When Marks and Spencer introduced its signature Barnsley chop dish at its store, then a debate was sparked about what is Barsenly chop. People were wondering what constitutes the dish. Many people claim that it is a chop cut from the loin area, while others say it is a one-and-a-half-pound rack of lamb.
It is the particular chop cut from the loin area of lamb that is named after the North England town of Barnsley. However, it is rarely found in the supermarket. As it is a speciality cut, so you can find it in butcher shops. Keep reading to learn more about this tasty and succulent chop!
What is a Barnsley chop?
It is a cross-sectional cut taken from the lamb’s lion. This piece of lamb comes with a double-sided chop, an adjoining bone in the middle and a fillet underneath. Barnsley chop is often referred to as saddle chop as it is cut across the saddle.
The meat is tender that is perfect for pan roasting, grilling and slow cooking. The fat and middle bone adds flavour to the meat. According to Brain Turner (celebrity chef) from Yorkshire, his version of the lamp cut was a one-and-a-half-inch chop sliced from the saddle roast with a bit of kidney and belly fat.
It was made famous by the Barnsley’s Brooklands Hotel, where it was cooked in gravy for several hours until the meat was meltingly tender and sticky. Chef Andy Lisel, who works at the Holiday Inn Barnsley, reckons that it is only the generous lamb cut that deserves this title, Barnsley chop.
It is usually braised for hours until the meat melts and is served with mash, roast vegetables, and mint. It is perfect for a hearty appetite as it is a larger cut of meat. Like sausages, it can be cooked in a frying pan.
What meat is a Barnsley chop?
If you are wondering what meat is Barnsley chop, the simple answer is that it is a saddle chop taken from the centre of the rib. This lion’s cross-section creates a generous double lion cop or double lamb chop. The weight of the chop may vary, depending on the size of the animal.
It can weigh between half a pound (226 grams) and one-and-a-half pounds (680 grams). In the UK, 250 grams of chop is common. You may see some larger chop cuts; though these big chop cuts are not lamb’s cuts. They may actually be mutton cuts. Butcher meat and bone saw and meat slicer are used to cut Barnsley chops instead of meat cleavers.
This heartier piece of lamb is most popular in the UK, especially in Yorkshire. However, you may not find it at your local butcher unless you make a request. As it is a speciality cut, it is pricier. You can try other meaty chops as a substitute for Barnsley chop, like lamp chump chops or steaks, loin chops and valentine steaks. They are smaller in size but are the best substitutes.
How do you make a Barnsley Chop?
How do you make a barsley chop, you ask? It is up for debate how to cook it perfectly. Prepared from the lamb’s saddle, it is best suited for pan–roasting or griddling and grilling. It is also great for braising, which is how it got its name.
You can make the perfect Barnsley chop with grilling but pan roasting and then baking in the oven is a preferred cooking method to cook the Barnsley chop. This double loin lamb chop requires more time to cook than an ordinary lamb chop.
Pan roasting is the common method to cook but the important question to consider with cooking it in a heavy-based frying pan then finishing it in the oven versus grilling is how you like to fat on this lamb chop to taste as it can be a fatty lamb cut.
The most popular choice to cook this fatty cut is pan roasting. First, it is cooked in a pan and then baked in the oven. You can also cook it on a flat top or griddle if you prefer.
Preheat the oven to 375 F or Gas 5mark. To pan fry, heat the pan with one tbsp. of oil. Sean, the chop with a little pepper and salt, put the chop cut-side down and cook it until golden brown on medium-high heat.
Turn over the side after three minutes and cook the other side for three more minutes until the fat renders. Chop takes around 5 to 10 minutes to become crisp. Place the fat edge onto the frying pan and cook for about a minute.
Place it on a baking sheet using a pair of tongs and then put it in the preheated oven to cook the larger sides of the Barnsley chop. Cook it for 8 minutes and remove it from the oven. Now cover it with foil, leave it to rest for 5 minutes, and then serve on hot plates. You can chop’s larger sides on the stove if you don’t want to bake it, but it can get smoky.
Barnsley chops are fatty, so grilling them is tricky. When the fat melts, it can ignite into flames and give it a bad flavour. So you need to be careful when you choose to cook them over hot coals. Pan roasting is the best way to cook the chops. However, this cooking method takes time and patience, but grilling doesn’t require too much time. If you don’t like the fat on Barnsley chop, choose to grill to cook it.
Another method to cook Barnsley chops is dry brining. Dry brining, which is also known as salting, uses the meat’s own moisture to form the brine for the most flavorful and juicy bite. Season the chops with a little bit of salt and peppers, leave them in the fridge to rest for a couple of hours or overnight and then roast them in the oven. When you choose dry brining to cook the chop, it helps to achieve crispy skin and better browning.
History of a Barnsley Chop
It is believed that it was first served at Barnsley’s Kings Head pub, but some claim it was Brookland’s Hotel in Barnsley, where it is served to this day and claims to be the restaurant it was first served. It became popular in the mid-1800s. Wherever it originated and was first served, one thing that both sides can agree on is that it is succulent and tasty.
The chop is most enjoyed in the United Kingdom, specifically Yorkshire. This speciality cut is also a perfect example of how meat fabrication techniques and butchery cuts for lamb can vary in different regions. The chop got more popularity when renowned pub chef James Mackenzie included it on the menu at his restaurant, Michelin-starred Pipe and Glass Inn. He served the dish with a nettle sauce.
What to serve with a Barnsley Chop
Barnsley chop is a Yorkshire favourite. It is typically pan-roasted and slow-cooked and can be served at the dinner table with classic Cumberland sauce, mint sauce and even mushroom sauce. Serve the juicy and tender chops on warmed plates with warm Cumberland sauce. You can serve it with minted potatoes and vegetables when it is slow-cooked in gravy. Enhance its flavour with homemade mint sauce to enjoy every succulent bite of Barnsley chop.
Some other accompaniments include roasted potatoes, a wedge of lemon and fresh vegetables. It is easy to cook and often seasoned with a little bit of salt and pepper to let it to be the star of the show. When it is served with vegetables and lashings of gravy, it tastes so delicious. You may also find it serves as a part of a mixed grill, but this is only for those who love everything meaty.
What to ask your butcher?
As it is a speciality cut, so you may not find it in the local supermarket. However, you can request your local butcher for a Barnsley chop cut. There are two key things to consider when you may need to order it. If you want the belly attached to the chop and thickness of the chops are two key things you need to consider. Ask your butcher for a thick Barnsley chop. One to two rib bone thickness is recommended.
You may see a tail on each side of this larger lamb cut, which is part of the belly or chops with occasional t-bone chops side-by-side. If you are not a fan of fatty chop, ask your butcher not to cut it with the belly part. You can cut it yourself with a knife if buy one with the tail on each side of the Barnsley chop.
If you like to eat chops with the attached, keep in mind that it may not cook by the time the lion is golden brown and crisp. Moreover, if you prefer a t-bone with a belly attached and choose to grill to cook it, the fat will melt and ignite the flame, which can give your food a bad flavour.
Ever since I started cooking I’ve been fascinated by how different people’s techniques are and how they best utilise the ingredients around them. Even the person living next door will have their own unique way of frying an egg or cooking a salmon fillet.
This fascination led me on a journey across the globe to discover the countless practices and traditions the world of cooking has to offer. I thought you’d enjoy and find value in sharing that journey with me so I created Cooked Best!