Herbed Lamb Leg Steak with Red Wine Mushroom Risotto

Herbed Lamb Leg Steak with Red Wine Mushroom Risotto

Herbed Lamb Leg Steak with Red Wine Mushroom Risotto

My mom loves lamb and it’s tradition to always have it for Easter. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know my sister and I were quite the picky eaters as kids. What you may not know is that even my father had his ‘picky eater’ moments as well. He claimed he couldn’t eat lamb if it smelled too much like sheep! Now, you may say that’s a typical made up picky eater comment, but there is some truth behind his statement. If you’ve had lamb multiple times, you may have noticed that there is indeed a difference in smell when cooked. I’ve come to associate the ‘sheep smell’ with older lambs (maybe sheep by that point) or old/low quality meat and I’m usually skeptical about buying lamb at the supermarket. However, I wanted something different for New Year’s and Trader Joe’s (I know, I know, this blog sounds more and more like a TJs add, but I swear they don’t pay me…hmm, maybe I should ask to be paid :-) ) promised ‘happy’ lamb meat on his packages. I obviously have no idea how happy these lambs were, but the package claimed they were grass fed, antibiotic free, and free range so it sounded like a good lamb life. For the NYE dinner, I bought the lamb chops, but since I still had my doubts about the success of the meal, I did not end up taking pictures for the blog. However, the lamb was so tasty (definitely a happy lamb) that I decided to make a repeat meal using the lamb leg steak cut this time so I can share the recipe with you ;-)

For some reason, I strongly associate lamb with rosemary and red wine. I know over the years, wine pairings are not as black and white (or red and white to be more precise) as they once were, and you may be able to find a nice white wine that pairs perfectly with lamb, but I can’t stop these visions of lamb, red wine, and rosemary. As a consequence, I decided to use rosemary and thyme for a rub and red wine for a risotto. I’ve definitely overcome my fear of risotto and it’s actually not that hard to make at all. I know, it’s quite shocking given how much Gordon Ramsay screams about the risottos on Hell’s Kitchen :-)

Recipe notes: this can be used with different cuts of lamb. The recipe makes more than 2 normal servings of risotto and the leftovers can be reheated in a microwave.

Ingredients (serves 2):

  • 1 big lamb leg steak (or 4 chops)
  • 1-2 Tb chopped rosemary
  • 1-2 Tb chopped thyme
  • 1 big garlic clove, chopped
  • salt, pepper
  • olive oil
  • 1 Tb butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup wine (I used pinot noir)
  • 3 cups low sodium chicken stock
  • 2 -4 Tb parmesan cheese
herbs and garlic

herbs and garlic

Chop the herbs and garlic. Rub lamb with olive oil, salt, pepper, and the herb mixture on both sides. Let marinate about 30 minutes in the fridge.

herbed lamb

herbed lamb

Preheat oven to 400 F. Meanwhile, start your risotto. Heat up stock to a simmer. Melt butter over medium high heat in a large skillet. Saute onions and mushrooms until soft (5 min).

mushrooms and onions

mushrooms and onions

Add the arborio rice and saute until translucent around the edges (~ 5 min). Add wine and cook it off stirring frequently.

post red wine addition

post red wine addition

Add stock 1/2 cup at a time and keep stirring! Wait until stock is completely adsorbed before adding more.

steamy risotto shot - about mid-way through

steamy risotto shot – about mid-way through

Continue adding stock until the rice is cooked through, but still has a bite (no mushy rice!). This should take ~ 20 minutes. Add parmesan cheese. Adjust salt and season with some freshly ground pepper.

red wine mushroom risotto done!

red wine mushroom risotto done!

If you can multi-task, start lamb when risotto is about 15 minutes from being done. Heat oil in an oven proof skillet over medium-high heat. Sear lamb 2-3 minutes per side.

seared lamb

seared lamb

Place lamb in the oven and cook for 5-10 minutes depending on the thickness. I recommend checking the temperature about 5 minutes in. If it reads 135-145F, it’s time to remove it from the pan and let it rest ~ 5 minutes. If temperature is lower, flip lamb and return to oven for a few more minutes. This is for my preferred medium-rare/medium, but for well-done you want a temperature above 160F according to the internet.

resting lamb

resting lamb

Cut lamb steak in half and serve with risotto and a nice glass of red wine for a delicious homemade dinner ;-)

Have a great weekend everyone!

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11 Responses to Herbed Lamb Leg Steak with Red Wine Mushroom Risotto

  1. This looks delicious!!

  2. Adelina says:

    Haha, it’s nice you got organic lamb. However the way I understand it is that only when dealing with piggies the animals have truly been happy. To explain why: a pig lives its life doing what it loves most: eating, sleeping and maybe if it’s lucky enough doing some running around, having babies, maturing, and then because of their lifestyle and because what they love most is food (if you refuse to please them you know how they react, it’s not oink oink any more it’s a concert) they gain so much weight that their legs will surely find it hard to hold their weight, and they will ultimately begin to suffer. So in that moment we spare the pig all the suffering and do something about it just when the happiness is about to transform into pain (more or less). Then it’s a win win situation: we get ribs, bacon, sausages, chops, etc and the piggy had indeed a very happy life. and we usually wait until the big has become fully grown and crazy big because the more bacon the better, right?

    In the case of the lamb that does not happen because they will not get to experience all the great stuff that the pig did. It was not as happy it he could have been.

    Also while you were away dad started to like lamb. Not sure if you heard about this but one year me and dad went to pick up the lamb for Easter (i almost drove there alone!!) and realised the lamb was still alive. After protesting for a few hours they agreed not to kill the lamb and keep it. Three weeks after I went back to the village and ran to see James and he was not in his little house. When I asked where James was dad said : We ate him.

    • well, the problem in this country is that industrially grown animals are not happy. Yes, pigs still get to eat and sleep, but the conditions in which they live are very nasty! there are a lot of documentaries showing the living conditions of animals in the US that you can watch online and cry your eyes out. it is down right cruel! this is why it is important to support the small farmers that care about the well being of their animals and let them run around and eat grass. not surprisingly, those farms produce the tastier meat. yes, our parents made us eat a lot of our ‘pets’ but at least they were loved and lived a happy, albeit short, life before becoming dinner.

      • Adelina says:

        Yep, they *can be happy. This is why I don’t eat meat any more, piggys are my only option but given that pork in the uk supermarkets tastes nothing like the meat we got from out pets I think they were miserable.

  3. momgfnoms says:

    This looks amazing! I’ve been looking for a way to introduce lamb to myself as I’ve never tried it *gasps* maybe I’ll give this a go!

  4. Yes, meat factory farming in this country is horrendous. Part of the global climate change/CO2 emissions problems in our side of the world come from factory farms :( I don’t cook meat often honestly because of the price for meat, but I enjoy it as much as anyone…. buying from a good farmer is such a great choice! Proud of you. This sound so delicious, I can share the recipe with my mother who raises lambs and will ask if I have ideas for how to prepare the cuts. I also used to be freaked by risotto from watching Hell’s Kitchen, but making a good pot is so satisfying :) A great wintery dish!

    • I have to admit this was the first time I saw a “leg of lamb steak” cut, but it worked pretty well. It’s also nice not to have to buy a whole leg of lamb for only two people. I think Ramsay just likes to freak out people on his shows. It was strange to see his nicer side on Masterchef Junior :-)

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