grilled lamb fillet
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There are some cuts of meat, usually cheap, that can handle two approaches – quick and pink or slow and low. Beef flank for instance (or skirt, or bavette, depending where you are and how the animal has been carved) can be flash fried into a very flavoursome steak, or braised forever in a casserole. But there’s no in-between, you couldn’t possibly have a well-done skirt or rump and thoroughly enjoy it. Well, you could if you have Really Strong Teeth. Cheap cuts are tender if either rare or cooked into oblivion.
Lamb neck fillet is excellent and cheap. My favourite method of cooking it is to marinate it well, grill two of them for a short spell and slice and divvy between two people. Why can’t I just apportion one fillet per person? Because invariably one fillet will be a little tougher than the other and so you get a fair share.
Marinade – pretty much anything can be thrown over lamb. Rosemary is classic, so is mint and garlic and lemon so here I mixed a lot of flavours together. The longer the marinating time the better; overnight if you can.
grilled lamb filletServings: 2Time: 15 minutes plus marinating overnight
- 2 lamb neck fillets, trimmed off obvious silver skin or tendons
- salt (smoked if available) and black pepper
- For the marinade:
- a small bunch of coriander
- a small bunch of mint, leaves stripped
- a few sprigs of rosemary, leaves stripped
- 3 large cloves of garlic
- 1 red chilli, deseeded
- juice of one lemon
- 1 tbsp. honey
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tbsp.sweet plum or sweet chilli sauce
Season the lamb neck fillets generously with salt and pepper.
Throw the marinade ingredients into a blender and whizz to a paste, adding more oil if it looks too dry. Smother the fillets with the marinade and leave in the fridge for at least a few hours, best overnight.
When ready to cook, preheat the grill to medium-high and place the lamb underneath on the grill rack. Grill for 5 minutes, turn over and cook for another 5 minutes; plus – and this is tricky as the fillets persistently fall over – a minute on each thin side, so that it’s nicely browned all over.
Remove the fillets from the grill and let them rest in a warm place for at least five minutes. Slice on the diagonal and serve.