Lamb Medallion Dijonnaise
We served lamb medallions dijonnaise as an appetizer during our wedding reception 4 years ago in July. I thought recreating the dish would be a nice way to relive the memories, especially since I didn't get to eat much on our wedding day. We had a little family gathering this weekend so I made the medallions of lamb and placed them on sweet onion crostini. I garnished them with Dijon mustard and some chives from the garden.
If you're not a big fan of lamb, you can use spice as I did in this dish to mask the strong flavor of the meat. I crusted the sirloin with black pepper, cumin and sumac powders. I also added some cumin and coriander to the sweet onion relish to give it a slightly Indian vibe.
Yields: 62 (8-inches) chunks lamb sirloin (10 ounces both), about 2-inch thick
1 baguette, cut into 1/2-inch slices
3 tablespoons black peppercorns
1 teaspoon sumac powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder, freshly ground
1/2 teaspoon coriander powder, freshly ground
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup creme fraiche
4 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel
2 tablespoons garlic chives, finely snipped
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
In a mortar and pestle, combine the black peppercorns, garlic powder, sumac and 1/3 teaspoon of cumin. Coarsely crush the black peppercorns. Reserve about 1 tablespoon for later. Coat the sirloins with the pepper mixture. Chill for about 30-45 minutes.
In the meantime, heat up the canola oil in a small saucepan. Cook the onions until nicely golden (may take 5-10 minutes). Drain and reserve the oil. Place the fried onions back in the pan. Add the rest of the cumin powder, the coriander powder, brown sugar, a tablespoon of crème fraîche and vinegar. Lower the heat and simmer for 3 minutes. Set aside.
Remove the meat from the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.
With a brush, grease a cast iron skillet grill or a regular frying pan would work but you won't get the nice grill marks, and heat until it's really hot, almost at the smoking point. Cook the lamb on high heat for 2-3 minutes using tongs. Do NOT pierce the meat with a fork! Turn the meat 45° if you want to create a fancy criss-cross grill mark. Grill for another 2-3 minutes. Flip the meat on the other side. Grill for 3-4 minutes. Immediately transfer the skillet to the oven and roast the lamb sirloins for about 2-3 minutes for medium-rare (or 6 minutes if you like it well done), depending on how pink you like your meat. I like it when the center is still pink-ish. It's important that you not pierce the meat so it stays moist and tender.
Take the lamb out of the oven and quickly press the remaining pepper mixture on top of the meat. Cover with a piece of aluminum foil. Let the meat sit for at least 5 minutes before slicing.
For the dijonnaise sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium low heat. Add the flour. Keep stirring with a whisk for approximately 2-3 minutes. The flour should absorb the butter instantly and form a paste. Add the crème fraîche in 3 stages, one tablespoon at a time. Increase the heat while constantly stirring for about 3 minutes. Lower the heat to low. Add fleur de sel, Dijon mustard and lemon juice. Let the sauce cool.
Spread about 1 teaspoon of the onion mixture onto each baguette slice.
Transfer the lamb onto a cutting board, slice thinly (about 1/2-inch slices). Arrange the lamb slices on the baguette slices. Garnish with 1/2 teaspoon of the dijonnaise sauce and top with a few snips of garlic chives.
You can find sumac in any Indian store. It's usually used for basmati rice. Just add some ghee (Indian clarified butter) to the rice and sprinkle in some sumac powder. The pinkish powder brings a pleasant, sour note to the rice. I think it's probably the Asian equivalent of soy sauce and butter with jasmine rice. Kids love this!
Don't add too many garlic chives, they're very strong!
I like to slightly toast the bread before spreading the sweet onion mixture so it doesn't get soggy.
If you want a more crusty, smoky meat, use your barbecue, but it'll probably need at least 8 to 11 minutes for medium-rare.
If you want to make your own crème fraîche, check out the recipe here.
I made a potato salad with the leftover dijonnaise sauce.
Use the remaining onion-infused oil for a vinaigrette to accompany salad.Published By: on July 26, 2009.