During our last night in Zermatt, Switzerland, my wife and I walked to the south edge of town, past the gondola station to take you up to Furi, all the way to one of the farm houses of Tradition Julen. We had met some Valais sheep on previous summer hikes between Zmutt and Hotel Du Trift, and we instantly fell in love with their “shear cuteness” (shameless sheep pun!). So when we learned that we could actually go to the farmhouse and pet (and hold) some Valais sheep and meet some cows, we had to seize the opportunity.
After talking a little about the sheep, we were given the opportunity to try a soup made out of the same hay that the sheep eat during the winter months when they aren’t out roaming freely on the mountainsides. It was absolutely delicious…who would have ever thought that hay could taste like anything other than the smell of hay? The farmer then made a comment about his philosophy that really struck us. He said that it is important to give the sheep the best food and the best lives possible (including allowing all young to stay with their mother roaming the mountainsides for two years)…He continued by saying that when you give them the best lives and allow them to be happy, they in turn provide for the farmers’ families.
Normally, we avoid eating lamb and veal because of how they are treated in the USA, but this symbiosis and respect for the herd opened us to trying lamb in Switzerland. Since we had to leave Zermatt for the next leg of our trip in Grindelwald, we visited Hans Boss Metzgerei for this meal.
Time: 20 Minutes
- Lamb Steaks (about 1 inch thick)
- Herbes de Provence
- Beer. We used the Spezialbier from Zermatt Matterhorn Braurei AG, but any lager will work (which is good because when we try to recreate this sauce in the future, we will not have access to this beer)
- Dice your garlic.
- Melt some butter in a pan, and when it is hot, add your herbes de provence and your garlic. Let everything cook together for a little while to impart the flavours into the butter.
- While the garlic and herbs cook, coat your steaks with a little flour. We did this by putting some flour on a plate and placing our steaks atop, pressing down, and then flipping them and repeating.
- When your garlic has just started to brown, add your lamb to the pan.
- Let cook for about 2-3 minutes, and then flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
- Then, add a little beer and a little milk. Stir everything together, and let simmer for about 4-5 minutes (flipping the steaks part-way through the simmer if you like).
- Check with a meat thermometer to ensure that your lamb has reached an internal temperature of at least 145 degrees F, and if it surpasses that, remove it from the pan and onto your plate.
- Whisk in a little flour to thicken your sauce to your desired degree (we used about a teaspoon and a half).
- When the sauce is to your liking, plate, devour, and enjoy!