Food & Wine APRIL 2004
1. In a mortar, grind the cumin seeds to a coarse powder, stir into the warm honey and transfer 1 tablespoon to a bowl.
2. In a baking dish, combine the remaining honey mixture with the milk. Stir in the garlic, 3 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Add the lamb and turn to coat well. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
3. Preheat the oven to 450°. Heat a large heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet in the oven. Remove the lamb from the marinade; season with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil until almost smoking. Add the lamb and cook until browned on both sides. Transfer to the hot baking sheet and roast for 8 minutes for medium rare. Transfer to a warmed platter.
4. Stir the lemon juice into the reserved 1 tablespoon of the honey mixture; lightly brush half on the steaks. Put the baking sheet on a burner over moderately high and heat until sizzling. Add 1/2 cup of water and scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add any accumulated juices from the lamb and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining honey-lemon juice mixture. Season with salt. Pour the sauce around the lamb and serve.
Wine Recommendation: A California Cabernet Sauvignon with some tannin will highlight the spices and herbs in the marinade and stand up to the lamb. Try the 2001 Louis M. Martini.
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