Lamb Steaks with Herbs + Caramelized Garlic

Submitted by Jody Adams and Ken Rivard, chef/owner of Rialto and Trade, and writer, respectively. This recipe appears on their very beautiful blog, The Garum Factory (thegarumfactory.net). They pick up their copy of Edible Boston at Rialto in Cambridge. Truth be told, we don’t eat much red meat. However, lamb steaks with herbs and caramelized garlic make a great indulgence, especially with the Pugliese wrinkle of using olive oil scented with rosemary, sage, and thyme instead of a butter sauce. We used American lamb steaks; each was around 6 ounces, but sometimes they’re even larger. As Jody suggests below, you can stretch the recipe by serving smaller portions to more people or by using New Zealand lamb steaks, which are about half the size.

Serves 4.

Ingredients

4 sprigs each of thyme, sage, and rosemary, VERY dry 4 bay leaves 4 1/2-inch thick slices lamb leg, 5 to 6 ounces each Coarse sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil–not super fancy 8 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled Zest and juice of 1 lemon 2 tablespoons water

Directions

Strip the leaves off the stems of the thyme, sage, and rosemary. Pat the lamb dry with paper towels and season generously with salt and pepper.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Have a splash screen ready: the oil will spit. Just before the oil begins to smoke, add the garlic and cook 1 minute on each side or until golden brown. Add the herbs and cook 1 minute, tossing occasionally or until the leaves are crisp, but not burned. This will happen very quickly. Remove the herbs and garlic from the pan. Discard the bay leaves.

Add the lamb and sear on each side, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes for medium rare, longer if you like it cooked more. Transfer to a plate. They need to rest 5 minutes before cutting because they were cooked on such a high heat.

Turn off the heat. Add the lemon zest and juice to the pan with 2 tablespoons water. The lemon juice will sizzle. Use a rubber spatula to deglaze the pan. Return the herbs to the pan (you threw away the bay leaves, right?) and garlic and toss. Pour over the lamb. Encourage your guests to eat the herbs.