The “fast” is well and truly over and after an indulging, 12 vegan dish Xmas dinner (the leftovers of which took over two days to conquer) I’m looking forward to a proper meat feast. I must have been rather hungry, walking through the butcher’s door, cause the bag I walked out with seemed to weigh a ton…It contained couple of kilos of mince that will be used in various delightful dishes, both pork, beef and a 60/40 mix (my mom promised us a Mussaka and I’m holding her to it!), a boneless shoulder (for the pulled pork I intend to “pull” for NYE), couple of large racks of pork baby-back’s for my finger-licking marinated 2 way ribs and a bag of French trimmed lamb chops, which I intend to flash-pan-grill tonite. And all that came to 23 Leva, which is about £10!! It’s good to be in Bulgaria!!
I do love the Festive Season. Everyone’s mood seems to be elated and being back home this year, every day has been special… Regardless the hardships we had to endure over the Christmas period. Life, one in it’s dawn, another in it’s dusk teaches you a valuable lesson and each day feels like a gift from God. A gift that I want to return to them’al – to all my family with a good meal….at least! So tonight, because it’s the least I can do, my household gets to feast on sweet, juicy, tender lamb lollipops.
These are so easy to do and so hugely satisfying. Go to your butcher and ask him/her to choose a couple of young lamb’s rack of ribs, French trim them (but not go overboard) and cutlet slice them for you. All you need after that a tea-spoon each of powdered Cumin, Garam Masala and Chinese 5 spice
Lay your chops flat on a chopping board or a big plate and sprinkle evenly with the spice mix. Drizzle generously with chilli oil ( To make your own that is much better than the store bought, just drop 4-5 crushed dried red chillies in a Kilner or any other type of glass bottle and fill with good Extra Virgin olive oil. Let it rest for couple of days and Voilà! A little tip, as you are using it, keep topping the oil so it just covers the chillies – if you let them exposed they will start to mould!)Gather all the chops together and rub them well with your hands, distributing the spices evenly. Bash the meat slightly, using your knuckles. Let them rest for about 10 minutes and in the mean time prepare a small bowl of honey (about 50 ml), couple of tbsp of white sesame seeds and slice a lime, ready to squeeze. Start the stove and get a griddle pan on it. Ones it has heated very well, start laying your chops on the smoking surface. Make sure you have some windows open and get ready to wrestle with the fire alarm, as those beauties will fume the kitchen down!After 2 minutes turn the chops over. Wait for 2 more minutes and drizzle with the honey. Turn over again and sprinkle with the sesame seeds. Squeeze the lime juice on top of the chops, shake the pan well. Toss and turn them over a few more times quickly, basting them in all the juices until well caramelized.
All ready now, run with the pan towards the table and shout at everyone to come grab a chop by the bone…..A tomato and spring onion salad goes so well with them but it really isn’t necessary as it barely gets any attention…