Seared Lamb Loin with Cucumbers, Yogurt, and Dukkah
Here’s a recipe from Chef Ben Spangler for Lamb loins–a cut for a special occasion. If you like lamb rib chops, or a rack of lamb or goat, then you’ll love the loin, as it’s the same muscle, just without the bones. This means that they can be easier to cook for some people, but they’ll also cook faster as they’re not attached to any bones to insulate them as they cook.
Lamb loins can be simply grilled, sauteed, pan seared, or cooked any way you like, but Chef Ben Spangler has a special Middle-Eastern version with a lot of flavors to make an exciting meal. The base is our grass-fed lamb loins, pan roasted simply, and garnished with cucumbers, asparagus, pearl onions, and a complex dukkah spice made with nuts and aromatic seeds.
Dukkah may sound intimidating, and it does involve a number of ingredients, but most are readily available at your local supermarket. It’s an Egyptian spice traditionally served with pita bread, or mixed into yogurt as a dip. Our recipe here is just an idea, and you could mix and match different nuts and aromatic seeds to sprinkle on your dishes as you like.
This recipe is by chef Ben Spangler. Hailing from Minnesota, Ben draws from his Midwestern roots to create dishes that are unpretentious and delicious. Ben has competed on national television for the Food Network and appeared on local Minneapolis food networks. He is currently working on a new ice cream concept in Minneapolis.
Yield: 1 loin will serve 2 people as an entree
- 6oz Cucumbers
- 1T Sugar
- 1T Salt
- 1ea Lamb loin filet (at room temperature)
- 4T Dukkah (recipe follows)
- 2oz grapeseed oil
- 4oz Pearl Onions (blanched quickly in salted water)
- 4oz Asparagus (sliced 1/2 inch)
- 4oz Yogurt (preferably Greek, and non-sweetened)
- 1oz Extra virvin olive oil
- 2oz Fresh Thyme
- Grapeseed oil, as needed for brushing the grill or pan
- Slice half of the cucumbers and season with salt and sugar allow to sit for 15 min and then rinse in water. Peel and dice the rest of the cucumbers and reserve.
- Season lamb steak with salt and pepper and ready your pan, preferably cast iron. Brush the pan or grill with grapeseed oil and heat on medium high. Before you add meat add an additional 2T oil to the pan. Sear meat and allow to cook about 30 % through on one side to get a good crust.
- If it gets too hot, either slow your heat or move your pan off of the heat for a moment. Cook the loin to medium-rare, or whatever temperature you prefer.
- Flip the steak and repeat. We cooked our lamb loin to 120F, or a little under medium rare. Remove steak and while resting add asparagus, pearl onions, diced cucumbers to the pan sear and cook for 3-4 min, and season to taste with salt.
- These vegetables should not nead a lot to cook. Remove from heat and toss with the yogurt and the extra virgin olive oil. Slice the lamb steak into thick pieces, then fan on the plate around the vegetables with a dusting of dukkah and chive blossoms.