How to cook: rosemary lamb steaks with celeriac mash and minted cabbage!

Once again, the inspiration for this recipe comes from Jamie Oliver! It was a bit of an after-thought to turn this into a blog post which is probably why my pictures are sub-par but I hope it's helpful for you.

To prove just how easy this is to do: I cooked this yesterday after doing blog-stuff in the day, then going to Tesco's which takes a good 90 minutes and putting all the shopping away! I was practically on my knees but luckily I absolutely love cooking ;)

What you'll need: 

~ high welfare lamb steaks, 1 per person
~ potatoes
~ celeriac
~ cabbage, preferably savoy
~ 4 garlic cloves
~ shallot onions
~ 1 leek

~ olive oil
~ coarse salt
~ ground black pepper
~ extra virgin olive oil 
~ fresh rosemary
~ milk 
~ mint sauce

~ tin foil
~ elbow grease!! ;)

The most time-consuming part of this recipe is the preparation. Luckily for me, I find it very soothing but it would probably drive some people mad. It's all worth it in the end, trust me! 

So first things first, get your oven on to preheat on full. Get out your roasting tray and line it with some tin foil. Using the pack that your lamb steaks were in, give them a sprinkle with salt and pepper from a height. Try and keep it to an even amount per steak. 

Now we need to get some rosemary. You'll need enough to sit in the palm of your hand when it's cupped.

Roll it into something of a cigar shape to make it easier to chop, and just have at it. You don't need to make too much of an effort, just stop when it's fine enough to sprinkle from a height and cover your steaks evenly. 

We're not after them to be coated in rosemary here!! 

Using some tongs, pick up the steaks and lay them seasoned side down on the roasting tray. Repeat this process to make sure both sides get the same flavour.

Once you've done this move the tray to one side and get out your garlic cloves and shallots. 

This is definitely the most time-consuming and annoying part of the recipe, purely because it's so fiddly. What we need to do is peel the garlic and shallots. The easiest way to get rid of the skin on garlic is to remove the pointed tops and work upwards from the bottom part where you can get your fingernails under the skin and peel upwards. Alternatively, you could stick them in a garlic crusher and use one clove per steak. In this recipe I am using the garlic as a flavouring for the gravy and also as an additional aroma for the lamb. Once it's cooked it's easy to spread on the lamb if you want to. Then grab your leek and chop it into sizable chunks.

Spread your vegetables around the lamb, give the tray another dusting of coarse salt and pepper. Now sprinkle a little olive oil on the lamb and rub the herbs into the meat to coat them and ensure they won't burn.

Turn your oven down to 180 and cook for about 15 minutes, depending on if you like your lamb pink or not.

The lamb will be covered after cooking to rest.

Now we need to crack on with our mash, so gather up your potatoes and get the kettle on!

Because time is a factor here, chop up your potatoes into small chunks. This will also make your life easier when mashing! As always, be careful. Do not peel the potatoes and don't try to peel the celeriac! Instead, just chop away at the skin. Click here to see what I do to a celeriac! If you have a big enough saucepan, you can throw them in together with a good pinch of salt to boil until you can easily get your knife through the potatoes. This should take about 10 minutes. Once they are done, drain them and leave to steam until the lamb is ready to come out. Cover the roasting tray with foil and leave to rest.

Time for the cabbage! This was truly a revelation when I first tried it. I know it sounds weird but it really does work! The thing to remember is not to over-cook it!!! Jamie Oliver's method for chopping it up is brilliant. Roll the leaf up into a cigar and chop! Boil in salted water for no more then 5 minutes, then drain and leave to steam. 

While the cabbage is cooking we need to mash these potatoes and celeriac! As you saw from the ingredients, there's no butter here. I'm pretty sure it was Mr. Oliver again that showed using extra virgin olive oil instead of butter in mashed potato.. I was terrified the first time I tried this, but now I wouldn't ever go back to using butter. Olive oil does contain less saturated fats and I am pretty sure that overall you end up using way less fat anyway... Basic seasonings here. Sometimes less is more ;)

Step one: MASH!!!!!
Step two: Taste, and season as needed. Stir with wooden spoon to mix.
Step three: Add a small amount of extra virgin olive oil and mash again. If it needs loosening up, add a bit more. Remember, you can always add more but you can't take it away.
Step four: Taste and test the texture and seasonings. Add a splash of milk and stir vigorously with the spoon. I believe this activates the starch in the potatoes and it will start to look like something more familiar. You probably won't get smooth mash like you would with 100% potato, but that's ok!

So now we should be nearly there.

Lamb done and rested? Check. 

Potatoes and celeriac mashed? Check. 

Cabbage cooked and steamed? Check. 

All that's left to do is add your secret weapon to the cabbage:  mint sauce!!! You only need a teaspoon. Mix it into the strands of cabbage really well so that you don't get overly minty pieces that will blow your head off...

 All you need to do now is serve! :)

The cooking/resting juices are intensely flavoured and make a perfect sauce, but you will only need a little bit! Try it first and see for yourself! ;) I was shocked.

So there we go! I hope you like this recipe and please feel free to ask questions or leave comments if you've had a go. I'd love to hear how it turned out for you!

Happy cooking! :)

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