Lamb Tenderloin

I went to the butcher looking for “cotelettes” or lamb chops but he had this instead, the “cote filet double” or double lamb tenderloin.  It’s got the bone still there, but cut differently than the lamb chop where the long signature bone is very prominent.  The lamb chops are easier to eat as the double loin tenderloin requires you to cut around the four-sided bone on the plate!  Needless to say, feel free to substitute with lamb chops.  However, you should not be disappointed by the “cote filet double”, should you buy it – the bones will give great flavor!

As for the seasoning of the tenderloin - mint, garlic and lemon are perfect partners.  I like to coat the meat with an herbaceous Chermoula style “condiment” that is easily made in a food processor.  A knife will do in a pinch if you don’t have the equipment.   My version of Chermoula is prepared intentionally on the dry side as I use it to coat the meat before cooking (rather than serving it as a sauce where the texture will be loose and wet by the addition of more olive oil).  The dry version allows a bit of a crust to form.  I leave out typical spices (coriander and cumin), and let the authentic flavor of mint, hazelnut, and garlic shine, along with a hint of breadcrumbs.  That’s it!  Cooking the meat is extremely quick (about 3 minutes per side depending on thickness), so have everything you want to serve with it ready to go.   (Note of clarification:  this photos shows an additional green chutney sauce which is much more liquid than the chermoula used to coat the lamb steaks.).  Enjoy!

Ingredients for 2 people 

2 lamb cutlets, double filet, about 1½  – 2cm thick, about 180-200g each (including bone weight). 

Garlic paste, small spoonful (or 1 clove garlic)

Cajun spice or pimenton (smoked Spanish paprika) – quantity desired

Olive oil, about 1 tablespoon

Wedge of lemon

Chermoula Coating: 

1- 2 tablespoons roasted hazelnuts,  skin removed 

¾ cup mint

¼ cup cilantro

1 very small garlic clove or small spoon of garlic paste

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, or just enough to hold herbs together

1-2 tablespoons bread crumbs

Pinch of fleur de sel


  1. Prepare Chermoula Coating:  
    1. Roast hazelnuts at 180°C for about 9 minutes.  Let cool & rub nuts between palms of your hands to remove the skin.  
    2. Clean & spin dry the herbs.
    3. Place hazelnuts, and garlic paste in a mini food processor.  Process until nuts are finely chopped.
    4. Add mint and chop.  Scrape down sides of bowl.
    5. Add cilantro and chop. Scrape sides of bowl.
    6. Add a pinch of fleur de sel, a little olive oil and bread crumbs.  Chop with the processor.  Scrape down side of bowl.  Get texture and flavor right – adjust as needed.
  2. Prepare meat.  
    1. Spray both sides of meat with olive oil (or use fingers to rub).
    2. Coat both sides with Cajun spices (optional).
    3. Rub some garlic paste on both sides.  Note:  if your chermoula has an intensely garlic flavor, then skip this step!
    4. Coat both sides with chermoula.
  3. Pan fry the lamb:  
    1. Heat frying pan to just below smoking – medium high heat.  Add oil or duck fat or oil/butter to pan.   Add lamb steaks.  Let sit in pan 2 minutes.  Check if temperature is too high. Decrease if it’s getting too dark too quickly.  
    2. Flip over after about 3 minutes.  Cook 2nd side another 3 minutes.  Make sure temperature is not too hot.  If it is burning your herb blend, then it’s too hot!  
    3. Shut off the burner and let meat rest 3 minutes in the hot pan while you plate the side dishes or bring the sides to the table.
    4. Squeeze lemon over meat just before serving.  Top with fleur de sel.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.