Looking for a delicious way to serve lamb cutlets this Christmas? These delectably juicy lamb cutlets are served with a divine salsa rossa. You may have heard of salsa verde but salsa rossa is a red cooked salsa that imparts a divine flavour burst to all meats. But lamb is where it absolutely shines. This recipe will impress guests but will leave you without a trace of sweat on your brow.
I know, I'm promising a lot aren't I? But you see I've got a tough lamb crowd at Christmas. You see Mr NQN is a it funny with lamb at times, he doesn't like when it turns muttony and my father never ate it because if my mother suggested lamb he'd say, "Are you trying to kill me?" because he had a cholesterol problem.
But I love nibbling on lamb cutlets as I love meat on the bone and cutlets just seem to be the right size and made to share. Yes they are expensive but Christmas is a time for treats and something special. And my favourite bit is that they're super easy. Just pan fry for 3 minutes on each side and they're done. And this salsa rossa can be made 3-4 days ahead of time. Am I convincing you yet? Because you guessed it, this is a pushy recipe. I know, I am SO pushy nowadays lol.
I know that December is perhaps one of the craziest months ever so I'm offering these as a sanity saver for Christmas dinner. The last few months have been a bit crazy busy and I found myself in a bit of a pickle one day. I was on my way to an interview in studio with the lovely Pamela Wright on 2UE. She and Clinton Maynard host a Sunday travel show and I was going in to discuss travelling. Except I hit Sydney traffic in Surry Hills and I was not only late but Clinton had to leave for an appointment. Pamela asked if we could do an interview by phone instead. "I'll call you back in a few minutes, just pull over and we'll do it now," she said.
"Okay no problems," said I, the optimist only to hit George Street roadworks. I had nowhere to park and then the phone started ringing. "Ready to start?" they asked. "Um yeah," I answered more confidently than I felt. I pulled over to a small street where shops were busy loading and unloading vans. I didn't even know if I could stop there (probably not) but I knew that I would sound distracted if I didn't and kept driving.
The interview went well until a van had unpacked and was reversing. It was going straight for my car and I could see the driver was busy looking the other way at someone else who was talking. I saw the van edging closer and closer until I knew that a hit was imminent. I had no choice but to beep my horn at him or risk damage to my car. So in the middle of my interview that should have been relaxed and quiet in the background, there's beeping and yelling in the background! We really are in the silly season ;)
So tell me Dear Reader, do you like lamb cutlets? Have you ever tried a salsa rossa before? And would you have beeped your horn or hoped for the best?
Lamb Cutlets With Salsa Rossa
An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes (plus 10 minutes waiting time)
- 12 lamb cutlets
- Smoked paprika
- 2 tablespoons oil
For Salsa Rossa
- 400g/14.13ozs. red capsicums
- Oil for frying
- 1 red onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, finely diced
- 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
- 100g/3.5ozs. cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 chilli (small or large depending on how hot you like things)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon capsicum paste
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- Salt to taste
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Tip: make double or triple of this sauce and gift it or keep it to add to meats and pastas. It's fantastic and very versatile.
Step 1 - First make the salsa. Remove the stalk and the seeds from the capsicum and lay on a foil lined tray and grill under a very hot grill until black and blistered. Place in a plastic bag and tie shut and leave for 10 minutes. Then remove and peel off and discard the skin.
Step 2 - Heat 2 tablespoons of oil and saute the onion on medium heat until soft and fragrant-about 5 minutes. Then add the garlic and fry for 1-2 minutes. Then add the cherry tomatoes and cook until soft. Then add the capsicums, tomato paste, capsicum paste, vinegar and salt. Taste for seasoning. Place the mixture along with the oil in a food processor and blitz until it becomes a sauce.
Step 3 - Sprinkle the lamb cutlets with salt and heat the frypan on medium high heat. Add oil and fry lamb cutlets on each side for 3 minutes for medium rare. Sprinkle with smoked paprika. Serve with a salad-mine was made up of cabbage, cherry tomatoes, pine nuts, mint and a red wine vinegar and olive oil dressing to echo the flavours in the sauce.