Neil Perry's easy barbecued lamb cutlets

Neil Perry
Simple summer entertaining: Barbecued lamb cutlets with salsa.
Simple summer entertaining: Barbecued lamb cutlets with salsa. Photo: William Meppem

Use the salsa over anything and everything - roast leg of lamb or beef sirloin, whole roasted snapper, pork cutlets.  You can substitute the almonds with macadamias or hazelnuts, or add some basil for an extra flavour hit. 

To change the texture of the salsa, try adding some beautiful sweet cherry tomatoes. Just crush them lightly.

BARBECUED LAMB CUTLETS WITH TOMATO, ALMOND AND CHILLI SALSA. 

Chilled cucumber and ginger soup.
Chilled cucumber and ginger soup. 

3 cloves garlic

sea salt

2 long red chillies, split and deseeded

80ml extra virgin olive oil

16 lamb cutlets

freshly ground black pepper

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tomato, almond and chilli salsa

(see recipe below)

lemon cheeks, to serve

tomato, almond and chilli salsa

6 cloves garlic

2 tsp sea salt

4 long red chillies, split, deseeded

and roughly chopped

100g almonds, roasted

4 large vine-ripened tomatoes, peeled, deseeded and diced

4 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, finely shredded

splash of red wine vinegar

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

freshly ground black pepper

Serves 4


For the salsa, pound the garlic with half the sea salt in a large mortar and pestle, followed by the chilli. Add the almonds and pound until well crushed, then add the tomato and remaining salt and gently crush. Transfer to a bowl, add the parsley and red wine vinegar and stir through, drizzle in extra virgin olive oil and add a grind of fresh pepper.

For the cutlets, put the garlic and some sea salt in a mortar and pestle. Add the chilli and continue to pound, then stir through the extra virgin olive oil. Rub the cutlets with the marinade, cover and set aside for 30 minutes to let the flavours infuse.

Preheat the barbecue to hot and make sure the grill bars are clean. Put the cutlets on the grill and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Remove from grill and rest in a warm place for 5 minutes.

Place 4 lamb cutlets on each of four plates. Pour the juices from the resting plate over and season with freshly ground pepper. Spoon over salsa and serve immediately with a lemon cheek on the side.

CHILLED CUCUMBER AND GINGER SOUP 

6 small Lebanese cucumbers, peeled and deseeded

sea salt

2 tsp fresh ginger, peeled and grated

freshly ground white pepper

1 cup crème fraîche

2 tbsp fresh dill, roughly chopped

Serves 4


Cut the cucumbers into small dice and sprinkle with sea salt. Place in a colander and allow to stand for 30 minutes. Rinse cucumbers well under cold water then place in a food processor and add the ginger. Process for about 1 minute or until the mixture forms a thick purée.

Push the purée through a fine sieve and chill.

Divide the cold purée between 4 bowls, season with salt and white pepper to taste, add a dollop of crème fraîche and sprinkle with chopped dill to serve.

HOT TIPS

• This soup is the simplest recipe ever. You can alter the flavour profile enormously by changing the herb - so try swapping dill for coriander, for example.

• Yoghurt can be substituted for the crème fraîche, if desired.

SOMETHING TO DRINK

Pinot gris
The 2013 La Bohème Act Three Pinot Gris & Friends ($22) from Victoria's Yarra Valley offers three aromatic varietals to match the delicacy of the cucumber and ginger soup. Gewürztraminer brings florals and spice, pinot gris a generosity of fruit, while the citrus notes of the riesling provide a clean finish.

Photography by William Meppem. Styling by Hannah Meppem. Food preparation by Kirsten Jenkins.