Chef Walter’s Flavors + Knowledge: Baked Lamb Strudel

Wednesday, June 07, 2017
Master Chef Walter Potenza, GoLocalWorcester Food Expert

Serve 4

In this recipe, I am using Australian lamb cutlet as a personal preference. Lamb is a very subjective item. Many people feel that New Zealand or Australian is the best and others feel there is no lamb other than American and are willing to pay the premium price for it. Lamb from each region has its own distinguishing characteristics including flavor, size and price. Below I have listed some info trying to facilitate your selection dilemma. 

Ingredients

1 ½ cup flour, plus extra

4 tablespoons butter, cut into cubes

1 whole egg

Salt to taste

4 boneless lamb cutlets, about 6 ounces each, seared until well-browned, and cooled

Freshly ground black pepper

4 thin slices prosciutto

1 cup baby green, washed and drained

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra

2 tablespoons parsley, minced

Directions

Preheat oven to 375F. Prepare the dough: In a large bowl, mix the flour with the butter, egg, a pinch of salt and ¼ cup of cold water. Quickly knead the dough on a floured surface just until it comes together. Add more flour if necessary. Cover, and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Cover, and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Cut the dough into 4 equal pieces, and roll each one out to 1/16-inch thickness. Set aside on a floured surface. Season the lamb cutlets with salt and pepper, and wrap each with a slice of prosciutto. Place each cutlet in the center of a sheet of dough, and wrap up to form a bundle. 

Place the four bundles on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown. In a bowl, toss the salad greens with the olive oil, salt and pepper, and arrange on each of four plates. Remove the strudel bundles from the oven, and slice each one into 3 pieces. Arrange the slices on the greens, and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with the minced parsley and serve.

American Lamb:

American lamb is just that, it has been raised in the U.S. Most quality American lamb comes from Colorado and the Midwestern States and is grain fed. This breed is the largest in size and many say is the highest in quality and consistency. American lamb has grain in its diet and thus tastes less “gamey” compared to imported lamb which is typically grass fed. It is also the most expensive available. 

Australian / Austral-American Lamb:

“Aussie” lamb has become a very popular item today. It has been cross-bred with American lamb to create a larger more consistent product. Not too many years ago Aussie lamb was very undesirable. The lambs were raised primarily for their wool and the meat was almost a by-product of that industry. This meant a very inconsistent product in size and quality. Today Aussie lamb is also raised for consumption to a specific size and weight which produces a quality product that is less expensive than American domestic lamb. It is of a medium size and resembles that of American lamb the most.

New Zealand Lamb:

New Zealand has long produced lamb for its wool industry. This breed is of small stature and many believe is of the least quality compared to American and Australian lamb. Consequently it is also the least expensive lamb. Many customers use this product because of its attractive cost and consistent sizing. When compared to American and Aussie lamb, the price is right. 

Master Chef Walter Potenza is the owner of Potenza Ristorante in Cranston, Chef Walters Cooking School and Chef Walters Fine Foods. His fields of expertise include Italian Regional Cooking, Historical Cooking from the Roman Empire to the Unification of Italy, Sephardic Jewish Italian Cooking, Terracotta Cooking, Diabetes and Celiac. Recipient of National and International accolades, awarded by the Italian Government as Ambassador of Italian Gastronomy in the World. Currently on ABC6 with Cooking Show “Eat Well."  Check out the Chef's website and blog.

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