March 16, 2008
Dark Days Challenge Week 10: Grilled Lamb Leg Steak, Broccoli, and Oven-Baked Fries; Chocolate Bananas
Continuing with the lamb theme, I made sure to go to the 3-Corner Field Farm stand at the Greenmarket last week, figuring it would be one of their last weeks before the lambing season begins. It turned out I was right, so I indulged and bought ground lamb as well as lamb leg steak. After reading on Farmgirl Fare that lamb leg steak is her her favorite cut of lamb, I figured I had to try it. Instead of the whole leg of lamb, which is popular this time of year for Easter dinners, it's a slice through the leg with one small bone running through it and cooks up more quickly.
My cut of lamb leg steak was nice and thick though, so it certainly took its time on the grill. Before cooking, I marinated it using rosemary and garlic, traditional flavors associated with lamb. I mixed together 1 tsp fresh rosemary, 2 large diced cloves garlic, lemon zest and juice of half a lemon, 2 tbsp olive oil, salt, and pepper; then rubbed the lamb around in the mixture on both sides and let it marinate for an hour. Jesse grilled it on low, to be sure not to overcook it, for about 12 minutes on each side, leaving it medium-rare. I actually wished the rosemary and garlic flavors would have been stronger in the final cooked lamb, so I recommend amping up to 1 tbsp fresh rosemary and 3 or 4 cloves garlic. However, my rosemary plant has been suffering sad and spindly looking indoors all winter and I was afraid to snip too much off of it. I'm just hoping it survives another month till I can put it out on the deck along with the other herb plants I'm planning to grow.
The grilled lamb leg steak tasted surprisingly like steak from a cow, just slightly more tender. Jesse voted that he liked lamb steak better than bison steak because the lamb is juicier and more flavorful, but I actually preferred the bison better for its tenderness and leanness.
To go with the lamb, we made our usual oven-baked fries. Also, I committed a locavore sin. With all of these weekend trips, I haven't had a chance to go to the Greenmarket on a Saturday, which is the only day I can find vegetables besides potatoes and onions. I really wanted something green to accompany the dinner, so I caved and bought broccoli at a nearby grocery store. I chopped the broccoli, stems and all and sauteed it for a few minutes with garlic. Then I added my balsamic-mustard sauce that I often cook kale in (1 tsp mustard, 2 tsp balsamic vinegar, 2 tbsp water, salt, pepper, and thyme) and covered the pan hoping it would sort of steam and soften the broccoli. However, the stems especially never really softened, so I recommend slicing the stems thinly or parboiling the broccoli before cooking it in the balsamic-mustard mixture.
After dinner, Jesse surprised me by disappearing into the kitchen and coming back with a couple bananas and a bowl of chocolate chips melted in the microwave. It was a delightful treat I'd never heard of before: dunking a banana in melted chocolate and continuing to dunk it as you go (warning: do not eat this with anyone who has a fear of double dipping). No this was not local, but I think it would also work well with apple slices. And isn't he sweet for thinking of it?