Primal Grill with Steven Raichlen
Season 3 in High Definition
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Primal Grill is filmed at Esplendor Resort in Rio Rico.
exotic yogurt and saffron marinated lamb chops (shislik)
Source: The Barbecue Bible by Steven Raichlen (Workman, 2008)
Method: Direct Grilling
24 to 48 hours for marinating the meat
Category: Meat
For the lamb and marinade:

1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
1 tablespoon warm water
2 cups plain whole-milk yogurt
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 medium onion, finely chopped
8 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons cracked black peppercorns
2 tablespoons chopped candied orange peel, or 4 strips orange zest
8 double rib lamb chops (each about 5 to 6 ounces and 2 inches thick)

For the saffron basting sauce:

1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
1 tablespoon warm water
3 tablespoons salted butter
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Prepare the marinade. Place the saffron in a large, deep nonreactive bowl and grind to a fine powder with a pestle or the end of a wooden spoon. Add the warm water, stir, and let stand for 10 minutes.

Add the yogurt, lemon juice, onion, garlic, peppercorns, and orange peel to the dissolved saffron and stir to mix. Add the lamb chops and make sure they are completely submerged in the marinade. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let marinate, refrigerated, for 24 to 48 hours.

Preheat the grill to high.

Meanwhile, prepare the saffron basting sauce. Place the saffron in a small, heavy nonreactive saucepan. Add the warm water, stir, and let stand for 10 minutes. Add the butter and lemon juice to the dissolved saffron and stir over low heat until the butter is melted and the mixture is blended and heated through. Remove from the heat and set aside.

When ready to cook, remove the chops from the marinade, season with salt and pepper. Oil the grill grate, then arrange the chops on the hot grate. Grill, turning with tongs, until cooked to taste, 8 to 10 minutes per side for medium-well, which is how Iranians like their lamb. Brush the chops several times as they cook with the saffron basting sauce.

Transfer the chops to serving plates or a platter and serve immediately.
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