I made another batch of Mejadra (Mujadra) recently, the awesome middle eastern dish consisting of rice, lentils, gads of spices, and fried onions, and enjoyed it over the course of a week as a dinner side as well as a meatless lunchtime meal. It's an easy, healthy, and super flavorful dish to keep on-hand to fill in the gaps of a given week's meal plan and it seems to get better with each reheating. I served up my last left-over portion as a dinner side with some delicious double thick lamb chops that I had in the freezer. Following the lead of my friends Clay and Zach over at The Bitten Word, I decided to marinate my lamb "post-grilling" as the meat rested in a bowl of za'atar and EVOO…..and it was SO GOOD I almost wept!
The Bitten Boys had posted recently about a Cook's Country technique of post-cooking marinating as a way of imparting the best marinade flavor in the meat, and I have been dying to give it a try. The general idea is that marinating prior to cooking renders the meat very wet when thrown on the grill and inhibits a good char from forming. On the other hand, soaking the meat after cooking (during it's resting period) in the marinade results in the relaxing meat soaking up the fresh marinade flavors just before serving. It works brilliantly!
Cheers – Steve
- 2 double thick lamb rib chops per person
- 2 tablespoons za'atar and 2 tablespoons EVOO per person
- Mejadra with seasoned yogurt and fresh cilantro (recipe found here)
- Heat the oven to 400℉.
- Whisk the za'atar and EVOO in a bowl large enough to hold the number of chops you're cooking.
- Let the chops come to room temperature, then season them with salt and pepper on all sides.
- Heat an oven proof skillet over medium-high heat, drizzle in some canola oil just to coat the bottom, and when hot add the seasoned chops. Sear on both sides as well as along the fat cap on the outside of the ribs (about 3 minutes). When each side has taken on good color, arrange the chops meat side down in the pan and transfer it to the oven to complete cooking, about an additional 7 minutes (10 minutes total cooking time) for medium rare.
- Remove the chops from the oven and place them in the bowl with the za'atar EVOO mix. Roll them around in the spice-oil mix to coat, and let rest there about 5-7 minutes.
- To serve, spoon reheated Mejadra onto plates, top with seasoned yogurt and fresh cilantro. Dredge the chops in the za'atar and stand them (interlocking the bones) on the plates. Spoon additional za'atar oil over the chops as desired, and give a quick dusting of freshly ground black pepper and a flaky sea salt.