Chargrilled Lamb Steaks with Fennel Ratatouille
I love ratatouille with any type of roasted or grilled lamb. The addition of some fennel seeds and bulb fennel gives the ratatouille even more of a Mediterranean flavour, and if you have it, a teaspoon of Pernod wouldn’t go amiss.
Mix the marinade ingredients together in a large, shallow dish. Add the lamb steaks, turn over a few times until well coated, then cover and chill for at least 1 hour.
For the fennel ratatouille, cut the aubergine, peppers and fennel into 2.5-cm (1-inch) chunks. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large pan, add the aubergine and fry for 4 minutes until golden. Transfer to a plate and set aside. Heat the rest of the oil in the pan, then fry the onion for 5 minutes until lightly browned. Add the garlic and the fennel seeds, fry for 1 minute, then add the peppers and fry for another 5 minutes until soft. Add the courgette and fennel and fry for another 5 minutes. Return the aubergine to the pan with the chopped tomatoes (the Pernod, if you wish) and some seasoning, part-cover and simmer for 30 minutes until all the vegetables are tender and the sauce has reduced and thickened slightly. Stir in the dill and some seasoning to taste. Set aside.
If using a charcoal barbecue, light it 30 minutes before you want to start cooking. If using a gas barbecue, light it 10 minutes beforehand. Alternatively, you can use a hot, ridged griddle pan.
If using a griddle or frying pan, place it over a high heat until very hot. Brush the bars of the barbecue or the base of the griddle with a little oil. Remove the lamb steaks from the marinade and allow the excess oil to drain away, then season with a little more salt and pepper. Cook over a medium-high heat for 5–6 minutes on each side. Transfer to a board, cover with foil and leave them to rest for 5 minutes. Reheat the ratatouille and serve with the steaks.
- 4 X 225-g (8-oz) leg of lamb steaks, cut 2.5 cm (1 inch) thick
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- For the Marinade
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 medium-hot red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
- leaves from 1 sprig of rosemary, chopped
- leaves from 2 large thyme sprigs, chopped
- zest of 1 small lemon
- juice of 1⁄2 lemon
- 1⁄2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- For the Fennel Ratatouille
- 1 small aubergine, weighing about 175 g (6 oz)
- 1 small red pepper, seeded
- 1 small green pepper, seeded
- 2 small fennel bulbs, trimmed
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small onion, thinly sliced
- 2 large garlic cloves, sliced
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, lightly crushed
- 1 courgette, thickly sliced
- 1 x 400-g (14-oz) can chopped tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons chopped dill