Lamb that cuts the fat, keeps the flavor

Associated Press photo by MATTHEW MEAD
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Associated Press

I don’t eat lamb very often because of its fattiness, which also makes it so delicious.

So I’ve come up with a recipe for smaller lamb steaks that are cut from the leg, one of the leanest cuts of lamb. So lean, in fact, you have to figure out how to replace the flavor and moisture that goes missing with the fat. This recipe accomplishes that with a rosemary-garlic rub with added salt. It’s the salt which eventually makes the meat juicier. It works like a brine, minus the liquid.

For a lean way to cook it, go for the grill or a grill pan, which is what I used. I also added an egg-lemon sauce. It can be a little tricky. Don’t cook it enough, and the sauce won’t thicken. Cook it too much, the eggs scramble. So stabilize it with cornstarch, which makes it creamy and curd-less. Finish it with chopped baby artichokes.

Let the steaks rest before you slice, then add the “resting” juice to the sauce, which will marry the two. Every bite’s a winner.



Start to finish:

1 hour 40 minutes (20 minutes active)

Servings: 4

3 T. finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves, divided

2 cloves garlic, minced

Kosher salt and ground black pepper

1 T. plus 2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1 lb. lamb steaks cut from the leg (preferably

about 3/4-inch thick)

1 cup artichoke hearts, patted dry and chopped

(frozen is best)

1 cup low-sodium chicken broth

1 large egg yolk

1 T. fresh lemon juice

1 T. cornstarch

Set aside 1 teaspoon of rosemary. In a wide, shallow bowl combine remaining rosemary, garlic, 1/2 teasoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of oil. Coat lamb well on all sides with the herb mixture. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour, and up to overnight.

Set an oven rack 4 inches from the broiler. Heat the oven to broil.

In a small bowl, toss the artichokes with the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil and salt and pepper to taste. Arrange the artichokes in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Broil, turning them several times, until golden around the edges, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the pan from the broiler and set aside.

In a small saucepan over medium, heat the chicken broth until simmering. In a small bowl whisk egg yolk, lemon juice, remaining rosemary and cornstarch. Whisk in a little of the chicken stock. Add the egg mixture back to the chicken stock and cook for 1 minute or until the sauce starts to bubble. Season with salt and pepper, then stir in the artichokes. Keep warm over low heat.

Heat a grill or a grill pan over medium-high heat. Wipe off most of the garlic herb mixture from the lamb and spray the meat with olive oil cooking spray. Add the lamb to the grill pan. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, turning once, about 4 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer the lamb to a plate, cover loosely with foil and let rest for 5 minutes.

Slice the lamb against the grain into slices about 1/4-inch thick. Add the lamb juices from the plate to the artichoke lemon sauce. Divide the sliced lamb between 4 serving plates and spoon sauce over each plate.

Nutrition information per serving: 350 calories; 200 calories from fat (57 percent of total calories); 22 g fat (8 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 125 mg cholesterol; 13 g carbohydrate; 3 g fiber; 0 g sugar; 25g protein; 980 mg sodium.

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