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!
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 – Set the bleu cheese and butter out to soften. Gather the fresh herbs. Chop them.
- Step 2 – Mix the bleu cheese compound butter. I find a pastry cutter is helpful.
- 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 – 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.
- 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 over medium heat.
- Step 2 – Add the fresh baby spinach and currants to the skillet.
- 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!
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!
Grilled Lamb Chops With Compound Butter
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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*
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.