Monday, July 25, 2011

Beautiful Breast of Lamb with Honey Parsley Vinegar Sauce - Hey, My Eyes are Up Here!

You know I love lamb, as evidenced by the various chops, shanks, legs, and shoulders I've featured in the past. These are among the most popular meat recipes on the blog, so it seems many share my love. Here we have a brand new cut to celebrate, the lamb breast.

This is not common in your regular supermarkets. There's an inverse relationship between the size of the parking lot, and the chances you'll find breast of lamb in the meat case. However, a visit to a real butcher (look for lots of tats and facial hair) should be rewarded with some slabs of this bony, fatty, but richly flavored meat.

Since I hadn't cooked this in ages, I decided to play it safe, and use a time-tested Mediterranean-inspired spice rub, and it could not have worked more perfectly. The exotic spices made the rich meat seem even more decadent, all of which was nicely balanced by the vinegar sauce's astringency.

A bright green chimichurri sauce on a well-marbled piece of meat is one of the best things ever, and this dish definitely borrows from that playbook. It's not like you'd want to eat a spoon of the condiment right out of the bowl, but slathered over the glistening meat, it's a thing of beauty.

I hope that if you are a fan of lamb, and you haven't tried lamb breast yet, that you give it a try soon. Enjoy!

2 pieces lamb breast, about 3 1/2 pounds
For the spice rub:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried Italian herbs seasoning (dried rosemary, thyme, basil, oregano blend)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon paprika
For the sauce: (note - this is all "to taste")
1/2 cup packed chopped Italian parsley
2 cloves crushed garlic
1/3 cup white wine vinegar, more as needed
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 or 2 teaspoon honey
juice from 1 lemon
pinch of salt

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