If you put your halved baby potatoes on to steam before you get started on the lamb chops, you can fairly effortlessly rely on a proper meat-and-potato supper in around 20 minutes (plus a little marinading time). Steaming the potatoes is, for me, an important stipulation: a steamed spud is a sweet spud; more than that, cooked this way, rather than by boiling, the potatoes are dry when done, which makes them easy to fry to crisp bronzedness.
- 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) baby new potatoes, washed and halved but not peeled
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp dried chilli flakes
- 1 tsp dried mint
- ½ tsp celery salt
- 8 lamb cutlets, preferably organic, trimmed of fat
- 100 g (3½ oz) rocket
- 1 tsp sea salt flakes or ½ tsp pouring salt
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh mint
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Marinating time 10 minutes
Put the halved baby potatoes on to steam.
Get out a large dish – in which the lamb cutlets will fit in a single layer – and first pour into it the olive oil and sprinkle in the chilli flakes, dried mint and celery salt.
Using one lamb cutlet as if it were a wooden spoon, smoosh the oil with its sprinklings around a bit, so that it is rather better mixed, then place the lamb cutlets in a single layer, turn them instantly, and leave to marinate for 10 minutes.
Heat a large, heavy-based, non-stick frying-pan – big enough for all the cutlets to fit in – then duly place them all in it (the oil that clings to them from the marinade is plenty enough for them to fry in) and fry over a medium heat for 5 minutes. While the cutlets cook, check that the potatoes are tender, which they should be by now; in which case, turn the heat off under your steamer.
Using tongs (for ease), turn the cutlets over and cook for a further 3 minutes. If you are going to make this an entire one-plate meal, strew the bottom of a large serving platter with rocket, or any other leafage you desire, and when the lamb cutlets are cooked, but still juicily pink, remove them to the salad-lined (or, indeed, naked) plate. Obviously, cook for longer if you like your lamb well done.
Tip the steamed potatoes into the pan and fry for 3 minutes, then turn them over and fry for another three minutes, shaking the pan every now and again to make them tumble and turn in the hot, spiced fat.
Using a slotted spatula or similar, transfer the potatoes to the plate of cutlets and sprinkle with one teaspoon of sea salt flakes (I like these plenty salty, but if you have more austere tastes or are feeding small children, then decrease the salt or ignore the command altogether) and the chopped parsley and mint.
See Nigella Lawson in Nigellissima. Find details and more recipes from the show here.