Jason Gibbons, executive chef at Zelo and Bacio, goes to great lengths to source, prepare, plan, and deliver consistent, high-quality food in a high-volume setting. For him, it is only natural to partner with local farmers who feel the same way about what they do. His Leg of Lamb Scallopine is perfect for Mother’s Day or any family dinner and uses locally raised, Shepherd Song, 100 percent grass-fed, leg of lamb.
“Like us, Larry and Judy, Shepherd Song Farm, are committed to what they do and we’ve established a mutual respect for each other’s craft,” Gibbons says. “Through very intelligent research, practice, and years of perfecting their craft, they produce consistent, high-quality products that they take great pride in. While the restaurant and farming business are very different from each other, they do mirror each other in that we are judged by the consistency and quality that we deliver.
“From a flavor standpoint,” he continues, “I think anyone that tries Shepherd Song lamb is surprised by its wholesome, clean flavor. The animals are lean yet rich. This is directly related to their intellectual farming techniques regarding genetics, nutrition, and overall stewardship of land and animals. I’m hooked — it’s the only lamb I serve (or eat)!”
Order Lamb Scallopine at Zelo or Bacio during May or try their recipe at home. Purchase online for free metro delivery and for a 15 percent discount using code: lamb15. Code is good through May 31 for lamb leg purchases.
Leg of Lamb Scallopine by Executive Chef Jason Gibbons
Leg of lamb, trimmed, sliced, pounded thin into 12 to 16 1-oz pieces
Flour as needed
Sea salt to season
Fresh ground black pepper to season
2 to 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, peeled and smashed
⅓ c light bodied Italian white wine
¾ c homemade stock (use the bone from the lamb
for the best flavor, or substitute chicken stock)
2 tbsp mint or Italian parsley, finely sliced
2 tbsp whole unsalted butter at room temperature
Debone the leg of lamb, reserving the bone to make the stock.
Trim fat, then slice into small (½ to 1 oz by weight) pieces.
Pound pieces between plastic wrap with the flat side of a meat hammer. Use gentle but deliberate pressure to evenly pound meat to about ⅛-inch thick.
Lightly season lamb slices with salt and pepper. Then dredge slices through the flour, shaking off any excess flour.
Add 1½ tablespoon of the extra virgin olive oil and the garlic cloves into a 12″ or larger skillet at medium heat.
Place as many lamb slices as will fit into the pan in a single layer so they lie flat.
As soon as you see the outside edges of the lamb slices begin to change color, flip them over with a pair of tongs and continue to cook for 20 more seconds.
Remove lamb slices from the pan and set onto a plate.
Continue this process with remaining lamb slices. Add extra virgin olive oil if needed.
Deglaze the pan with the wine, squeeze in the lemon half, add the stock and begin to reduce the sauce.
Add the lamb slices back into the pan while the sauce is reducing and cook for no more than 20 to 30 seconds more (this will keep them very tender).
Remove lamb slices and place onto serving plates or platter.
Add the mint or parsley to the pan, then turn the heat to high and reduce sauce until about ¼ to ⅓ cup remains and sauce is beginning to thicken enough to coat a spoon.
Remove sauce from the heat and add room temperature butter, swirling pan or whisking constantly until butter is fully incorporated into sauce and sauce is thick but pourable. Adjust the seasoning of sauce with salt and pepper, remove the lemon half, then pour over lamb slices.
Suggested accompaniments: sautéed spinach or artichokes for the spring or summer, roasted butternut squash for the fall or winter. For a wine pairing, consider a light- to medium-bodied Italian white with good acidity such as a Pinot Grigio, Greco, or Verdicchio.