Flavorful grilled lamb tossed with tender haricot vert and drizzled with a generously spiced coconut milk broth.
It might just be because the combination of a breezy May evening, medium-rare spring lamb, tender haricot vert, and a Thai-spiced coconut milk broth make for a straight-up amazing dinner, but last Sunday an unheard-of civility descended on our family table for a precious few minutes and it was the best. If you make this dish (and you should), I can’t promise it will work the same kind of magic, but at least you’ll know your tastebuds will be rewarded handsomely.
A creamy, spiced coconut milk broth makes up the base of the dish. It comes together quickly, but has all these great flavors like ginger, shallots, Thai spices, lime (cha-ching!), and cilantro. In light of all that, the lamb is prepared simply, with just salt and pepper. The haricot vert bring a nice sweetness to the dish, and can either be sautéed with fish sauce and coconut oil, or blanched.
Lastly, this week we found out our oldest daughter daughter is almost certainly going to be fine –– it’s a huge relief. Thank you again for all the kind wishes and notes; proof again that it’s pretty great to be a part of this online community.
A few notes: this dish is made with lamb, but I imagine it would be excellent with all sorts of fish or shellfish. For the green beans, I did use tiny, tender haricot vert, but plain old green beans would be fine too. You can blanch and serve the beans, or sauté them for added flavor. I tried both. I also thought about adding a few carrot matchsticks for color and sweetness, but left them out in the end. Finally, I liked the additional flavor of green curry paste in the broth. Note that most curry pastes contain dextrose, so if you’re avoiding sugar or Whole 30-ing, you may want to leave this ingredient out.
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 3 shallots, chopped (roughly 1 cup)
- 2 inch section of ginger, peeled and minced
- 3 cloves garlic, smashed, peeled, and chopped
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 - 2 tablespoons red chili paste or to taste
- 2 tablespoons green curry paste (optional)
- 1/2 - 1 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
- 14 ounce can full fat coconut milk
- 2 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable stock
- 1/4 cup chopped green onions
- 2 pounds butterflied leg of lamb, bone removed
- 4 large handfuls haricot vert, trimmed
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, optional
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce, optional
- sea salt and pepper to taste
- fresh lime wedges
- 1/2 cup minced cilantro
Heat a large, deep-sided sauté pan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add coconut oil and shallots. Sauté shallots until translucent and edges have browned. Edge heat down to medium, and add ginger, garlic, fish sauce, red chili paste, and (if using) green curry paste. Sauté 2 minutes more. Deglaze pan with a 1/2 cup of stock; use a wooden spoon to scrape up any brown bits. Stir in remaining stock and coconut milk. Bring mixture to a gentle boil, then turn heat to low and simmer while you make the rest of the dish. Toward the end of cook time, add green onions.
Prepare a hot grill or grill pan. Remove any sliver skin, and trim the leg of lamb into 4 x 4 inch sections (roughly 3/4 - 1 inch thick). Rub each side generously with sea salt and pepper.
For medium-rare lamb, sear each side for 4 - 5 minutes, or until temp reaches 130 degrees F. Rest 3 minutes, then slice into 1/2-inch thick slices.
Meanwhile, blanch haricot vert in salted water for 2 minutes, then dip in ice cold water. Shake haricot vert dry. For added flavor, sauté green beans with 2 tablespoons coconut oil. Add green beans, sea salt to taste, and 2 tablespoons fish sauce. Remove from heat just as beans start to brown.
Add a handful of green beans each to wide4 bowls. Ladle in coconut milk broth and top with several slices of lamb. Top with a generous squeeze of lime, and a small handful each of cilantro and minced green onions.
Liz B. @ Umami Life says
The coconut broth looks like it would compliment a huge variety of things. Thanks for the recipe!
http://thatumamilife.wordpress.com – a clean eating bento blog. Japanese or Asian-inspired!
Brian @ A Thought For Food says
I’m having dinner guests over tomorrow evening. And I was thinking lamb would be the perfect thing to serve. Thank you so much for this inspired recipe. I will have to report back. 🙂
Hi Brian, That’s so cool! I think this would be delicious for a dinner party. And please do let me know how it turns out!
Meredith in sock monkey slippers says
This is just amazing! Spreading the word and putting it in my recipe box.
Thanks Meredith! I’m so glad you like the recipe!
Made this last night and it was AMAZING! I lived in Thailand for 4.5 months, and that sauce is legit! Well done!!! My husband was happy 🙂
This comment totally made my day! So glad the recipe went over well, and thanks for stopping back by with the great feedback. Cheers!
JANET CARMICHAEL says
Just came across this recipe (I don’t know why this is in caps when my caps lock is not on….sorry) but I’m nervous about a leg of lamb being just pan seared. That’s a cut that one typically slow roass or braises. are you sure it doesn’t get tough? I really don’t want to destroy an expensive piece of meat
Hi Janet, Sorry for the glitches in my comment system – you comment came through properly punctuated. Thanks for taking the time to ask about the recipe.
The leg of lamb used here is butterflied, boneless, and also only a 2-pound section cut into smaller portions (as opposed to a more typical 5 – 6 pound whole leg), so it cooks quickly and is served medium-rare. I haven’t had this in a while, but remember the cut being very tender and not chewy at all. However, if this cut causes concern, feel free to sub in a more traditionally tender cut like a boneless chop and cook just until the lamb temp hits 130 degrees F.
WOW! This was delicious! I was a bit of a pansy and used chicken thighs instead because I’ve never made lamb. The recipe was so fresh and yummy! I added some avocado on the side and it was simply perfect. Thank you for this recipe! I am doing whole 30 and I think this will be a staple, not only during this month, but generally speaking!