Grilled Lamb Chops With Compound Butter

Grilled Lamb Chops With Compound Butter will certainly tantalize the senses, and is a perfect main course for your romantic Valentine’s dinner at home. Of course, it is also elegant enough for a holiday dinner party, and while this recipe is written for two, it is an easy one to scale up! 

A bronze ceramic plate with grilled lamb chops with compound butter, mashed cauliflower, and sautéed spinach on a bronze plate.

Eating is so intimate. It’s very sensual. When you invite someone to sit at your table and you want to cook for them, you’re inviting a person into your life.

~~ Maya Angelou

👩🏻‍🍳 Tamara Talks – Valentine’s Day “Eating In”

The smell of garlic, extra virgin olive oil, and fresh herbs sizzling away in my sauté pan always whets my appetite. This Italian-inspired dish has plenty of both – the lamb chops are marinated in olive oil, fresh thyme and rosemary, and garlic prior to grilling, and the spinach is simply wilted in olive oil, garlic, crushed red pepper, sherry vinegar, and combined with toasted pignolas and currants.

The pièce de résistance is the fresh herb and bleu cheese compound butter that graces the tops of these gorgeous frenched lamb chops. No idea how to french lamb chops? View How to French a Rack of Lamb. You will want to slice between the bones to form chops. I have done this myself, but typically ask my lovely butcher counter to do it for me!

When “pulling out all the stops” for Valentine’s Day or Christmas Dinner, I serve the lamb chops and spinach with a primo (first) course Mushroom Risotto with Seared Scallop. It is a truly spectacular meal. Are you looking for a truly decadent dessert to finish with? Try this Brownies For Two. If you’re like me, I rarely indulge in dessert, so I appreciate small batch recipes!

🧈 What is Compound Butter?

A compound butter is what it sounds like… Butter is softened before additional ingredients are mixed in. Ingredients may include fresh herbs, spices, cheese, citrus zest, even aromatic liquids.

A few of my favorite combinations:

  • lemon zest, dill, feta cheese is perfect for spring and pairs beautifully with grilled veggies, seafood and chicken
  • rosemary and garlic pairs well with steak and bread (we don’t eat red meat or bread often though)
  • fresh mint and garlic is a “go to” for fresh English peas
  • this bleu cheese and herb compound butter is a favorite combination for any red meat – lamb, beef, elk, even quail and duck

How to Store Compound Butter

We don’t eat very much butter… compound or straight. I wrap my compound butters in parchment or waxed paper then put the log in a freezer zip bag and label it.

Your compound butter will keep in the refrigerator for several days, and up to 2 months in the freezer. Be sure to bring frozen compound butter to refrigerator temperature to make it sliceable.

🔪 Grilled Lamb Chops and Spinach Instructions

This lovely dinner for 2 is really very simple, and comes together almost too quickly. Make the compound butter, and chill it. Season the frenched lamb chops with good salt ( I like Faulk salt) and fresh ground pepper.

NOTE: When I initially published the recipe in 2016, and in subsequent years, I marinated the lamb chops. I have since discovered the marinade is really unnecessary, and totally optional. There is plenty of flavor without it. If you prefer to marinate the lamb, 1 to 2 hours is sufficient.

Key to your success lies in planning. Gather and prep ingredients. Get all cookware out. If you’re doing another side dish, include it in your planning. I have done both roasted potatoes, and mashed potatoes when I skip the scallop mushroom risotto.

If you’re “pulling out all the stops,” and making the risotto, get that started. Now is the perfect time to open that bottle of wine. 😉 Plan on 45-60 minutes to make the risotto. When you actually cook lamb and spinach, it’ll be done in less than 10 minutes.

Bleu Cheese and Herb Compound Butter

Step 1 - Soften butter and bleu cheese. Chop herbs.
  • Step 1 – Set the bleu cheese and butter out to soften. Gather the fresh herbs. Chop them.
Step 2 - Use a pastry cutter to combine the herbs, butter, and bleu cheese.
  • Step 2 – Mix the bleu cheese compound butter. I find a pastry cutter is helpful.
Step 3 - Chill the bleu cheese compound butter.
  • Step 3 – I find it easiest to work with compound butters is to chill them until firm. If I’m pressed for time, I use the freezer, but it just needs to be firm. You don’t want frozen butter! Mix the ingredients together, and put it in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes. You should be good!

