Lamb steak is cut from the upper part of the leg, and the bone running through it is full of flavorful marrow. Because it’s a cheap cut, it does need lots of color on it to impart flavor, so although you can grill it, it will never be the same as sealing it in a pan and basting it to keep it moist. With the anchovy dressing and croutons, the lamb just needs a green salad or some green beans to make it into a complete meal. Who’d have thought you could make something so delicious out of a cheap cut plus a stale loaf of bread?
Make small cuts into each edge of the lamb steaks to prevent them from curling up while cooking. Season well with salt and pepper (lamb needs a lot of pepper), pushing the seasoning into the meat. (This will be much easier if the meat has been taken out of the fridge earlier and allowed to come up to room temperature.)
Heat a frying pan until hot and add a little oil. When it’s hot, add the lamb and the garlic. Color the lamb for 2½–3 minutes on each side until golden brown, basting with the oil as you cook and turning the garlic regularly to make sure that it doesn’t burn. Remove the meat from the pan and leave to rest, pouring over any pan juices and reserving the garlic.
Meanwhile, season the chunks of bread with salt and pepper. Soak in the milk, tossing the bread to help it soak evenly. (The milk will give it a rich creamy texture, almost like French toast.) Set aside.
Make the dressing by placing the reserved garlic in a mortar with the anchovies and capers, grinding until smooth. Stir in the mustard, vinegar, and enough oil to bring it to a thick dressing consistency. Add the parsley to the mortar and mix well with a spoon. Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary.
Heat a little olive oil in a clean frying pan over medium heat. Squeeze out any excess milk from the bread, then cook it with some extra salt and pepper for 4–5 minutes, turning it regularly until it’s golden on all sides. Remove and drain on paper towels.
To serve, spoon the dressing onto serving plates, scatter over half the croutons, and place the lamb steaks on top. Finish with the remaining croutons and a little extra dressing. Serve immediately.
HOW TO PAN-FRY MEAT PROPERLY
When pan-frying any meat, you want to be able to hear a sizzling sound as the meat cooks to show that the pan and oil are hot enough. If you can’t hear it, take the meat out and bring the oil up to temperature. Cuts such as rib-eye or leg steak have a fatty rind on them that needs to be cooked until golden. To do this, lay the fatty part away from you in the pan and tilt the pan so that the rendered fat pools at the bottom edge and cooks as it does so.