Chicago chef Bill Kim marries Korean and American flavors in Korean BBQ. From gochujang-spiked potato salad to these drunken lamb chops, change up your typical barbecue fair.
My family never ate lamb when I was growing up, so I didn’t try it until I got to culinary school. I quickly fell in love with it—chops, leg of lamb, and, of course, homemade gyros, which I still crave every now and again. Three ingredients in the marinade make this recipe special: the rosemary, hoisin sauce, and brandy. Rosemary is a classic seasoning for lamb, while the hoisin adds depth of flavor, the brandy lends a slight sweetness, and the alcohol accelerates the marinating process.
- 1/2 cup Soy Balsamic Sauce
- 1/2 cup brandy
- 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
- 1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
- 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
- 12 small cloves garlic, minced
- 16 lamb loin chops, about 1-inch-thick
Soy Balsamic Sauce (makes 1 cup)
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch, or as needed
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
For the sauce
In a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch and water until the cornstarch dissolves and the mixture is the consistency of heavy cream, adding more cornstarch if the mixture is too thin.
Combine the brown sugar, vinegar, and soy sauce in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Stir the cornstarch mixture briefly to recombine, then stir it into the soy-vinegar mixture and simmer over low heat for about 3 minutes, until the sauce thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Remove from the heat, let cool completely, then refrigerate in an airtight container. This sauce will last for months without going bad
For the lamb chops
Combine the Soy Balsamic Sauce, brandy, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, rosemary, and garlic in a small bowl and mix well. Measure out one-fourth of the marinade and reserve it for basting the meat on the grill.
Place the lamb chops in a large, shallow dish. Spoon the remaining marinade over the chops and turn the chops to coat evenly. Marinate at room temperature for 1 hour.
Heat the grill for direct heat cooking to medium (350°F to 375°F).
Place the chops on the grill over the flames and cook for 3 minutes. Brush or lightly spoon some of the reserved marinade on the chops, turn the chops over, and brush or lightly spoon marinade on the second side. Cook the chops for about 3 minutes longer, until lightly charred on each side.
Transfer the chops to a serving platter and let rest for 4 minutes, then serve.