At Tavernetta in Denver, Colorado, chef Ian Wortham’s tender and smoky grilled lamb steak—topped with a lemony pistachio gremolata, Cipollini onions caramelized in Marsala wine, and a garlicky caper dressing—is a stunning, mostly make-ahead main course. Wortham uses a cross-cut slice of leg, which he tenderizes with a Jaccard, a sharp-toothed butcher’s tool. (We love the easy-to-clean Bladed Meat Tenderizer from OXO, $20, amazon.com). Tender, but with the richness and flavor of a working muscle, Wortham says a lamb steak is one of the best cuts to cook in the summer, but he advises, “Be sure to thoroughly tenderize the steak, which will take four to five passes.”
4 (12- to 14-ounces) cross-cut lamb leg steaks (about 3/4 inch thick)
Place steaks on a work surface. Using a Jaccard meat tenderizer or fork, poke steaks all over until well tenderized (or ask your butcher to tenderize the steaks). Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and oregano. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour.
Meanwhile, open bottom and top vents of a charcoal grill completely. Light charcoal chimney starter filled with briquettes. When briquettes are covered with gray ash, pour in an even layer on bottom of grill. Place lamb steaks on oiled grate; grill, uncovered, turning occasionally, to desired degree of doneness, about 10 minutes for medium. Transfer to a platter; let rest 10 minutes.
To serve, spoon 2 tablespoons Garlic-Caper Vinaigrette over each steak. Top evenly with Marsala Cipollini Onions, syrup from onions, and Pistachio Gremolata. Serve immediately with steak knives.
Rich, black currant-y Valpolicella Ripasso
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