How to Pan-Fry Lamb Steaks

Lamb steaks have a milder flavor than beef, which allows for stronger, more elaborate or more adventurous preparations. Pan-frying them is a quick and simple procedure even novice home cooks can pull off successfully. The toughest part is figuring out how you want to season the steaks. For the best results, choose lamb steaks graded "prime" by the USDA, if you don't mind spending a little extra on the meat. Lamb is relatively lean, which makes it a healthful choice, but it also means that the meat quickly becomes less palatable with overcooking.

A chef with a hot pan on an large flame. (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Step 1

Season the meat liberally with a mixture of salt, pepper and other herbs and spices. Choose ingredients that complement lamb, such as cumin, coriander, chili pepper powder, garlic and onion powder, rosemary, thyme and mint. Or use a premade dry rub or seasoning mixture, such as herbs de Provence. Place the seasoned lamb on a plate and cover it with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the meat for as many as a few hours.

Step 2

Let the lamb steaks stand at room temperature for one hour before cooking them. If they go into the pan chilled, they cook more slowly and unevenly.

Step 3

Place a cast-iron, stainless steel or other heavy-bottomed frying pan on a burner over medium-high heat. Wait until drops of water sizzle and evaporate when dropped into the pan, then add just enough oil to cover the bottom. Swirl it around to coat.

Step 4

Lay the cuts of lamb in the skillet. Leave them undisturbed for about two minutes to develop a nice sear, then flip them and do the same for the other side. Reduce the heat to medium and turn the steaks back to the first side. Cook them for another four minutes, occasionally spooning some of the pan juices over the top to impart more flavor and speed cooking.

Step 5

Turn the steaks over again. Continue pan-frying them until they reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit, about four minutes. Insert an instant-read thermometer into the middle of the thickest part to check the temperature.

Step 6

Transfer the lamb steaks from the pan and onto plates promptly to avoid overcooking them. Let them stand for five minutes before serving so the internal juices have the opportunity to settle.

Things You'll Need

  • Salt and pepper

  • Seasonings

  • Plates

  • Plastic wrap

  • Frying pan

  • Oil

  • Spoon

  • Instant-read thermometer


Refrigerate fresh lamb steaks before use and cook or freeze them within three to five days of purchase.

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