub.

  9. The Foodie's Vine on June 1, 2016 at 4:50 AM

    Great article and recipe, the mint salt idea is awesome!

  10. Patricia Cloud on April 15, 2019 at 10:53 AM

    OMG! I have beautiful lamb chops in my refrigerator and cannot wait to cook these!! I will DEFINITELY report back. I have always loved mint jelly as an accompanying accoutrement….but, never thought about the mint salt before and after cooking. BRILLIANT!
    Pat ….waiting to get North to Boyne………..

    • Maureen Abood on April 15, 2019 at 5:49 PM

      Enjoy Pat!!! So delicious!

  11. Asma Sheikh on December 11, 2019 at 1:02 AM

    Hey, I have never test mint salt before. Hope it will be amazing experience 🙂

    • Maureen Abood on December 23, 2019 at 8:52 AM

      Mint salt is fabulous!! A great flavor maker to keep on hand.

  12. Patricia Cloud on December 24, 2019 at 10:02 AM

    Merry Christmas Eve! I can now report that this spice has been such a hit with my friends! The comment I now hear is: “OMG, these are THE BEST lamb chops I have ever had!” I must admit, however, that we varied the cooking method. My husband, Doyle, is a “Sous Vide aficionado.” So, I dried the chops as best I could and then dipped them in Ponzu Sauce before dredging in the Mint Salt. We carefully placed 4 chops in each Sous Vide bag and included fresh rosemary and thyme sprigs. (Once I was out of thyme and used oregano.). Then, we cooked them for 4 hours at 131 degrees. Then, we dried them off again and seared them in grapeseed oil in an iron skillet for about 1-1/2 minutes a side; and, they were still perfectly medium rare. RAVE REVIEWS FOR MAUREEN ABOOD’s MINT SALT!!!!!!!!

    • Maureen Abood on December 26, 2019 at 1:58 PM

      This is SO cool!!! Thank you for your lesson on sous vide lamb chops…I can’t wait to try. I’m happy to hear you love the lamb+mint salt combo as much as we do!!! Thank you!

  13. Gail clarke on April 8, 2020 at 10:54 AM

    I will prepare those as soon as our
    Terrific
    toski sands market open up here in Petoskey and harbor

    • Maureen Abood on April 11, 2020 at 8:42 PM

      Oh gosh, can’t wait, right?!

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I'm so glad you're here! You'll find among these pages the fresh and classic Lebanese recipes we can't get enough of! My mission is to share my tried + true recipes -- and to help our Lebanese food-loving community keep these culinary traditions alive and on the table. What recipes are you looking for? Let me know!

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