Marinated Greek Lamb Chops with Roast Potatoes (Paidakia)
Posted in Baked, Barbecue Recipes, Beginner, Main Courses, Mainland Greece, Our hand picked recipes, Sunday family meal ideas, Traditional Greek Easter recipes, Traditional Greek Taverna Recipes, Weekend family meal ideas Originally published on April 5, 2014 Last updated on March 26, 2017 By Eli K. Giannopoulos
When you buy a good rack of lamb, the sky is the limit on how to best cook it! In most restaurants you will find the rack of lamb ‘frenched’, where the rib bones are exposed by cutting off the fat and meat covering them for better presentation. But that’s not how the Greeks like their lamb! Most Greek recipes call for the lamb to be cut into small rib chops, called ‘paidakia’ also called ‘Greek lamb chops’. A rack of lamb is the entire set of ribs (usually 8) and these small ribs (paidakia) can be purchased and served “single cut” (with one rib bone) or “double cut” when too small.
Greek lamb chops (paidakia) – The ultimate Greek delicacy!
Of course the best option is to grill the paidakia (Greek lamb chops) on a char-coal barbecue, to get them all crispy and smokey. However they also work great on a grill pan or in the oven, if you don’t have the time or space for a proper barbecue. Cooking time varies greatly, mostly depending on how well done you like your meat. Most Greeks are not big fans of medium-rare, hence most tavernas offer the paidakia (Greek lamb chops) well done. Traditionally Greek lamb chops are marinated in olive oil, mustard, fresh thyme, garlic, lemon zest and peppercorn. Seasoned with salt and fresh ground pepper and finished with a last minute squeeze of lemon and dried Greek oregano. Simply delicious!
In Greece when preparing Greek lamb chops (paidakia) it is an unwritten rule to add the potatoes in the same pan with the lamb so that they soak in all the juices and aromas from the meat. The main drawback is that the potatoes are not as crispy as when baked on their own. So it’s up to you to decide if you want to sacrifice a little crispiness for that extra flavour. If you choose to roast your potatoes on their own then try these extra delicious crispy Greek lemon potatoes. Alternatively you can drizzle the potatoes with some of the lamb juice and get the best of both worlds!
For the marinade
- 8 lamb rib chops (approx. 700g/ 25 oz.)
- 1/3 of a cup olive oil
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 1/2 tbsp mustard
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp fresh chopped rosemary (optional)
- zest of 1 lemon
- 3-4 peppercorns
For the potatoes
- 4 medium sized potatoes, cut into wedges
- 1 large clove of garlic, minced
- 50ml olive oil (1/4 of a cup)
- 80ml water (1/3 of a cup)
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1/2 tsp semolina
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- To prepare this Greek lamb chops recipe (paidakia) start by preparing the marinade. In a shallow glass baking dish add all the marinade ingredients and blend. Add the lamb chops (paidakia) and rub the meat with the marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for a least 3 hours (if you have the time leave overnight).
- Return the lamb chops at room temperature and preheat the oven to 200C.
- Cut the potatoes into wedges and place them on a large metal roasting pan. Into a bowl add the remaining ingredients and blend. Pour the mixture over the potatoes and season well with salt and pepper. (The potatoes and the ‘paidakia’ cook at different times, so you should add the lamb chops later, about 20-30 minutes before the end of cooking time).
- Bake the potatoes in the preheated oven for 40 minutes, until a nice golden crust has formed on the potatoes. Turn them out of the oven, toss them a little bit to bring them upside down, sprinkle with a pinch of oregano and put back into the oven for another 30-40 minutes. If all of the liquid has been absorbed and the pan appears to be getting dry, add 1/4 of a cup hot water into the pan, before they have fully browned.
- Remove the paidakia (Greek lambs chops) from the marinade and season with salt and pepper. Place the lamb chops in the same pan (on a single layer) and bake for 20-25 minutes flipping them sides halfway through cooking time. (Greeks are not big fans of medium rare, but if you like your lamb chops pink, grill over high heat for 1 minute to get them all crispy and pop in the oven for 10-15 minutes, flipping them sides halfway through cooking time.)
- Let the paidakia (Greek lamb chops) rest for 5-10 minutes and serve with a last minute squeeze of a lemon and a pinch of dried oregano. Enjoy!