Lamb Tartare With Infused Lavender-Mint Granita, Dukkah and Egg Yolk

  • 2½ cups water, divided use
  • 1 cup infused brown sugar*
  • 3 tablespoons dried edible lavender
  • ¼ cup fresh mint, minced
  • 1 cup plus 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice, divided use
  • 1 pound lamb backstrap (eye of loin)
  • 1½ tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1½ tablespoons brined capers, drained and patted dry
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon shiro (white soy sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
  • Flaked sea salt, to taste
  • 4 egg yolks
  • Dukkah, recipe follows
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 lime wedges for serving

For granita, combine 1 cup water, infused sugar and lavender in small saucepan; heat to boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Cool completely; add mint. Refrigerate 1-2 days before using. Strain syrup; mix with remaining 1½ cups water and 1 cup lime juice. Pour into shallow, nonreactive pan; place in freezer. When mixture is icy at edges, stir with fork. Return to freezer; continue to fork-stir every 30 minutes until solid. If not using immediately, cover tightly and freeze up to 2 days.

Place lamb in freezer for 15-20 minutes to firm up. With sharp knife, cut into very small mince, ¼-inch or less. Refrigerate.

Heat vegetable oil in small pan over medium-high heat. Add capers; fry until crisp, 1-2 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon; drain. Finely mince ½ teaspoon; keep separate from whole capers.

To serve, gently toss lamb with remaining teaspoon lime juice, cumin, coriander, mustard, shiro, vinegar, minced capers and salt to taste. Divide lamb mixture among 6 plates, forming a loose circle with small indentation in center; carefully slide an egg yolk into each indent. Add remaining capers and sprinkling of dukkah to each. Drizzle with olive oil and squeeze of lime. Scrape granita with fork to create “snow”; scatter atop each portion in small clusters. Serve at once. Makes 6 servings. Potency depends on strain used.

For dukkah, toast ⅓ cup sesame seeds and 1 cup walnuts in dry skillet over medium heat; transfer to bowl. Add 2 tablespoons each cumin seeds and coriander to same skillet over medium heat. Dry-toast spices, shaking pan often, until fragrant, 2-3 minutes. Transfer to mortar and pestle; roughly grind. Add to sesame seeds and walnuts. Roughly pound walnuts and sesame seeds in mortar until nuts are coarsely minced yet still chunky. Add to bowl along with salt, to taste; mix well.

*Get the recipe for infused brown sugar here.

Recipe courtesy of chef Derek Simcik

Photography by Eva Kolenko

Food Styling by Adam Pearson

Prop Styling by Stephanie Hanes


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