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    Grilled Lamb Lollipops Recipe

    Published July 14, 2023. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

    These delicious grilled Mediterranean lamb lollipops are marinated in tasty garlic, herb, and spice marinated that are then grilled to perfection. You will love the rich bold flavors in this lamb.

    Lamb is one of my all-time favorite things to make and eat. If you love it as much as I do, try my Kofta or Greek-Style Lamb.

    lamb lollipos with mint sauce


     

    Rack of Lamb Lollipops

    Lamb lollipops are individual or double-cut bone-in lamb chops that come from the ribs, also known as a rack of lamb. They can be prepared in various cooking methods with various flavor profiles depending on what you like.

    They are called lamb lollipops because they are eaten by holding the lamb rack bone while eating the meat from it, resembling a lollipop. This can be served in two-bone or one-bone pieces. Since they are individual small cuts, it is best to grill them. I prefer two-bone pieces to help retain more moisture, and I want them to be medium-rare internally.

    Ingredients and Substitutions

    rack of lamb lollipops ingredients
    • Lamb – You will need lamb racks for this recipe. They can be fresh or frozen and thawed.
    • Spices – I use a combination of cumin, cinnamon, coriander, and paprika for some earthly Mediterranean flavors.
    • Garlic – Finely grated cloves will add a lot of flavor to the marinade.
    • Herbs – Fresh oregano and thyme work well in this recipe. You can also just one or the other.
    • Acid – Lemon juice and red wine vinegar is a great combination to help tenderize and flavor the lamb. You can also use cider vinegar or white balsamic vinegar.
    • Oil – Use a good extra virgin olive oil.
    • Seasoning – Coarse salt and fresh cracked pepper is what I used.

    How to Make Grilled Lamb Lollipops

    Add the cumin, cinnamon, and coriander seeds to a medium-sized sauté pan (10”) and cook on low heat for 7 to 10 minutes while occasionally stirring. Doing this will help make the spices more aromatic and pungent.

    toasting spices in a pan

    Transfer the spices to a mortar and use a pestle to finely grind them or grind them down in a spice grinder.

    grinding spices

    Place the ground spices into a large bowl along with the thyme, oregano, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, vinegar, oil, salt, and pepper. Whisk it until it is well combined.

    making a marinade in a bowl

    Prepare the lamb by slicing the rack into 2-bone pieces making lamb lollipops. You can cut them into single-bone pieces as well.

    slicking a rack of lamb

    Put the lamb in the bowl with the spices and move the lamb around so that it is coated on all sides.

    adding lamb to a marinade

    Cover the bowl in plastic wrap or transfer it to a plastic zip bag and marinate in the refrigerator for 24 to 48 hours.

    marinated lamb

    Preheat the grill to high heat (450° to 550°) and place the marinated lamb lollipops onto the grill and cook for 3 to 4 minutes on all sides for a medium-rare (125°) internal temperature.

    grilling lamb racks

    Remove the lamb and let it rest for 3 to 5 minutes.

    finishing grilled lamb

    Serve the lamb on a plate with a mint sauce and optional grilled lemon slices, and additional fresh herb leaves like mint, oregano, or thyme.  

    Cooking Options

    • Stovetop – Add 2 tablespoons of oil to a hot skillet over high heat until it begins to smoke lightly, and then sear the lamb rack on all sides until golden brown, which takes about 3 minutes per side. This will render a rare to medium-rare internal temperature. If you’d like it cooked more thoroughly, turn the heat down to medium and sear it again on all sides for 3 minutes per side.
    • Oven – Place the lamb on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper and bake in the oven at 400° for 12 to 15 minutes for a medium-rare internal temperature.

    Make-Ahead and Storage

    Make-Ahead: This recipe is meant to be eaten as soon as it’s done cooking.

    How to Store: Cover and keep the lamb in the refrigerator for three days. You can freeze it covered for up to 3 months. Thaw it in the refrigerator for one day or until thawed.

