• Yield: Serves 4

Shoulder chops are actually our favorite type of lamb chop. They aren't the most tender, and they certainly have a little gnarl and fat in them, but they have truly great lamb flavor, and we like all the little pieces of different muscles in them. Plus, they are far less expensive than other types of lamb chops and, after all, they are right next to the first rib chop. They are usually rather thin, so make sure you have a hot fire so they get some good sear on the outside before they have a chance to overcook on the inside.


Lamb and grilling are a classic combination in Greek cookery. So we like to grill up some shoulder lamb chops over a hot fire, then serve them very simply with that quintessential Greek flavoring combination of fresh oregano, fresh lemon juice, really good olive oil, and just a touch of garlic.



  • Four 10- to 12-ounce lamb shoulder blade chops, 1/2 inch to 1/4 inch thick

  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh oregano

  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic

  • 1/2 lemon



1. Build a fire in your grill.


2. Dry the chops with paper towels and sprinkle them generously with salt and pepper. When the fire has died down and the coals are hot (you can hold your hand 5 inches above the grill surface for 1 to 2 seconds), place the chops on the grill and cook until well seared, 3 to 4 minutes per side. To check for doneness, nick, peek, and cheat: Make a 1/4-inch cut in the thickest part of the meat; it should be slightly less done than you like it. When the chops are done, remove them from the grill, cover them loosely with foil, and let them rest for 5 minutes.


3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the olive oil, oregano, and garlic and mix well.


4. Spoon the garlic mixture over the lamb chops, squeeze the lemon on top of them, and serve hot.

Excerpted from How to Cook Meat. Copyright 2002 by Christopher Schlesinger and John Willoughby. Published by William Morrow.

John Willoughby served as executive editor at Gourmet, senior editor at Cook's Illustrated and has co-authored eight cookbooks, including James Beard award-winner The Thrill of the Grill. He writes for publications such as The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Metropolitan Home and Saveur.
Christopher Schlesinger is a chef (he was the winner of the 1996 James Beard award for Best Chef of the Northeast), restaurateur, writer, cooking teacher and a founding member of the national organization Chefs 2000. With John Willoughby he co-authored five cookbooks, including the James Beard Cookbook award-winner The Thrill of the Grill. They also have a monthly feature in The New York Times, and have written articles for magazines such as GQ and Food & Wine. He serves as a contributing editor for Saveur magazine.