Grilled Lamb Chops with Baked Feta (Bouyiourdi)

International Smoke, San Francisco


Jeremy McMillan works alongside Marin resident and chef Michael Mina and chef Ayesha Curry to develop International Smoke’s globally inspired menu, including this Mediterranean grilled lamb chop recipe. “Lamb chops are a great item grilled or broiled,” McMillan says. “The trick is get the chops nicely charred and yet still tender and medium rare in the center.” To achieve this, he recommends grilling the chops stacked next to each other as if they are still in rack form at the edge of the grill (use tongs to hold them and prevent them from falling). After 2 to 3 minutes the fat will be rendered and the chops will be tempered. Then separate the chops and grill over high heat for 1 to 2 minutes to char and caramelize each side.


1/3 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh oregano, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3-1/2 to 4 pounds lamb loin or rib chops, 1 to 1-1/4 inch thick
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 Roma (plum) tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup chopped green bell peppers
1/2 cup chopped pitted kalamata olives
1/4 cup capers, rinsed
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 medium red onion, halved, cut into 1/4-inch slices
8 ounces feta cheese, sliced about 1/2 inch thick

Combine the marinade ingredients in a small bowl. Rub each lamb chop with the mixture and marinate at room temperature while you prepare the feta. Preheat the oven to 400°F and prepare the grill for direct cooking over medium-high heat.


Baked Feta Coat the bottom of a (2-cup) stoneware gratin dish or cazuela with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Combine the tomatoes, green peppers, olives, capers, 1 tablespoon oil, the chili flakes and black pepper in a small bowl. Arrange the onion slices over the bottom of the dish and top with the feta. Spread the pepper mixture over the feta. Cover the dish with foil, transfer to the oven, and bake for 20 minutes. Remove and let rest, covered, while you grill the lamb.

Lamb Chops Grill the lamb chops, fat side down first (see headnote), over direct heat until the fat is rendered. Then continue to grill the cut sides of the chops over direct heat to your desired doneness, or until the internal temperature registers 145°F with a meat thermometer for mediumrare. Remove and let rest in a warm serving dish for 5 minutes. Serve the lamb with the baked feta.