No fancy tricks: it’s simply sweet meat teamed up with a saucy herby concoction. To mix it up a bit, slap on a marinade. Eat your salsa rough or blitz it into a smooth sauce.
- Make the salsa: Wash and dry the mint leaves and coriander. For a rough salsa, chop the herbs pretty finely on a board with a sharp chef ’s knife.
- Place in a bowl with the chopped capers, anchovies, lemon juice, oil and mustard. For a smooth salsa, blitz everything in a food processor or hand-held blender until smooth.
- Prep the cutlets: Trim off any excess fat if necessary, and rub a few drops of oil into the meat with your fingers (or use a pastry brush, if squeamish). Season lightly with pepper and a tiny bit of salt.
- Heat a griddle pan till it’s almost smoking hot. Slap the meat down and cook for 2 minutes without shift ing. Flip. Repeat for 2 minutes to colour well and flavour up. Turn each cutlet onto its fatty back with tongs and hold for a few seconds to brown up.
- For well-done, give the meat another minute per side. Test to see it’s done as you like it. Rest it on a plate and sprinkle with sea salt.
- Griddle the bread in the hot pan for 30 seconds per side, or until crisp and marked by the lamb juices.
- Pile the cutlets and bread on a plate and let people grab. Serve the salsa in a bowl for dipping. Enjoy with tabbouleh or couscous salad, any griddled vegetables and mezze dips such as hummus, cucumber tzatziki and yoghurt mixed with crushed garlic.
A RACK OF CUTLETS
Preheat your oven to 220ÆC/Gas 7. Sear the rack on both sides in a very hot pan with a bit of oil. When cool, spread the fat side with 1 tbsp smooth salsa/pesto/Dijon mustard. Blitz up 2 handfuls of fresh herbs, 2 handfuls of crustless white bread, 1 garlic clove and press on top of the lamb to form a crust. Roast for 15–20 minutes. Combine a little redcurrant jelly and red wine in a pan and simmer for a minute. Drizzle over the cutlets to finish.
STICKY SPICED CUTLETS
Rub the cutlets in a mix of 1 tsp grated ginger, 1 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp coriander, ó tsp turmeric, 2 crushed garlic cloves and 3 tsp groundnut/vegetable oil. Griddle as before. Eat with rice and raita.
CUTLETS AND BEANS
Rub the cutlets with a bit of olive oil, lemon juice, crushed garlic and dried oregano. In a pan, warm a glug of olive oil, 1–2 diced garlic cloves, a sprig of rosemary and 400g drained canned cannellini beans for 5 minutes. Griddle the cutlets as before and serve on the beans with crunchy bread.
From Sam Stern’s Cookery Course for Students in the Kitchen (Quadrille)
Photograph by Chris Terry