Grilled Lamb Chops

Step 1 - Get the grill hot. Add well seasoned or marinated lamb chops and lemon halves to the grill.
  • Step 1 – After seasoning the lamb (whether marinated or not), bring a grill or griddle to high heat. Sear on both sides. We shoot for medium-rare to rare with lamb. Medium is acceptable to most people. See this Cooking Temperatures for Lamb for more information.
Grilled Lamb Chops With Bleu Cheese and Herb Butter Grill Pan
  • Step 2 – When you have grill marks on the lamb chops, turn them. Lamb will continue to cook, so don’t overcook!

The Roman-Style Spinach

Step 1 - Sauté the aromatics - olive oil, garlic, and crushed red pepper.
  • Step 1 – Sauté the aromatics – olive oil, garlic, and crushed red pepper over medium heat.
Step 2 - Add the fresh baby spinach to the skillet.
  • Step 2 – Add the fresh baby spinach and currants to the skillet.
Step 3 - Sauté until the spinach is wilted. Season.
  • Step 3 – Sauté until the spinach is wilted. Add the toasted pine nuts, and season.
  • Put it altogether – Plate the grilled lamb chops, and top with a pat of bleu cheese and herb compound butter. Plate the sautéed spinach and any other sides. Pour a glass of red wine, and enjoy!
Grilled Lamb Chops With Compound Butter on a black plate with sauéed spinach, a glass of red wine, and a block of compound butter with Valentine's Day glitter hearts.

❓ FAQ

What can I serve with the lamb chops and Roman-style spinach?

As I mentioned above, my menu starts with Mushroom Risotto with Seared Scallop. It is a truly elegant menu, and not overly complicated. Finish the meal with mulled red wine and plum sorbet.

💭 Tips

If you skipped the first course, round out the meal with a crusty baguette with olive oil steeped with garlic, crushed red pepper, and anchovy paste, or roasted garlic mashed potatoes.

We love this flavorful lamb dish with a full-bodied red wine such as primitivo/zinfandel. Fantastico!

Cooking for two can be a challenge after raising a houseful of rowdy boys. I’m always looking for delicious options for two, and this one-pot wonder Roasted Chicken Quarters definitely makes the cut!

I hope you will consider the benefits of inviting your loved one(s) to “sit at your table.” Whether celebrating Valentine’s Day with your love, or cooking for friends and family, nothing beats gathering around the table for a wonderful home-cooked meal, a bottle of good wine, and of course, the conversation of those you hold dear. I would so love to hear your thoughts!

Valentine's Day Signature

Grilled Lamb Chops With Bleu Cheese and Herb Butter Feature

Grilled Lamb Chops With Compound Butter

Grilled Lamb Chops recipe which features Roman flavors – garlic, herbs, crushed red pepper, currants and pine nuts topped with blue cheese compound butter! Perfect main course for a romantic dinner for two, or scale it up for an elegant dinner party…
4.86 from 7 votes

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Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Marinade 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Course Main Dishes
Cuisine Italian
Servings 2 servings
Calories 455 kcal

Ingredients
  

Lamb Marinade (Optional)

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic - minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary - stripped from stems, finely chopped
  • a few grinds pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 lamb chops*

Compound Butter

  • 2 tablespoons butter - softened*
  • 2 tablespoons bleu cheese crumbles
  • 1 teaspoon fresh herbs - finely chopped*
  • a sprinkle of sea salt and few grinds pepper

Grilled Lamb Chops

  • 4 frenched lamb chops
  • sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Roman Style Spinach

  • 2 tablespoons currants
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic - minced
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon pignolas - pine nuts, toasted
  • 5 ounces baby spinach*
  • sea salt/pepper

Instructions

Lamb Chops

  • To a zip bag, add olive oil, garlic, herbs, salt and pepper. Combine well. Add lamb chops to marinate. You will want to give it at least 30 minutes or several hours in the marinade.

Compound Butter

  • Using a fork, mash the butter, bleu cheese, and herbs together until well combined. Shape* and chill until you are ready to cook the lamb.

Spinach Roman Style

  • Cover currants with boiling water to plump them. They need about 5-10 minutes.
  • In a very large saute pan over medium heat, add olive oil and garlic. Stir until fragrant and golden. Add the crushed red pepper and sherry vinegar. Reduce heat to low. Add drained currants and toasted pignolas. Lastly, add the spinach. Turn off the heat, and stir until it is wilted. Cover, and set it aside.

