Photography by Chris Terry
3–4 cutlets per person, whatever size you want (at room temperature)
a little olive oil
salt and pepper
4–6 slices of bread (coarse-textured white or sourdough)
Fresh herb salsa
15g mint (leaves only)
1/2 tbsp small capers, drained
juice of 1/2 a lemon
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp Dijon mustard
No fancy tricks: it’s simply sweet meat teamed up with a saucy herby concoction. To mix it up a bit, slap on any lamb marinade (see below). 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 roughly chopped capers, anchovies and 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 the 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 shifting. 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 and yoghurt mixed with crushed garlic.
Team the salsa with lamb steaks, roasts or griddled chicken. The smooth one’s good with cheese soufflé (for dipping) or spread in an omelette.
Make up the salsa ahead and chill in a covered bowl until ready to use. The smooth version stores for up to 2 weeks.
CHANGE IT UP
Rub a bit of mint sauce and balsamic vinegar into the meat to flavour before oiling the pan and griddling. For sweet griddled cutlets, brush a a mix of honey, mint and lemon juice onto plain cutlets 2 minutes before they’re done. Or try baking your cutlets: marinate for at least 30 minutes, then bake at 180C/Gas 4 for 10 minutes per side.
1) Olive oil, lemon juice or white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, garlic and thyme
2) Yoghurt, cumin, garlic, coriander, turmeric, cinnamon and lemon
3) Smoked paprika, lime, chilli powder and yoghurt
4) Chinese wine/vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, oyster sauce and coriander
This recipe and text have been taken from Virgin to Veteran: How to Get Cooking with Confidence by Sam Stern, published by Quadrille Publishing, £20
© Please do not reproduce this material without the permission of the publisher