Of all the mighty chops available, perhaps the Barnsley Chop is one of the best to eat and enjoy. This chop - which is basically a thick, double-loin of lamb, cut from the saddle - might be regarded as slightly old fashioned by some. Aficionados, all sexy and hip, tend to gravitate towards lamb Tomahawks, or tender and ubiquitous racks of lamb. Which is fine! But there nothing quite as steadfast and reliable as a solid Barnsley Chop.
Given the name, this chop has associations with the North and obviously, the town of Barnsley. But, as with most cuts, the true origins are are slightly muddled and you could spend days trying to fathom it all out. The general gist is that for the hard working folk of Yorkshire, way back in the 19th century, a piddly single loin just didn't cut the mustard. With hearty appetites, exclaiming 'Ee lass, ah cud eat oven door if it wor butherd,' the onus was simply on serving up something big.
You know, like 'ah proper Baaaarnsley Chop.'
Of course, because it is cooked and served on the bone, with a generous layer of fat to keep everything nice and juicy, flavour is also at a premium. And there are those fantastic bits of fillet to nibble on, as you finish the chops off with your bare hands. It's a messy business sometimes, but you know, someone has got to do it.
This recipe is a pretty straight forward. It just takes some marinating of the chops, in seasoned yoghurt with orange and onions slices, for four hours in the fridge, and then you are good to go. Whack them over charcoal (or wood) and grill for for 4 to 6 minutes, turning regularly to prevent burning, and then rest. Because of the marinade, with all that lactic acidity, the Barnsley Chops will have started on their journey to tenderness way before you light the fire. Which makes this suggestion a good shout for fuss-free cooking.
The best part though, is grilling the orange and onion rings whilst the meat is resting. So long as you get your BBQ hot enough, they will char and soften quite quickly. Paired up with the fatty lamb, the citrus and smokey sweet allium goes really well together.
After serving up on platters and scattering with torn mint leaves and olives, eager fingers will demolish these Barnsley Chops in no time.
Saying that, this recipe is only for four, so you might want to double or even triple up on quantities. Especially if you doing these for a party.
You don't want anyone ripping your oven door off now, do you?
- First make the marinade by mixing the yoghurt, the juice and zest from one orange, all together in a bowl and season to taste.
- Put the Barnsley Chops into a shallow dish and slice the remaining oranges and onions and scatter the slices on top of the meat, and then cover with the yoghurt marinade. Cover with cling film and leave in the fridge for four hours. It is a good idea to turn everything over at the halfway mark though, to mix and distribute the marinade.
- Light your BBQ and wait till the coals are white and glowing hot. Also, take your chops out to come up to room temperature.
- Grill the Barnsley Chops straight over the heat, turning regularly to prevent burning. For the recommended medium, cook for 4 to 6 minutes. Then take them off and rest.
- Whilst the lamb is resting, grill the remaining orange and onion slices, until they soften and char.
- When ready to serve, place the Barnsley Chops onto a large plate or platter and arrange the orange and onion around the meat.
- Finish by scattering the torn mint leaves over, along with the black olives and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.