Spring Lamb Chump with Cumin – Beat the lunch snobs at their own game.

Lamb Chump with Cumin (13 of 13)Working in an office, as I do, I observe all kinds of hierarchies. There is the obvious boss, manager, worker that has stood the test of time in most organisations. In this digital age, there is the techno pyramid, with a black clad Head of IT ruling supreme, the workings of the organisation totally dependant on him and his code punching underlings. Outriders to these are the maverick rainmakers. These are guys who write their own rules. They can afford to ignore corporate standards, run up big expenses and never work on Fridays. They bring in business and can do pretty much as they please. While they bring in the business, they don’t bring in their lunch so we can forget them for this exercise.

There is one office pecking order that is quite entertaining. That is the social order in the lunchroom.  Currently the pomegranate and quinoa salad can guarantee you a seat at the head of the table. No longer is it good enough to crack the Tupperware on a mung bean and goji berry dhal. That is so last September. If you have the temerity to arrive with some “pulled pork that the wife prepared”, be ready for derision. No, if you want to elevate your status during the dinner hour, prepare this recipe for Spring Lamb Chump with Cumin, served with a fruity couscous. It is delicious when cooked and almost as tasty the next day.

Side note on couscous: The darling of the vegetarian brigade has a lot to recommend it. However, it needs flavour added. On it’s own, it reminds me of eating wet cardboard. With the right added ingredients, it is a flavour sensation. 

Ingredients for Spring Lamb Chump with Cumin


Lamb Chump with Cumin (1 of 13)

Another “this is hardly a recipe” recipe – four ingredients.

Enough to serve four and to have two cold lunches for the following day.

  • 3 spring lamb chumps
  • 1 tablespoon of cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon of runny honey
  • 1 tablespoon of light soy sauce

Side note on Lamb Chump: Most people don’t know lamb chump. You probably know side-loin chops. These are chops from towards the back of the animal. The chump is the meat from which the chops are cut. Ask your butcher. If he is a real butcher, he will be able to cut you some. If he is buying his meat in pre-packaged, you need a new butcher.

To prepare, dry fry the cumin seeds, tossing them regularly to prevent burning and to get a decent photo.

Lamb Chump with Cumin (3 of 13)

In truth, I took about 50 shots to get one decent one.

Grind the seeds to a powder and mix with the honey and soy. Slice the lamb, through the fat to make a diamond pattern.

The chump os not a particularly big joint. But, it is pretty tasty.

This looks nice and also gives a guide for carving across the grain. Carving across the grain is the correct thing to do.

Lamb Chump with Cumin (4 of 13)

Be sure to get the mixture everywhere, even if it gets under your fingernails in the process.

Place the chumps on a rack and roast in a 200ºC oven for 30 minutes. That will give you medium rare lamb. If you like it well done, don’t bother cooking this as I hate to see a good piece of meat ruined.

Lamb Chump with Cumin (9 of 13)

After 30 minutes, they will look like this and the aromas will be delicious.

Let the lamb rest for about ten to fifteen minutes, while you prepare the couscous.

Lamb Chump with Cumin (5 of 13)

Everything you will need except salt, pepper and a handful of coriander.

Couscous Ingredients

  • 500 grammes of couscous
  • 750 millilitres of good quality chicken or vegetable stock
  • A tablespoon of raisins
  • A tablespoon of sultanas
  • 100 grammes of green beans
  • A red chilli
  • A handful of fresh coriander
  • Salt and pepper to season

Add the raisins and sultanas to the stock. Heat the stock until boiling. Add the stock to the couscous.

Lamb Chump with Cumin (7 of 13)

I do like a decent pouring shot. This one caught the action well.

Chop the beans and par cook them. Chop the coriander and the chilli.

Lamb Chump with Cumin (6 of 13)

Get the chilli nice and small. The coriander not so.

Add all to the couscous. Taste and adjust the seasoning. By adjust, I mean add plenty of salt and pepper. Stir well.

Lamb Chump with Cumin (8 of 13)

It tastes as good as it looks. It looks great!

Carve the lamb into thickish slices as suggested by the diamond pattern cut in the fat.

Lamb Chump with Cumin (10 of 13)

That’s how I like my lamb chump. Delicious medium rare.

