Maggie Cooper's marinated lamb cutlets.
Maggie Cooper's marinated lamb cutlets. 123rf

Spring's a fine time to have a little lamb

Lamb is high on my list of favourite meats. In fact, the smell of a lamb roast was my undoing after several years of following a vegetarian lifestyle.

Spring is traditionally the best time to cook it, but it's becoming more and more expensive. That's one good reason to choose the very best cuts and limit serving sizes, which works out well for your budget and your health.

I love cutlets. There's very little waste and, as I've discovered over the years, meat on the bone is the sweetest and there's something very cave-dweller-satisfying about chewing them. Make the vegetables the main event, with a tasty little side of meat.

Lamb lends itself well to marinating, and a simple mixture of herbs, garlic and a citrus juice, along with a healthy slug of olive oil, does the trick every time. Citrus is not in season, but I have no problems using one of the little bottles of reconstituted juice you can buy at the supermarket in a marinade.


Serves 4


Juice of 2 limes (about 1/4 cup)

1/3 cup olive oil

2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

Leaves from about 6 sprigs fresh thyme

Salt and black pepper, to taste

8 lamb cutlets

Extra herbs, to garnish


Combine juice, oil, garlic, thyme leaves, salt and pepper in a glass or ceramic dish. Place lamb in marinade and turn to coat; cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Remove meat from fridge 30 minutes before cooking.

Lightly oil the barbecue grill and preheat it to high. Cook the lamb for 4-5 minutes each side, or until cooked to your taste.

Remove from heat and sprinkle with extra herbs; cover with foil and keep warm for 5 minutes. Serve with vegetables or salad.

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