Market-form lamb steaks are fabricated from the center of the leg just above the lamb hindshank. Although they originate from a highly-exercised portion of the animal, lamb steaks, unlike other proteins that contain high concentrations of collagen and dense muscle fiber, retain a tender quality when cooked, particularly if the product is taken from young animal. The relatively small size of lamb steaks allow for quick cooking times when using a grill.
Rinse the lamb under running water to remove any purge and dry thoroughly with paper towels. Lamb, like other meats, releases a protein-based liquid by-product called purge while in the package that, although harmless, oxidizes when exposed to air and creates an undesirable odor.
Place the steaks on the cutting board and allow them to reach room temperature. Cooking protein from room temperature facilitates even heat distribution throughout the meat during cooking. Season the lamb to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place enough flour for dredging on a plate and lightly coat.
Add 2 tbsp. of olive oil to the sauté pan and heat to high. Searing meat in a sauté pan prior to grilling creates a Maillard reaction -- a complex chemical change that causes denatured proteins to inherit the characteristics of a simple sugar. This produces a browning effect on the lamb’s surface. When the surface of the oil begins to ripple, place the lamb in the sauté pan and sear. Turn the lamb only once when searing. Preheat the grill to medium high.
Arrange the lamb on the grill with a minimum of one inch of space between each steak. Cook approximately three to four minutes on each side to reach medium rare, five minutes on each side for medium and six minutes and above on each side for well done. Remove the lamb from the grill, cover loosely with aluminum foil and allow it rest for a minimum of 10 minutes. Proteins reabsorbs some of the moisture it releases during cooking while at rest, and redistributes it throughout the center.
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A.J. Andrews' work has appeared in Food and Wine, Fricote and "BBC Good Food." He lives in Europe where he bakes with wild yeast, milks goats for cheese and prepares for the Court of Master Sommeliers level II exam. Andrews received formal training at Le Cordon Bleu.