Spicy marjoram-and-thyme-marinated lamb cutlets with parsnip puree

Spicy marjoram-and-thyme-marinated lamb cutlets with parsnip puree
Spicy marjoram-and-thyme-marinated lamb cutlets with parsnip puree Photo: William Meppem

A little preparation - marinating lamb cutlets in herbs and chilli - is time well spent when the results are this satisfying.

Ingredients

12 good-quality lamb cutlets
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp chopped marjoram
1 tbsp chopped thyme
3 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 tbsp cumin
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra
freshly ground pepper
lemon wedges
Parsnip puree
60g unsalted butter, diced, plus extra 
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 
1 small brown onion, finely diced 
2 cloves garlic, minced 
4 parsnips, peeled, cored and diced 
chicken stock (or water), to just cover 
sea salt and freshly ground pepper 
juice of 1 lemon, or to taste

Method

Remove the cutlets from the refrigerator 1 hour before cooking.

For the purée, place 60g butter and 2 tbsp olive oil in a saucepan with a lid over a low-medium heat, and cook the onion and garlic slowly, without colouring, for 8 minutes or until soft and sweet.

Add the parsnips and cook for a further 5 minutes, then add the stock and simmer for 30-45 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated.

Season well, then blend to a smooth purée, adding more butter, if necessary.

Add lemon juice to your liking.

Set aside and keep warm.

For the marinade, use a mortar and pestle to pound the garlic and salt to a paste.

Add the herbs and pound for about 2 minutes.

Add the cumin, chilli flakes and 1/4 cup olive oil and stir until completely incorporated.

Mix the cutlets with the marinade and leave for 1 hour to infuse.

Preheat a barbecue.

When hot, place the cutlets on the hottest part.

Cook for 2 minutes on 1 side, then turn over and cook for a further 1-2 minutes, or until done to your liking.

Transfer to a plate, cover with foil and set aside to rest in a warm place.

Place 3 lamb cutlets on each plate.

Mix a little extra olive oil with the juices from the resting plate, and pour over the cutlets.

Give a good grind of fresh pepper.

Place a spoonful of parsnip purée on each plate (or serve it in a bowl in the middle of the table).

Finish with lemon wedges on the side.