Lamb is a rewarding meat to grill; whether you choose the cheaper or more expensive cuts, its flavour and tenderness are almost guaranteed if you grill it with care and serve it with imagination.
The following cuts of lamb are ones that are particularly suitable for quick grilling.
Loin chops: as their name suggests, these chops are cut from the loin of the lamb. They have a lean eye of meat surrounded by fat. They weigh about 125 g (4 oz) and are usually 25 mm (1 in) thick. Recipes
Chump chops: these are cut from between the loin and the leg. They are meatier than a loin chop but also have a larger bone. Chump chops weigh about 175 g (6 oz) and are usually 20 mm (3/4 in) thick.Recipes
Cutlets: these are also known as best end chops because they are cut from the best end of neck. The tenderest and cheapest of the chops, they are also tiny; you will probably need 3 per person. You can buy them ready-prepared or buy a best end of neck and do it yourself. Make sure that the chine bone has been removed (this requires a saw, but your butcher will probably do it quite happily). Skin the best end of neck and divide it up into cutlets by cutting down between the bones with a sharp knife. Trim any excess fat off each cutlet, following the shape of the meat, and scrape the meat away from the end of the bone.
Leg steaks: lean, tender slices from the very top of the leg, lamb steaks are often sold with the small round bone removed. Leg steaks weigh about 250 g (9 oz) and are about 20 mm (3/4 in) thick.
Shoulder and leg: These can both be boned and cubed and used for kebabs or brochettes. A shoulder weighing 1 kg (2 lb) will make about 700 g (1 1/4 lb) of boned meat. Leg steaks or the top (meatier) half of the leg are also ideal for brochettes. Lamb Shoulder RecipesLamb Leg Recipes
Kidneys: lamb's kidneys are an essential part of a traditional mixed grill, and are also delicious served for breakfast. Allow 2 or 3 kidneys per person.
Sweetbreads: these are glands from either the throat or pancreas of the lamb. They are sold in pairs which weigh 50 - 100 g (2 - 4 oz) or you can buy them in 450 g (1 lb) packs.
How to prepare lamb for grilling
Marinating: lamb benefits enormously from being marinated before grilling. Try olive oil and lemon juice with a little chopped onion and plenty of garlic and herbs. The marinade will tenderize the lamb and add to the flavour as well. Cubed lamb for brochettes should be marinated for at least 4 hours before cooking. Chops and steaks will absorb the most flavour if marinated overnight. Remember to take the meat, in its marinade, out of the refrigerator at least 2 hours before you wish to grill it so that it comes to room temperature.
When you are ready to grill it remove the meat from the marinade, draining off any excess. Reserve the marinade to baste the meat while it is grilling.
Pat meat that has not been marinated dry with absorbent paper before preparing it for cooking.
Trimming the fat: leave a small border of fat around the edge of large steaks and chops to help keep them moist while cooking. Slash the fat at intervals with a sharp knife to stop the fat curling up while it cooks. With cutlets and loin chops just trim the fat to follow the shape of the meat and neaten it in appearance. Seasoning: when you remove the meat from the refrigerator to bring it to room temperature, season it well with freshly ground black pepper and sprinkle with herbs if using. This allows plenty of time for the flavours to permeate the meat. Just before you are ready to grill the lamb season it again with salt and brush it with a half-and-half mixture of melted butter and oil.