Australian Lamb on a Shovel
pounds thick-cut lamb rib chops
tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (plus oil for drizzling)
Coarse salt (kosher or sea)
Cracked black pepper
Lemon wedges for squeezing (optional)
- Build a wood campfire with a good base of glowing embers. Feed fresh logs to the fire from time to time to generate plenty of wood smoke. (For a conventional grill, set your grill up for direct grilling and preheat to high. Prepare as directed; if using wood chips, soak the chips in water for 30 minutes, then drain well).
- Lightly brush the lamb chops on both sides with olive oil. Season very generously on both sides with salt and pepper.
- Heat the shovel blade in the fire. This serves two purposes. It helps clean and sterilize the cooking surface and preheats the metal so it will sear the meat. (If using wood chips on a conventional grill, add now to give the chips time to smolder and smoke.)
- Arrange the lamb chops on the shovel blade, leaving an inch between each. don't overcrowd the shovel. It's OK to work in several batches. Remember, in Australia grilling isn't just about getting a meal on the tableit's a whole evening's entertainment.
- Thrust the shovel over the fire or lay it on the embers or grate. Cook the chops until done to taste: 4 to 6 minutes per side for medium-rare, turning with tongs. (Don't forget to burn the fat and juices off the shovel when you're finished.)
- Transfer the chops to a platter or plates and drizzle with a little more olive oil (if desired) and serve with lemon wedges for squeezing (again, if desired).