Lamb “Steak” with Winter Storage Vegetables
This is another guest recipe post from Chef Michael R. Murray of Part-Time Permies
Choose a tender cut of lamb (rib chops, loin chops or top butt)
Marinate overnight with a small amount of fresh lemon zest, red onion/shallot slices, sprigs of thyme, bay leaf, and lightly salted and peppered. Keep the marinade items large so you can remove them later for cooking and lightly coat the meat in vegetable or olive oil to help transfer flavor and begin a light cure. A small dash of Worcestershire sauce or A1 can be added or even a sprinkle of Cajun seasoning based on your taste preferences.
When you are ready to cook the meat, you can either grill or sear in a heavy pan. Re-season lightly with salt and pepper. If you are grilling, make sure to remove as much marinating oil from the surface as possible to prevent flare ups and darkening.
Using a hot pan or grill cook until 120-125 degrees on an instant read thermometer to achieve a medium rare to medium temperature after resting the meat for a few minutes before serving.
If you are pan cooking you can remove excess grease and make a quick pan sauce with a touch of redwine or simply adding an ounce of butter and letting it brown. When the butter smells nutty quickly add a dash of redwine or malt vinegar to the pan and take it off the burner. Swirl the vinegar into the butter and pan drippings to create a quick and flavorful sauce.
Using your stored root vegetables or favorites like onions, beets, turnips, rutabaga, carrots, parsnips, potatoes, sun chokes, sweet potatoes or even squash prepare them in similar sized, large chunks of 1 in. or greater. Remove the peel where dirty or tough and choose to leave some peels on if desired. It doesn’t take more than a piece or two of a few varieties to end up with a large bowl of cut vegetables!
Keep tougher vegetables together separate from softer ones. In a large bowl sprinkle vegetables with salt and fresh ground pepper. Add a touch of fresh or ground herbs like thyme and rosemary some minced red onion or shallot if you are not also roasting onions in your medley. Optionally, I like to add some rough-cut orange or lemon zest and mustard seeds or crushed coriander seeds. Toss the vegetable and spices with olive oil and spread on sheet pans or baking dish. Roast at 375 for tougher items or 400 for softer items until lightly browned on the edges and softened.
Re-toss the roasted vegetable and check seasoning. Adjust if needed and add a few drops of honey if you want a sweeter flavor. Hold until ready to serve and gently reheat. Add fresh chopped herbs like parsley or dill if desired. Great to serve warm with the grilled lamb! Also nice as a chilled or room temperature “salad”.
Variations can also include adding some apples or pears, roasting Brussel sprouts along with items like pumpkin seeds, dried fruits or nuts, chunks of bacon or smoked meat to create complex flavors. This recipe can be very adaptable for using whatever you have around the house and adding a few extras in spices or other vegetables and accompaniments to fit the season or dish.
Chef Michael R. Murray CEC