Sunday, 3 May 2009

Peppered lamb steak with mustard-glazed carrots and new potatoes

My flatmate is a Green Party councillor. Unsurprisingly, he's a vegetarian. He insists on referring to meat as "carcass" as if it's going to gross me out and put me off eating it. This doesn't really work, and as I tucked into my nice medium rare lamb steak, I told him that I could almost hear it screaming.

This steak of new spring lamb was absolutely beautiful. I don't say that to big myself up; rather, the quality of the meat took care of itself. I also used new potatoes as they're particularly good at this time of year, and I glazed them in the way that my mate Andy showed me. I can't be bothered to estimate all the quantities here so this is just how I did it for myself.

  • 1 lamb steak
  • 2-3 large garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp English mustard
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • Freshly ground sea salt
  • About 1 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • 1 large carrot
  • 3-4 new potatoes (depending on the size), unpeeled but thoroughly washed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • A knob or two of butter
  • 1 bay leaf


  1. Get your lamb steak out about 15 minutes before you want to cook it so that it can adjust to room temperature and cook evenly without shocking. In the meantime, put your washed new potatoes into a saucepan full of cold salted water, cutting them in half if necessary for size reasons, and peel and slice the carrots.
  2. Rub the mint all over both sides of the lamb steak. Using a pestle and mortar, crack the black peppercorns up; if you don't have one to hand, use a chopping board and a wooden spatula and smash them with your hand. Season the steak well on both sides with salt and black pepper. Smash and peel the garlic clove with a knife.
  3. Boil the potatoes for about 10-15 minutes, checking that they're tender with a knife. Add the carrots in for the last 2 minutes of cooking time.
  4. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a frying pan on a fairly high heat. Add the smashed garlic clove and the bay leaf. When the oil is obviously hot, add the lamb steak. Note: steaks aren't all that difficult to cook; the main thing is to avoid the temptation to keep turning them over. You also want them to sizzle vigorously - if this doesn't happen the second they hit the pan, take them out and wait for the oil to heat up a but more. Fry the steak on one side for about 4 minutes, then turn it over and fry it on the other side. After 2 minutes, add the butter to the pan, baste it over with a teaspoon when it starts frothing, and fry it for another two minutes.
  5. Remove the steak to a plate for 1-2 minutes, just to let it rest and relax while you finish the potatoes and carrots. They should be done by this point, so put them in the pan where the steak was. Add a splash of red wine vinegar to deglaze it, then add the mustard. Cook for a minute or two until the vegetables are all nicely covered in the mustard and pan juices, then serve with the lamb steak.

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