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Mission accomplished: Lamb leg steaks for dinner

July 20, 2010
By Wendy Monro

I have been thinking a lot about lamb and wanting to cook it for dinner.

I love leg of lamb, gyro sandwiches, lamb roast, and rack of lamb.

One time we split a lamb with our good friends, the Ohlands, and had a freezer full of different cuts of lamb. I was surprised at how delicious the minced lamb tasted as a substitute for beef in a Bolognese sauce.

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Submitted Photo by Victor Vitug

Grilling the lamb

However, each time I look at it in the market, it is just too expensive. The other day, I found a great deal on leg of lamb steaks for less than $10. It was leg of lamb but sliced into two nice steaks. I couldn't resist.

So, I bought them and headed home all the while thinking of ways to cook them.

As luck would have it, we ended up being invited out for dinner that night. I guess that is not bad luck, just poor timing since all I could think of was eating this lamb. I decided to marinate the lamb and keep it in the refrigerator for the next evening.

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Lamb leg steaks

Time: 30 minutes (marinade over night) Serves: 4

1 1/2 lb. lamb leg steaks

1/2 C. dry white wine

1/4 C. extra virgin olive oil

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 Tbsp. rosemary

1 Tbsp. chipotle paprika

Juice from half of a lemon

1/3 C. red onion, chopped fine

1 tsp. brown sugar

1 tsp. kosher salt

1 tsp. black pepper

Combine wine, oil, garlic, rosemary, paprika, lemon juice, onion, sugar, salt and pepper and mix well. Place the lamb into the marinade and roll it around in it until the lamb is completely saturated. Cover and place in the refrigerator overnight. The following evening, take the lamb from the refrigerator. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Either on the grill or in a grill skillet on high heat, sear the lamb for about 4 minutes each side (the lamb will have grill marks and be easy to remove from the grill). While you are searing the lamb, begin making the sauce (recipe below). Place the lamb in the oven for another ten minutes. Then, take the lamb out and place on a chopping board to cool. Take the pan you used to sear the lamb and cook it in the oven and place it on the stove top on medium high heat to use for the sauce. Slice the lamb across the grain. Place it on a bed of rice and pour the sauce over the top. Serve with vegetables. I used green beans here.

Creamy onion & wine sauce

1 tbsp olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, sliced

1 clove garlic, chopped

1/2 C. white wine

1/2 C. chicken stock

1/4 C. heavy cream

Salt and pepper to taste.

While the lamb sears, saut the onions in medium heat in the olive oil. Add the garlic once the onions are translucent. The pan used to cook the lamb is on the stove on medium high heat. Pour in the wine to deglaze it. Scrape all of the seasonings from the bottom. Pour this into the pan with the onions. Let this reduce for about five minutes. Add the chicken stock and let it cook for 10 minutes. Add the cream. Add salt and pepper to taste.

I threw together a marinade of wine (of course), olive oil, garlic, rosemary, chipotle paprika, lemon juice, red onions, brown sugar, salt, pepper, and a dash of love. I knew that leaving this to soak in over night was the way to go. I was happy not to rush this process. I wanted this lamb to be something special. Claud was in for a real treat.

I stuck it in the fridge and headed to my friend's house for dinner. I couldn't stop day dreaming about lamb. I ended up mentioning it and inviting these friends over to eat it with us the next day.

The next morning, I peaked in the bowl to see how it looked. Not much changed from the looks of things; but, I could tell there was some flavor enhancement going on. I could just feel it.

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In about nine hours I could unwrap these babies and cook them up. The countdown began. The day passed slowly. Hours were like minutes.

At noon, I thought this was some sort of sick joke and asked the kids if they changed the clocks back to mess with me. Of course, they had no idea what I was going on about.

Finally, six o'clock rolled around. The kitchen was spotless. I pulled the bowl with the marinating lamb from the refrigerator and rested it on the counter.

I gently peeled off the wrapper and stuck my nose close to take a whiff. The marinade smelled divine. I worried for a second that I wouldn't get this right and I would be very disappointed.

Then, as quickly as the thought came, I threw it out with the wind. Nothing was going to spoil this meal. No doubts, no worries.

Okay, I was going to need rice, green beans, and a sauce.

I pulled out the appropriate pots and pans and set them in their designated spots. Onions and garlic were chopped, olive oil and spices were used, and the magic was in full swing.

Within 30 minutes the masterpiece was completed.

Once I plated the first dish, I could barely wait to take the photograph. Then, I had to make three more plates (we had people over) and take them to the table.

Then, I was forced to contain my excitement and to eat the meal like a lady in front of my husband and our friends.

I was so pleased once I took the first bite. Yes! I did it! It was absolutely perfect. I smiled with every bite. I looked around and everyone else was smiling too. At the end of the meal, not a morsel was left on anyone's plate.

Mission accomplished.



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