To Finish

  • Get the griddle pan very hot over high heat. Place lamb chops on the hot pan.
  • Turn the lamb chops. You only need about 2 minutes on a side for medium rare.
  • Plate the wilted spinach. Top with 2 lamb chops and a slice of the bleu cheese herb compound butter.

Notes

Unsalted butter is preferred. Add sea salt and fresh ground pepper. If using salted butter, omit the additional salt.
I have a number of herbs in my garden, and selected rosemary and thyme – both work well with lamb. You can choose your favorites. Oregano would be great as well!
You really do need this much spinach for 2 people, as it cooks down so much!
I had the meat counter cut 4 ribs from a rack of lamb. I chose to french the partial rack and then cut into 4 chops, which makes a lovely presentation. You can also use a loin chop (cheaper cut), but it won’t be as tender.
Drop the butter mixture onto a sheet of plastic wrap, chill it a little, and then roll it into a cylinder. Chill until ready to plate. Then cut a little round for each lamb chop. If you make a bigger batch, you can freeze some for another meal! See this post for a video that illustrates the process clearly.
The spinach needs a bit of acidity. I prefer sherry vinegar for its smoothness, but sometimes I just squeeze some lemon juice over top!
When I plated this dish for new photos, we included a simple parsley and bleu cheese polenta.

Nutrition

Calories: 455kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 37g

NOTE: Macronutrients are an approximation only using unbranded ingredients and MyFitnessPal.com. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

Did you make this recipe? Please leave a comment and/or star rating! Email us with any questions: tamara@beyondmeresustenance.com
Grilled Lamb Chops With compound Butter  on a cast iron platter with red glitter Valentine's Day hearts, a hunk of compound butter and copper knife.
My 2016 photo of lamb chops with bleu cheese compound butter…

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21 Comments

  1. When do I cook the spinach??? This has 7 reviews, 6 of which did not prepare it. I know it sounds good, but is it good?!?

    1. Hi Angie! I apologize for the late response. I’m in and (mostly) out of my office this week. We think it’s really good, and I return to it for a special meal periodically. Both the lamb chops and the spinach require just a few minutes to cook. I do both dishes in the order presented in the recipe card. After reading over the recipe card, and the post step-by-step instructions with photos, I never actually say to add the spinach in the recipe card. I hope I’ve made it more clear. You just add the spinach after the pignolas and currants. Turn off the heat, and wilt it. Cover until ready to plate. I hope this helps! I wish more people left feedback, and I might have clarified before you read it… I really prefer to not combine 2 recipes in one post because it’s easy to miss something even when I have 2 other people helping me proofread. These 2 dishes just belong together, so I kept it that way. Happy Thanksgiving!

    1. Well, the bleu cheese herb butter can include rosemary and/or mint, but I take it they’re not your favorites? I’ve used several different combinations of herbs in the butter, and I loved them all! Thanks for stopping by Matt.

  2. I have to say, this is a really incredible meal, and it comes together very quickly. The compound butter is delicious, and the spinach is the perfect side dish for this.

  3. That quote at the beginning is so beautiful Tamara! But those Lamb chops look even better! Seriously, it making me weak in the knees! Lamb is my favourite to eat (although I can’t get it much where I live 🙁 ). and this meal looks perfect!
    Thank you so much for sharing this with us at #SaucySaturdays and I’ll be pinning this and sharing this to send some love your way! Hope you join us again this week! 🙂

    1. That means so much Dini! I think lamb makes me weak in the knees too 😉 Since we moved from New Mexico to Texas, I’ve had no problem getting it! Thanks for hosting #SaucySaturdays… It’s a fun opportunity, and I try to remember to participate!

  4. Now this is my kind of recipe! Gorgeous, absolutely gorgeous! We’re lucky to have some of the finest lamb in the world on our doorstep. Every year I get one for the freezer. I HAVE to try this recipe next time i get some chops!

    1. Thanks Shihoko! Yes, I know the bleu cheese compound butter works well with beef (as I’ve used it), and I’ve paired the spinach with just about every type of protein. You should give it a try!

  5. I love this meal!!!! We are crazy about lamb chops and the small of olive oil, garlic and herbs simmering on the stovetop. This has got Valentine’s Day written all over it. Thanks!

    1. Thanks MJ! One of my comments mentioned access to wonderful lamb – she puts one in the freezer every year – and I must admit to being jealous! I just love the tenderness of the rib chops. We’re looking forward to doing this again Sunday…