There are times when walking into the supermarket with no plan is a disaster. Other times it’s an inspiration. Thankfully, this recipe transpired from an inspirational trip.
I was wandering through the meat department, as I do, and spotted a beautiful set of lamb steaks. And then I spotted the lovely sticker on the package. 2 for £7. Armed with my 2 lamb steaks and a nice pair of beef rump steaks (to use in a later post), I was ready to go.
There was also a bag of fresh peas languishing in the fridge, which offered the perfect opportunity for… pan-seared lamb steaks and minted mushy peas.
Even though I’ve lived in London for 1.5 years, I haven’t spent much of that time cooking British food. It’s been too tempting to take advantage of all the continental European ingredients – the Italian cheese, French cream and Greek olives. After this success, though, I might have to rethink that stance.
A nice piece of tender lamb (not mutton) is quick to cook (and just as quick to ruin). I pan-seared this, but it would be just as lovely on the grill. You could also make this a pea puree, rather than mushy peas. To do that, just replace the mushing with food processing.
On the Counter:
4 lamb steaks
6 sprigs-worth of fresh thyme, leaves only
kosher or ground rock salt
1 tsp olive oil for marinade
2 tsp olive oil for pan
3 cups (400 g) fresh or frozen peas
4 springs fresh mint
4 tablespoons melted butter
What to Do:
Chop thyme leaves and combine them with a few grinds of salt and olive oil. Mash them up with a mortar and pestle. Rub or brush onto both sides of your lamb steaks. Let them sit for at least 30 minutes. (Don’t skip the marinading – it’s worth it!)
Boil the peas in lightly salted water until tender (about 3 minutes). If using frozen, heat them according to the package directions. Chop mint finely. Once the peas are finished, drain them and combine butter, mint and a pinch of salt. Mash them up with a mortal and pestle, until they are mushy to your taste.
Drizzle olive oil onto a griddle or flat-bottomed frying pan. Heat (on medium-high) until the oil shimmers. Flick a few drops of water onto the skillet to test; if they dance and sizzle, it’s ready. Place your lamb steaks onto the pan and press them down. Don’t crowd the pan; make sure each one has some space. For medium rare, cook them for 4 minutes on each side. Medium: 5 minutes, then 4 minutes. This obviously depends on the thickness of your pieces. Mine were about 3/4 inch thick (2 cm).
As soon as the timer goes off, take them off the heat and let them rest for 2 or 3 minutes on a plate.
On a warm plate, serve peas and lamb. This is also lovely with some french fries or a salad, but I’ll leave that to you!
I had a lot of fun taking photos of this one, so here are two extras that I just had to share. Check out that beautiful piece of lamb!