New Zealand Baby Lamb Chops

  • Dipping sauce:
  • 1/3 cup white-wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon minced fresh mint leaves
  • 12 single New Zealand baby rib lamb chops, wholly frenched to the eye (about 2 pounds)
  • 1 garlic clove, halved crosswise
  • 1/2 teaspoon crumbled dried thyme
  • White pepper, to taste
  • In a small saucepan combine the vinegar and the sugar and cook the mixture over moderate heat, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the mint and let the sauce cool. Season the sauce with salt and pepper and transfer it to a small bowl. Pat the chops dry, rub them with the cut sides of the garlic, and sprinkle both sides of the chops with the thyme and the white pepper. Grill the chops in a well-oiled ridged grill pan over moderately high heat for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, depending on the thickness of the chops, on each side for rare meat. (Alternately, the chops may be broiled under a preheated broiler about 4 inches from the heat for about 2 minutes on each side for rare meat.) Serve the chops with the dipping sauce.

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