A naturally delicious rack of New Zealand grass-fed lamb marinated in Moroccan style spices and grilled until medium. Serve with your favorite salad or couscous.
Once you make this recipe, you’ll see why it can be fun to dive deep into your spice cupboard and experiment with what you find. I have go-to spices like basil, paprika and oregano that I use all the time, but adding spices like all-spice, cinnamon and coriander to these lamb chops really took it to the next level and created that Middle Eastern flavor and aroma that you might experience in downtown Marrakesh!
New Zealand grass-fed lamb is superior because the sheep are pasture raised and roam freely year round, grazing on nothing but lush green grass – exactly what nature meant for them. Healthier sheep will produce better tasting lamb and a grass-fed diet instead of a corn-fed diet means the flavor is naturally better and you’ll definitely taste the difference when you eat these lamb chops!
Preparing your spiced New Zealand grass-fed lamb chops
This recipe works for a full rack of lamb or individual lamb chops, sometimes known as lollipops. The only difference will be in the cook time with the whole rack taking a little longer. I opted to cut my rack into individual chops because I like the full flavor of the grill on all of the surfaces of the meat.
Once the rack of lamb has been cut into separate chops, place them in a large baking tray or glass dish and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle the spice mix generously over all the chops making sure to coat both sides. Letting the lamb marinate is important because it allows the spices to really stick to and penetrate the meat.
Grilling the lamb chops
Because individual lamb chops are only about one-inch thick, they cook really fast. A few minutes is all it takes, depending on how you prefer them. I like medium with a nice pink center (135 degrees). And don’t forget that they will continue to cook a little more even after you take them off the grill to rest! Bringing the lamb to room temperature will also encourage even cooking, so leave them on the counter for 30 minutes while the grill reaches temperature.
Place the lamb chops on the hottest part of the grill and leave them undisturbed for at least 2-3 minutes. If you try to flip them before they are properly seared, they’ll end up sticking to the grill. After the lamb chops have been flipped and cooked for another 2-3 minutes, transfer them to a plate or tray and let them rest for 5 minutes. This will help the meat retain its juices.
Serving your lamb chops
These lamb chops are perfect with a sprinkle of parsley and a splash of fresh squeezed lemon juice. I could happily devour a whole plate of them just like that. But serving with tabbouleh or my couscous tomato salad makes for a perfectly complete meal. Add some hummus, baba gha-noush and stuffed grape leaves on the side to complement the lamb.
more tasty lamb recipes
Moroccan Spiced New Zealand Grass-fed Lamb
- 2 racks of New Zealand Grass-fed Lamb
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1½ tsp ground cumin
- pinch of all spice
- ½ tsp paprika
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- pinch ground cloves
- salt and black pepper
- Cut the lamb racks into individual lamb chops by slicing between the bones, going straight down and following the line of the bone.
- Transfer the chops to a large baking tray and drizzle with olive oil, making sure to coat the meat well
- Combine the spices in a small bowl and mix together.
- Sprinkle the spice mixture over the chops, covering both sides.
- Place the chops in the fridge and let marinate for at least one hour.
- Preheat your grill to high, around 500° F
- Once the grill is at temperature, place the lamb chops onto the grill and sear for 2-3 minutes.
- Turn the meat over and repeat on the other side.
- Transfer the lamb chops to a plate and cover loosely with foil.
- Let them rest for 5 minutes before serving.