Tahini lamb chops with fresh plums and spiced plum sauce

Firing up the barbie for these deliciously juicy chops



  • place PRE
  • place COOK
  • place SERVES 4-6
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Try to buy nicely trimmed lamb racks without too much fat, so that you don’t need to worry about rendering fat off them before dividing into individual chops. Be forewarned, though: there will be a fair amount of smoke while cooking these, so they are best grilled outside.

Adapted from Chasing Smoke, Cooking Over Fire Around The Levant (Pavilion)


  • Use a stick blender or a small food processor to blitz the BBQ sauce ingredients to a smooth, thick paste. You may need to add a little more water to reach the desired custard-like consistency, depending on the tahini. The BBQ sauce will keep in the fridge for a day or two until needed.
  • Put the plum wedges, sugar, garlic, spices, bay leaf and pomegranate molasses in a small frying pan, place over a high heat and bring to the boil. Cook for 5 minutes until the plums soften and start falling apart, then remove from the heat and stir in the salt and vinegar. You can use straight away, or cool and refrigerate for a few days.
  • When ready to cook, brush half of the BBQ sauce over the chops, coating both sides. You will need the rest of the sauce to brush on the chops as they grill. Place the chops one by one on the rack above a hot BBQ. Grill for 2 minutes, then turn them over and brush with some more sauce. Grill for another 2 minutes before turning them back over and basting again. Repeat the grill-turn-baste process until the chops have cooked for a total of 6 minutes on each side. Remove to a platter with the baby chard spread over it.
  • Pop the plum halves on the BBQ, cut-side down. Grill for a minute or so just to warm them, then add to the chops. Serve with the plum sauce on the side.
  • To cook without a BBQ
  • Use a lightly oiled, preheated griddle pan on your stove and cook just as you would on the fire. But have your extractor fan on full blast, as it will get very smoky!

2 racks of lamb, divided into 12–14 single chops

100 g baby red chard (or lamb’s lettuce)

4 plums, halved and stones removed

For the tahini BBQ sauce

150g tahini paste

1 clove of garlic, peeled and minced

1 tsp pul biber chilli flakes (or Allepo)

2 tbsp pomegranate molasses

100ml water, plus more if needed 1 tsp flaky sea salt

For the spiced plum sauce

6 plums, cut into eighths and stones removed

50g sugar

1 clove of garlic

1 whole dried chilli, cracked in half and seeds shaken out 1 tsp Szechuan pepper

1 bay leaf

3 tbsp pomegranate molasses

½ tsp flaky sea salt

1 tbsp red wine vinegar

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