Back in the early 70’s during college I traveled extensively, and found myself living in Iran for a while. The delicious food, seasoned in ways that were unfamiliar and intriguing to me, made an indelible impression. I was fascinated by the spice bazaars, and particularly by the person-sized sacks of saffron that sent their aroma wafting through the alleys as an advance invitation to buy. Lamb marinated in saffron quickly became one of my favorite dishes. Here is a simple method to make it. I use The Ingredient Finder’s wonderfully flavorful Spanish Saffron, which won’t break the bank. And no reason to spend a lot of money on the lamb. Shoulder or Round Bone Chops will work very well. We used four large round bone chops for four people. Or you can make four smaller ones for two.
Make the marinade and marinate the lamb for a day in advance of the meal.
1 ½ to 2 cups best quality thick yogurt (goat milk if you can find it)
½ Teaspoon Spanish Saffron, crumbled and dissolved in a tablespoon of hot water
2 Teaspoons Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste (you can be generous here)
Juice of 1-2 fresh lemons, about half cup
2 medium onions, sliced
2 large cloves garlic, chopped
Mix the ingredients in a bowl. Lay the lamb in a baking dish, pour the marinade over the lamb, and turn to coat the meat. Cover and refrigerate until you’re ready to cook. Get your grill very hot, lift the chops from the marinade, discard the marinade, and grill the lamb to taste over hot coals.
Serve with skewers of grilled vegetables (peppers, onions, small tomatoes, whatever will hold on a skewer), some strongly flavored greens like arugula, and steamed rice (you can make that with Spanish Saffron too). Enjoy!