We caught up with Smokey Bones VP of Culinary, Chef Jason Gronlund, shortly after his third-straight victory in the Chef Showdown at the Gilroy Garlic Festival. Jason was demoing an Australian Lamb dish for the crowd, his Tandoori-marinated lamb chops.
Jason told the crowd that big, bold herbs and flavors are great on the grill and great with lamb - there’s a reason that they’ve been cooking lamb tandoori-style in India for centuries!
“I prefer Australian Lamb because they’re smaller racks, sweet and mild, not as heavily flavored. I also like to “french” my lamb racks, which is to clean the bone-ends of the rack. it makes for a great-looking presentation, especially when you’re serving “lollipop” chops,” said Jason.
Another reason to French the chops is for ease of eating, in keeping with Jason’s theory of hands-on dining: “If it has a bone in it, or had a bone in it, or you think it should have had a bone in it, you should eat it with your fingers!”
We think Jason would be right at home at an Aussie BBQ! Here are his top tips for grilling lamb:
Jason’s Do’s and Don’ts for grilling
- Don’t crank up the heat too high - it gives you time to react to how your meat is cooking, and to go get a beverage when you need one
- Don’t use oil in your marinade - it helps keep the flare-ups down, and you don’t really need it. Oil in marinades dates back to a time when you wanted a layer of oil covering your meat to keep it from spoiling - with refrigeration, it really isn’t necessary, and doesn’t add much flavor
- Do oil your grill before your start grilling to prevent sticking
- Do cook lamb to about 135-140 degrees; medium rare really is best for lamb