The addition of orange, oregano and anchovy fillets to the classic lamb marinade ingredients of lemon, garlic, oil and salt really elevates this lamb cutlets recipe to another level. The intensity of flavour is well worth the minimal effort to pull the marinade together, and the curlets are delicious as they are, or with a simple yoghurt-based dip. Perfect for the summer barbeque, though you can adapt to use the indoor grill if you prefer.
The recipe is one of three we are sharing from Aegean: Recipes from the Mountains to the Sea by Marianna Leivatitaki. Check out the courgette and feta fritters recipe we shared yesterday.
Read more about the book, and the many dishes our reviewer Nicky cooked from Aegean in the full review.
Greek Lamb Cutlets with Lemon and Oregano
In Crete, we are mad about lamb cutlets. Every taverna in the mountains has them and will argue that theirs are the best you’ve ever had. A lot of the taverna owners in the small mountain villages have their own animals and, needless to say, the meat they have on offer is incredible. You usually go into their eateries/homes and sit down at a table. No menu is available; the owner will come and say what he has – meat, salad, olive oil chips, wild greens and that’s about it. A portion of meat is not really an option – they buy their cutlets by the kilo – so the taverna owner looks at the company around the table and quickly decides how many kilos you can manage. All that’s needed is salt, pepper, oregano and a well-lit charcoal grill. The cutlets come to the table piping hot with lots of lemon halves. It may just be the best thing ever. The marinade below strays away from the traditional simplicity a little but makes you want to eat these cutlets by the kilo – for sure!
- 1 kg 2lb 4oz lamb cutlets
For the marinade
- 2 tbsp chopped thyme
- 2 tbsp chopped rosemary
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 6 anchovy ﬁllets
- Zest and juice of 2 unwaxed lemons
- Zest and juice of 1 unwaxed orange
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Sea salt to taste
Blitz all the marinade ingredients to a paste in a food processor. Put the cutlets in a dish and smother them with the paste. Place the dish in the fridge for at least 3 hours.
Light the barbecue and when the coals are red hot, cook the chops for a few minutes on each side. Make sure they don’t catch fire when grilling, but if they do, just splash some water on the coals.
When cooked, take off the heat, transfer to a platter and enjoy with a nice fresh salad. I also love serving the lamb cutlets with a spicy feta dip.
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Kavey Eats received a review copy of Aegean: Recipes from the Mountains to the Sea by Marianna Leivatitaki from publishers Kyle Books (Octopus Group). Book cover provided by Kyle Books (photography © Elena Heatherwick).