The lamb chump is a lovely cut and it is really well worth seeking it out. It is beautiful served warm. It is far more satisfying to sit with your colleagues at lunchtime and ask, “What have you got for lunch today?” Then see who’s the real lunchtime chump…

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Latest comments
  • That lamb looks fantastic 🙂

  • I saw the words ‘punching underlings’ and thought, surely not! Is Conor not too much of a gentleman for such violent acts? But then I read about the lamb, and looked at the photographs, and it looks so delicious I really couldn’t care less how you’re treating your employees. As far as I’m concerned, you can do whatever the hell you want.

  • Very amusing prelude to a delicious looking recipe!

  • One would be a bit of a chump not to try this, surely? But on the basis that you have turned up your nose at quinoa, my standby couscous understudy, perhaps I’ll serve it with riced cauliflower cooked in butter with a little stock, some garlic and the same trimmings as your couscous… What do you think? Would that work?

      • I take all your jests with a large pinch of Murray River Pink Australian Salt… As for your secret stash… why? I’d have though something a bit tastier would be more the go. Pork scratchings, for example.

        Post storm, we eventually had power restored after 4 days, the short-lived flood through the downstairs has deposited mud and left an evil smell behind, but I will abolish both eventually. It’s a LOT of mopping. We lost a couple of trees, but are otherwise unscathed. On the upside, today there was a good drying breeze and bright sunshine so I was able to wash the dozen or so towels with which we attempted to stem the tide. Normal service has been resumed, and the foul weather has headed south to torment others, although much reduced.

  • I’ve not heard of the Chump. I’d serve it with Champ … maybe a glass of ‘Champers’ too. Seriously the dish looks nice. I would like to see that cut here.

      • I was about to suggest the campers be Chimps… that might be going too far

  • Absolutely beautiful! Love the fruited couscous as well.

  • Another of your beautiful dishes we can only dream about here…..JS has “forbidden”me now to show him your recipes since they give him sleepless nights for wanting……it looks delicious and I can imagine the smell coming out if your kitchen.
    Btw – I am suffering from serious computer problem, no idea if and when it can be fixed, so no postings from me until then, just cooking, taking photographs, writing and waiting for the mechanics…… Carina

  • This looks divine! Thanks for sharing your ideas and the photos help us foreigners understand the details. Love both the writing and pictures!

  • This looks great, Conor. Not only do I have a real butcher with a shop (and lunch counter) in downtown LA but I also know where to get non-instant couscous! Belcampo.com Email next time you’ll be in Los Angeles and we will meet for meat.

  • Your never-ending words for various cuts of meat always surprises me, Conor. However, in these parts a chump is not considered a compliment if you are called one, so thank goodness we have an alternative fact when that occasion arises. Lovely chump, though!

  • Great cooking, Mr B.

  • This is a new cut for me. It looks amazing. I need to explore it further! 🙂

  • Lovely dish, Conor. Although it does look suitable to eat at room temperature, warm is great too. I’d probably cook the lamb even more rare and use lamb stock for the couscous. Definitely agree one needs a new butcher if he doesn’t know (or can’t do) custom cuts. Unfortunately nowadays that means that most butchers around here don’t qualify. The type of food you describe is served at the company restaurant, although not everyone partakes and some stick to sandwiches with hard-boiled eggs or cheese. Couscous, quinoa and dahl all feature in the salad buffet regularly.

  • Visiting the butcher today, I’ll see what kind of response I get to lamb chumps. They certainly look delicious and I love a good lamb dish

  • Wow- this looks incredible- really. Flavorful and very nice scoring. We have a lamb of ours we may butcher and I’m going to write this cut down for the guys processing it. I’ve been enjoying getting to know the whole parts of familiar pieces. cheers!

  • Yum! Good job Conor, that looks delicious! Everyone will be envious at the staff lunch table, go to the head of the cue!

  • Lamb and couscous, you know that is a meal I love. Both sound terrific.

  • Lamb and Couscous, how perfect! I agree, couscous is often served too bland. I always have to add harissa or lemon for some pucnh but this looks great.
    Excuse my ignorance but are chump and rump a similar cut?

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