Stuff and Nonsense: lamb


Showing posts with label lamb. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lamb. Show all posts

4.17.2017

Easy Easter Lamb


It was my turn to host Easter and, of course, I made lamb. Usually, I roast a boneless or semi-boneless leg, but this year I wanted to be a little fancy and roasted three racks of lamb. In total, I roasted nearly 5 lb of lamb which was, even by my own overly-hospitable standards, a bit much for four adults (even with leftovers factored in). Next time, only two racks! Or more people at the table?


Greek Rack of Lamb

Yield: 4, very generously

Ingredients

  • 3 racks of lamb (approximately 1½ lbs apiece)
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 Tbsp Greek seasoning blend [Penzeys]
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil

Instructions

  • About an hour before cooking, place lamb on a large foil-lined baking tray and let it come to room temperature in a cool place.
  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • In small bowl, combine the lemon zest, Greek seasoning, garlic, and oil. Rub over lamb.
  • Bake 30-40 minutes or until meat reaches desired doneness (imho, that's 160° for medium).
  • Let stand 5 minutes before carving. (To carve, cut from the meaty end toward the bone).


The lamb chops went over really well and I will definitely roast more racks in the future ... although not as many at once.

12.22.2016

Garlic & Rosemary Leg o' Lamb

Roasting a boneless leg of lamb in the middle of the work week doesn't sound like the smartest idea -- it takes almost two hours to prep and cook the blessed thing -- but I had a wee 2½ lb roast in the fridge that didn't get cooked over the weekend, Wednesday was its "eat by" date, and slow cooking wasn't an option as 10+ hours in the slow cooker sounded like a terrible thing to do to lamb.

Anyway, the trick is to eat a really filling (but not heavy) lunch. And have a glass of wine (or two) while you wait for the lamb to cook. Red wine is heart-healthy, after all ...

I use my pie plates for everything. