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Lamb steaks that salsa…with a divine mash

By Gordon
Lamb, how I love thee. So versatile, so tender, an almost limitless set of possibilities when you present yourself as the dish for the evening. Versatile is the key word here….and if you cook it right, then tender should be a foregone conclusion.
Lamb can complement so many different flavour combinations as a matching hero or as the base from which the other flavours build. You can add sauces, marinades, sides and cook ala French, Italian, Greek or even add a suite of Asian flavours  (See the Greek slow cooked lamb as a lovely example)
What we’re working with today, is one of the prime lamb cuts, the ‘not so humble’ lamb steak. They’re small and delicate compared to a hearty slab of beef, hence you’ll need 2 per person. Oh, and I’ve come across very few kids who haven’t loved the humble chop or cutlet, it’s part of being Australian, just ask Sam Kekovitch!
What you’ll need based on a meal for 4
  • 2-3 lamb steaks per person
  • 300g/10.5 oz kipfler potatoes
  • 300 g/10.5 oz Cecile potatoes or other variety
  • 1 Lebanese cucumber
  • half a red capsicum (large red pepper)
  • 1 large red chilli deseeded
  • handful of diced mint leaves
  • handful of diced coriander leaves
  • juice of 3 limes
  • 2 tbs of fish sauce
  • 2 tbl ethically sourced palm sugar (just use brown sugar if you don’t have palm sugar)
  • Worcestershire sauce 
  • Salt + Pepper
  • large knob of butter
  • 100ml/3.5 fl oz sour cream
  • ground nutmeg powder
Start off by marinating your lamb in a stainless bowl for a couple of hours. Try not to drown them, but about a half cup of Worcestershire sauce should do it with a very health grind of pepper. Come back to them and turn them each half hour to ensure each cutlet gets a good coating. Get the BBQ smokin’ hot and ready, or your little griddle pan.
Peel you potatoes and then drop them into some salted water and boil until soft and ready for mashing (max 20 mins)
Now, onto the salsa. Peel your cucumber and slice lengthways down the middle. Scoop out all of your seeds and then slice lengthways nice and thinly. Dice finely and drop into a mixing bowl. Apply the same treatment to your capsicum, (large pepper for our American friends) and add to the diced cucumber. Next, slice your large red chilli in half and remove all the seeds. Dice up nice and fine and add half to your salsa (the idea is that you can add more if it’s not spicy enough for your taste, or leave it a little mild if there are more sensitive souls about) Next add your shredded/diced mint and coriander.

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Squeeze the limes into a cup and add the palm sugar, fish sauce and mix. Once the sugar has resolved, add this to your salsa and mix around thoroughly. Set aside ready for plating.
Drain your potatoes. Add about 50g/1.8 oz butter, all of the sour cream and a good grind of salt and pepper. Two pinches of nutmeg and then mash. You don’t want it runny, but a nice solid bed, so add a little more sour cream if needed, salt and pepper to taste.
Drop your lamb onto the BBQ and cook over high heat for about two minutes each side (you want them to still have a bit of spring in them when you push down to check)  We’re working with a griddle frypan today because Sydney was drowning with the rain outside when I was cooking this. My general rule though, is that if it’s meat, the BBQ is best. Move to the side of BBQ where it’s cooler, cover with foil and leave to rest for 5 minutes. Or turn your pan off remove the steaks onto a plate and then cover with foil to rest.

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While the lamb is resting, make a nice pile of mash on each plate and then place the lamb on the mash in an appealing manner. Next, spoon over your salsa and the juices, and then Robert’s your father’s brother, dinner is served.

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Sides can be a lovely fresh garden salad, steamed green beans or sugar snap peas.
Enjoy responsibly with a lovely Pinot Noir.

About Gordon Eckel

Gordon Eckel, a foodie and (rock) wall climber extraordinaire. He worked in some of Sydney’s top restaurants, but decided that he liked cooking for his friends more, so ran away and joined the circus (aka managing Sydney nightclubs). Six years ago and after a few too many creamy pastas he weighed 105 kg with a ridiculously high cholesterol. He changed his eating ways, wore out a treadmill and dropped 25 kilos in three months. Now he is renown for cooking deceptively healthy food and for proselytizing about the marvels of the great Australian red.

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3 comments

  1. Gordon your meals always look fantastic and as a lamb lover and also a convert to fresh and light food, this looks like a perfect meal for me.

    Carolyn

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