Lamb steak is tender and delicious as long as it's cooked to rare or medium rare doneness.
For the tastiest and juiciest results, I cook it for two minutes per side and a few more seconds on the edges.
Lamb steak is a delicious and quick alternative to cooking a whole leg of lamb. I typically roast a whole leg of lamb in the oven. It comes out juicy and flavorful. But sometimes, I buy steaks instead - either at Whole Foods or online at US Wellness Meats.
Another alternative is to buy a boneless leg of lamb, slice it yourself into thick slices, and quickly fry them in a cast-iron skillet. Either way, cook these steaks minimally for the best results.
You'll only need four ingredients to make these steaks. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
- Lamb steaks: As mentioned above, you can buy them already cut or cut them yourself from a boneless leg of lamb.
- Kosher salt: I try not to use table salt to season steaks. Coarse, flavorful kosher salt - specifically Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt - is best.
- Black pepper: Freshly ground has the best flavor.
- Ground cumin: I season beef steaks such as New York Strip or ribeye with just salt and pepper. But when cooking a lamb steak, I like the warmth that cumin adds.
The easiest way to vary this recipe is to add seasonings. While I like to keep them minimal with just salt, pepper, and ground cumin, you can experiment with other flavors and see how you like them.
Good options that I tried and liked include garlic powder, dried thyme, dried rosemary, and dried oregano. You can add ¼ teaspoon of any of these spices/herbs.
Lamb Steak Instructions
Scroll down to the recipe card for detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps for making this recipe:
Heat a well-seasoned, large cast-iron skillet over high heat until smoking, for about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, season the steaks with kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, and cumin.
Carefully place the seasoned steaks in the hot skillet. Cook them until a brown crust forms on the bottom, for about 2 minutes. Flip the steaks and cook them for 2 more minutes on the second side.
The last step is to cook the strips of fat on the edges of the steaks, about 30 seconds for each edge.
Transfer the cooked steaks to plates, loosely cover them with foil, and let them rest for about five minutes before serving them.
Just like beef steaks, and even more so, you don't want to overcook these steaks, or you'll end up with tough meat. So it's best to aim for medium-rare. Here's a photo that shows the inside of a medium-rare lamb steak:
To ensure medium-rare doneness and still cook the steaks enough to create a nice crust, cook them right out of the fridge. Don't let them come to room temperature before cooking.
A 1-inch-thick steak should be pan-fried for no longer than 2 minutes per side, plus a few seconds on the edges. Rest the steak before eating to allow juices to redistribute and settle.
Please note that the CDC recommends cooking steaks and roasts to 145℉.
These steaks are cut crosswise from the leg. They usually have a bone in the middle, though they can also be boneless.
They don't need to be. It's important to avoid overcooking them to prevent them from becoming tough. It's best to cook them to medium-rare doneness.
Unlike a beef steak, which only needs kosher salt and black pepper, these steaks benefit from a light sprinkling of ground cumin. Sometimes, I also add a pinch of garlic powder.
I always use a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet to cook steaks. It's superb in terms of heat distribution and retention. It heats up well and creates a beautiful crust on the meat. If your skillet is well-seasoned, there's no need to add oil to the pan.
More Lamb Recipes
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- Heat a well-seasoned, large cast-iron skillet over high heat until smoking, about 5 minutes.
- Season the steaks with kosher salt, black pepper, and ground cumin.
- Add the steaks to the hot skillet. Cook until a brown crust forms on the bottom, about 2 minutes.
- Flip the steaks and cook them for 2 more minutes on the second side.
- Finish by cooking the strips of fat on the edges of the steaks, about 30 seconds for each edge.
- Transfer the steaks to plates, loosely cover them with foil, and allow them to rest for 5 minutes before serving.