With so many chefs making the jump from kitchen workhorse to food TV celeb these days, it’s a wonder Greg Marchand hasn’t done the same. He’s one of the few whose backstory actually merits 15 minutes of fame (or maybe more).
Marchand first started cooking in the French orphanage where he was raised, using the kitchen as an escape from the quotidien melee. He entered cooking school as a 16-year-old sporting punk attitude but graduated with an extensive knowledge of French cuisine and a desire to put it into practice (not to mention much shorter hair).
After stints in Spain, Hong Kong, New York and London for such bosses as Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Jamie Oliver (who endowed him with the enduring nickname “Frenchie”), he landed at last on home soil. His first Paris restaurant, Frenchie, has spawned several adjuncts and inspired legions of fans of his simply constructed dishes featuring simply the freshest ingredients.
We thought this grilled baby lamb would work perfectly for Easter or, vraiment, any given Sunday.
- 1 rosemary sprig
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon crushed black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 pieces boneless lamb leg or loin (about 8 ounces/225 grams each)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 16 tiny new potatoes
- Coarse sea salt
- Olive oil
- 1¼ pounds (600 grams) sweet peas in the pod (about 1 cup/160 grams shelled peas)
- 1¼ pounds (600 grams) fava beans in the pod (about 1 cup/160 grams shelled favas)
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 small green mango
- 1 bunch mint
- ½ bunch cilantro
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons (28 grams) unsalted butter
- Piment d’Espelette
- Fleur de sel
- Crushed black pepper
- Combine the rosemary, garlic, lemon zest, crushed pepper, and olive oil in a baking dish. Add the lamb, turning to coat and rubbing the marinade into the meat. Cover and marinate for at least 4 hours in the refrigerator.
- Meanwhile, put the potatoes in a large pot of cold salted water, bring to a boil, and cook for about 15 minutes, until tender: the tip of a knife should enter the flesh without resistance. Drain the potatoes thoroughly, transfer to a bowl, and add a drizzle of olive oil. Set aside at room temperature.
- Shell the peas and refrigerate. Shell the fava beans.
- Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Blanch the fava beans in the boiling water for 30 seconds, then drain and immediately transfer to a bowl of ice water to cool. Drain again and peel off the outer skin.
- Toast the cumin seeds in a dry skillet over low heat until fragrant, about 3 minutes; be careful not to burn them.
- Peel and pit the mango and cut enough of the flesh into 1⁄2-inch dice to make 1⁄3 cup (the green mango will bring acidity to the chutney without darkening its bright green color); reserve the remaining mango for another use. Remove the leaves from the mint and cilantro stems.
- Combine the cumin, mango, and herbs in a blender and blend until finely chopped, while drizzling in about 2 ½ tablespoons olive oil. Season with salt and refrigerate.
- Remove the lamb from the refrigerator about 1 hour before cooking. Fire up an outdoor grill.
- Season the lamb with salt and pepper and grill it for about 5 minutes or so on each side, depending on the thickness: when blood starts to bead up on the surface, the lamb will be cooked to medium-rare. Transfer to a plate and let rest for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large skillet over low heat. Add the peas and cook for 1 minute, then add the potatoes and favas and heat, stirring and tossing the vegetables, until the potatoes are warmed through. Remove from the heat and toss with 1 tablespoon of the chutney. Add a pinch of piment d’Espelette and season with salt to taste.
- For the most tender meat, slice the lamb crosswise against the grain.
- Divide the vegetables among four plates and add a spoonful of mint chutney to each plate. Arrange the meat alongside and season it with fleur de sel and crushed black pepper.