This is a sponsored conversation written by me in partnership with the American Lamb board. All opinions expressed are my own.
Looking for a romantic dish to make for your Valentines Day dinner in this year? Look no further, I’ve got you covered with these delicious and easy to prepare pomegranate glazed lamb pops.
Don’t let cooking lamb intimidate you, lamb pops are beyond easy to cook and taste like you’re dining at a five star restaurant. These little gems are succulent, have incredible flavor, and take only minutes to prepare making them ideal for a special dinner or party. Plus, aren’t they pretty?
What are lamb pops?
Lamb pops or chops are simply a cut up and cleaned up rack of lamb. When ordering, ask your butcher for a rack of American lamb and have it frenched and cut into chops or lollipops.
When you choose American Lamb, you support the nation’s shepherds and their families and help to sustain working farmland and farm communities. These family farmers and ranchers throughout the U.S. are passionate about providing you with high quality, flavorful lamb in a way that sustains our industry, supports our communities, and preserves our land and resources for future generations.
You can learn more about the various cuts of lamb here.
How to prep lamb pops
Your butcher will do most of the work for you, but feel free to clean up the pops if you like a smooth rib. My husband will take a small paring knife and scrape any remaining silverskin off to perfection. I’m less picky but appreciate his cleaning skills.
I also remove the top layer of fat, but some (my mother) may disagree with doing so. Yes, it adds flavor, but it will also increase your cook time as it takes a bit to render down.
These pops are so flavorful on their own you could simply season with salt and pepper and be done. However, I like to add a little olive oil and herbs to complement their rich flavor.
I have no problem enjoying lamb pops sprinkled simply with salt and pepper, but I wanted to dress up these little gems for our special Valentine’s Day dinner in, so I threw together this sticky pomegranate glaze on a whim and it took these pops to NEXT LEVEL deliciousness.
Excuse me while I wipe the drool from my mouth… just typing this is making me hungry.
The secret ingredient to this taste bud explosion is pomegranate molasses. You can find this at most grocery stores with an international aisle or even online. While cooking, it reduces to the most perfect texture and is full of flavor. Bonus… it’s packed full of immune fighting antioxidants.
Tips for cooking lamb pops
- season well
- allow pops to come to room temperature before cooking
- grill or sear
- avoid using non stick pans (I love a good cast iron)
- stick around, these pops cook up fast
- allow pops to rest before serving
You really can’t go wrong with this cut!! It cooks up so beautifully and is always packed full of flavor!!
Did you you know February is lamb lover’s month? Perfect timing for this dish to join your Valentine’s Day dinner plans!! Head over to @fanoflamb on IG to enter their weekly contests for the chance to win a Food52 x Staub 2-in-1 Grill Pan & Cocotte cookery set, and a luxurious Faribault Cabin Wool Throw blanket. Just the the coziest couple’s giveaway ever!! You can read more about LLM here.
What are your Valentine’s Day plans? Are you staying in or going out? I have never enjoyed the crowds on Valentine’s Day weekend, so we almost always stay in. I much prefer a delicious fancy meal in the comfort of my kitchen and sweatpants… am I alone?
Let me know in the comments below if you make this dish and as always tag me on social media so I can see it!
Lamb Pops (chops) with Pomegranate Glaze
For the lamb
- 1 rack American lamb, frenched about 2 pounds
- 2 tbsp olive oil, for drizzling
- 2 tsp fresh rosemary
- kosher salt and pepper, to taste
For the pomegranate glaze
- 1 cup pomegranate juice
- 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
- 3 tbsp pomegranate molasses
- 3 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp orange zest
- 1 clove garlic, pressed
- 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup pomegranate arils
- 2 tbsp chopped parsley
Sprinkle the lamb pops with salt, pepper and rosemary. Drizzle with olive oil and let stand at room temperature for 30 to 60 minutes.
In a saucepan over high heat, combine the pomegranate juice, orange juice, molasses, honey, orange zest, garlic and red pepper flakes and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until thickened to a sticky syrupy consistency, about 25 to 30 minutes. Divide into two bowls.
Preheat a cast iron pan over high heat.
Place the lamb pops in the preheated pan and sear until well browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn the pops over and brush with the pomegranate glaze from one of the bowls. Continue cooking until the pops are tender and an instant read thermometer inserted into the center of a pop registers around 125°F for medium rare. USDA recommends a final internal temperature of 145°F with a 3 min rest, but I like mine a bit more rare so I pull it out around 125°F and let it rest for 10 minutes. Baste with glaze.
Remove pops and transfer to individual plates. Drizzle with additional glaze from the second bowl. Sprinkle with pomegranate arils, parsley and pepper. Serve immediately.
How do you know lamb pops are done? Here’s a quick temperature guide for you to follow. With each pull time temp, allow meat to rest for 3 minutes.
Medium rare at 145°F
Medium at 150°F
Well done at 160°F