Breaded lamb cutlets - Steiktar kótilettur í raspi

You can use either rib cutlets or leg cutlets to make this dish. This was one of my favourite Sunday dishes when I was growing up, and remains a comfort food for me.

The recipe works with pork or veal cutlets as well, but the traditional meat is lamb.

750 g of rib half-cutlets or leg cutlets of lamb
2 egg whites or 1 egg and 2 tbs milk
3 tbs bread crumbs (we generally use Paxo brand crumbs, but home-made or other brands are fine as long as they are unflavoured)
2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp pepper*
100 g butter or margarine
20 g butter

1-2 onions
extra butter as needed
2-3 tbs water

Traditionally, the cutlets are beaten with a meat mallet, but if you have nice, tender lamb, it really isn't necessary.

Set up a mise-en-place: frying pan on the stove, dish with bread crumbs and spices, dish with egg, dish with cutlets.

If using egg whites, whip them until they begin to froth. If using a whole egg, break and stir vigorously with the milk until slightly frothy. Mix together the bread crumbs and salt and pepper.

Melt the butter/margarine in the pan and when it is hot, start frying the cutlets: coat each cutlet with egg and then with bread crumbs and drop into the pan. When the crumbs on top begin to look damp, turn over. When both sides are evenly browned, put pats of butter on top of each cutlet and fry over low heat for about 10 minutes. Leg cutlets need longer cooking than rib cutlets. Remove the cutlets and keep warm in the oven until the onions are ready.

Alternatively, arrange the cutlets in a single layer in an oven-proof dish and bake for 30-40 minutes at 180°C, turning twice. Dot with butter for the last 10 minutes.

Slice the onions, turn up the heat and brown the onions in the remaining butter, adding more of needed. When golden, add water and cook until it evaporates.

Arrange the cutlets on a platter and either pour the onions over the cutlets or serve on the side in a bowl. Serve with fried or boiled potatoes and fresh or cooked vegetables, rhubarb jam and cooked green marrow peas for an authentic Icelandic flavour. I also love mushrooms fried in butter with this dish, but that's not traditional, and, strictly speaking, neither are fresh vegetables.

* for seasoning, I add Aromat and a spice mixture called Kød & Grill, both made by Knorr. If Aromat and Kød & Grill isn't available, you can use Accent and Season-All, or just use the basic salt and pepper.