    How to Reheat: This recipe does not reheat well, but if you do need to reheat it, then add it to a sheet tray lined with parchment paper and bake at 350° for 6-8 minutes or until warm. Reheating lamb will cause it to rise in internal temperature and can take it from medium-rare to medium-well when reheating, which can cause it to be less juicy, tender, and flavorful.

    Chef Billy Parisi

    Chef Notes + Tips

    • Substitute the fresh oregano with 1 tablespoon of dry oregano.
    • You can use 1 tablespoon of dry thyme instead of fresh thyme.
    • The marinade should be extremely intense in flavor. Remember you aren’t eating the marinade; you are eating the lamb that was in it, so it needs to be overly tasty to penetrate the meat.
    • The longer the marinating time, the better. If you’re on a time crunch, it at least needs 12 hours of marinating.

    More Lamb Recipes

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    Let's Cook - Chef Billy Parisi

    Video

    Grilled Lamb Lollipops Recipe

    5 from 2 votes
    These delicious grilled lamb lollipops are marinated in a tasty garlic, herb, and spice marinated that are then grilled to perfection.
    Servings: 4
    Prep Time: 20 minutes
    Cook Time: 12 minutes

    Ingredients 

    • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
    • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
    • ½ stick of cinnamon
    • 1 teaspoon paprika
    • 1 ½ tablespoons finely minced fresh thyme
    • 1 ½ tablespoons finely minced fresh oregano
    • 10 finely grated garlic cloves
    • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
    • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
    • 1 cup olive oil
    • 1 ½ tablespoons coarse salt
    • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 2 lamb racks, cut into 2 bone pieces
    • optional mint sauce recipe

    Instructions

    • Add the cumin, coriander seeds, and half cinnamon stick to a medium-sized sauté pan (10”) and cook on low heat for 7 to 10 minutes while occasionally stirring. Doing this will help make the spices more aromatic and pungent.
    • Transfer the spices to a mortar and use a pestle to finely grind them or grind them down in a spice grinder.
    • Place the ground spices into a large bowl with the thyme, oregano, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, vinegar, oil, salt, and pepper. Whisk it until it is well combined.
    • Prepare the lamb by slicing the rack into 2-bone pieces making lamb lollipops. You can cut them into single-bone pieces as well.
    • Put the lamb in the bowl with the spices and move it around so that it is coated on all sides.
    • Cover the bowl in plastic wrap or transfer it to a plastic zip bag and marinate in the refrigerator for 24 to 48 hours.
    • Preheat the grill to high heat (450° to 550°), place the marinated lamb lollipops onto the grill, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes on all sides for a medium-rare (125°) internal temperature.
    • Remove the lamb and let it rest for 3 to 5 minutes.
    • Serve the lamb on a plate with a mint sauce and optional grilled lemon slices, and additional fresh herb leaves like mint, oregano, or thyme.

    Notes

    Make-Ahead: This recipe is meant to be eaten as soon as it’s done cooking.
    How to Store: Cover and keep the lamb in the refrigerator for three days. You can freeze it covered for up to 3 months. Thaw it in the refrigerator for one day or until thawed.
    How to Reheat: This recipe does not reheat well, but if you do need to reheat it, then add it to a sheet tray lined with parchment paper and bake at 350° for 6-8 minutes or until warm. Reheating lamb will cause it to rise in internal temperature and can take it from medium-rare to medium-well when reheating, which can cause it to be less juicy, tender, and flavorful.
    Substitute the fresh oregano with 1 tablespoon of dry oregano.
    You can use 1 tablespoon of dry thyme instead of fresh thyme.
    The marinade should be extremely intense in flavor. Remember you aren’t eating the marinade; you are eating the lamb that was in it, so it needs to be overly tasty to penetrate the meat.
    The longer the marinating time, the better. If you’re on a time crunch, it at least needs 12 hours of marinating.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 1057kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 37gFat: 99gSaturated Fat: 40gPolyunsaturated Fat: 8gMonounsaturated Fat: 45gCholesterol: 189mgSodium: 1013mgPotassium: 525mgFiber: 1gSugar: 0.1gVitamin A: 182IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 71mgIron: 4mg
    Course: Appetizer, Main Course
    Cuisine: Mediterranean