Lamb steak is tender and delicious, as long as it's cooked to rare or medium-rare.
For the tastiest and juiciest results, I cook it for only 2 minutes per side and a few more seconds on the edges.
I typically roast a whole leg of lamb in the oven. It comes out wonderfully 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. Lamb steak is a delicious and quick alternative to cooking a whole leg of lamb.
You'll only need four ingredients to make these tasty 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 either buy them already cut, or you can 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 is the way to go.
Black pepper: Freshly ground has the best flavor.
Ground cumin: Make sure it's fresh. A stale spice can easily ruin a dish.
How to cook a lamb steak? It's easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed instructions for cooking these steaks. Here are the basic steps:
Your first step is to heat a well-seasoned large cast-iron skillet over high heat until smoking, 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, about 2 minutes. Now 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.
How 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 get to room temperature before cooking.
To ensure tender meat, 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.
I should probably note here that the CDC recommends cooking steaks and roasts to 145 degrees F. So you should make your own decision about how you want to cook them.
Frequently asked questions
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 very important not to overcook them to prevent them from becoming tough. It's best to cook them to medium-rare.
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 little bit 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.
This is a truly versatile main course that goes with almost any side dish. I often serve them with roasted butternut squash or with roasted carrots. And then I add a simple green side such as steamed broccoli.
You can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days. You can reheat them in the microwave, covered, on 50% power.
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Lamb Steak, Juicy and Tender
- 2 lamb steaks (1-inch-thick, 8 oz each)
- 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- 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.