My favourite meat

WARNING: This post may be unsavoury for vegetarians.

Earlier this week I was casting around for something to write about for Favourite Friday, and somewhat unexpectedly found the answer staring up at me from my dinner plate. Lamb!

It’s funny that it’s never before occurred to me to write about my love for lamb, since everyone who knows me is surely by now sick of me waxing lyrical about it every time meat comes up in conversation. But I guess sometimes I don’t realise obvious things…remember my owls epiphany?

Anyway, on to the meat course.

Lamb is a dish I have always loved. Roast lamb, lamb stew, lamb chops, lamb curry, lamb fillet, and best of all: lamb cutlets. I’m rather predictable, because just about any time we go to a fancy restaurant I order the lamb. I just love the flavour and tenderness of beautifully cooked, medium-rare, lean lamb.

I’ve always been something of a red-meat girl. I don’t eat much pork and it was only after Phil and I moved in together that I really started eating chicken (previously I believed all chicken was dry and tasteless, but that man does amazing things with poultry). I love beef—there’s nothing like a good steak, and it’s a meat that’s not only versatile but usually relatively cheap. And of course, I love lamb. It’s funny, often, when we dine out, because I quite like red meat but Phil quite likes chicken—and the restaurant industry seems to have this idea that men order red meat and women order white meat. That’s quite possibly true for most people, but it’s funny to see waiters looking a little nonplussed when I say ‘actually, the steak is for me.’

It’s hard to describe just why I like lamb more than beef, but I’ll try. Lamb seems to have a depth of flavour that beef doesn’t. It can be more savoury, more meaty, if you like, although at times I’d also describe it as sweeter. Perhaps you could say it’s more gamy? In any case, I tend to think of beef as a straightforward flavour, and lamb as a complex flavour. I guess the meat is also juicier, since most cuts of lamb have a little more fat on them—but this doesn’t mean lamb has to be greasy, which is the main objection I’ve heard from lamb’s opponents. The trick is to buy leaner cuts: avoid chump and forequarter chops, and instead go for frenched cutlets, backstrap/fillet, leg steaks, or diced shoulder. They’re generally more expensive, but definitely worth it, and who doesn’t deserve a treat every now and then?

Enough talk. Now I’d like to share with you my favourite quick-and-easy way of cooking lamb cutlets, as in the photo above. Although there’s a little bit of preparation it’s the fun sort, where you get your fingers dirty. Remember how much you loved that at kindy?

Juicy tender lamb cutlets in a crispy crumb

3 lamb cutlets per person (you could have two per person, but let’s be honest, you’re going to want to eat an extra one anyway)

plain flour

1 egg

dry breadcrumbs (the sort you buy in a box from the supermarket)

herbs or spices if you’re feeling fancy

These are best cooked on a rack in the oven. Preheat your oven to 200°C. If you don’t have a roasting tray with a built in rack, you can put the lamb cutlets directly onto the oven racks with a baking tray underneath to catch any juices. If you don’t want to do this they will cook fine on a lightly greased baking tray, but one side won’t be crispy.

Put a handful of flour on one plate and a handful of breadcrumbs on another. If you’re feeling fancy, mix some herbs or spices into the breadcrumbs. I often just use black pepper. Crack your egg into a wide, shallow bowl and mix it up a bit.

Now start your production line. Take one lamb cutlet, dip it into the flour until it’s all covered (even the bone handle), then into the egg, then into the breadcrumbs, making sure it’s completely covered at each dipping. Place on the rack. Repeat with remaining cutlets. Flour, egg, breadcrumbs. Easy!

Pop your crumbed cutlets into the oven. Cooking time will vary depending on how you like your meat and what your oven is like, but for medium-rare it usually takes me about 15 minutes. A metal skewer is useful to check whether they are hot inside.

Once done, eat with your fingers so you can properly gnaw all the tasty-crispy bits off the bone. Yum!

I really urge you to try this, as it’s so tasty and easy. And I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Lamb forever!

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2 Responses to “My favourite meat”

  1. mum Says:

    you know what’s rather ironic? when i was preggers with you lamb was one thing i just could not eat! the smell of it made me want to throw up, the taste just killed me. Glad you’ve moved on….:)

  2. Holidays = cooking « An odd assortment Says:

    […] now in our freezer, which used to be half a lamb. That’s right folks, I wasn’t kidding when I said I loved lamb, and now an entire half of one (minus souvlaki) is sitting in my freezer, nicely portioned into […]

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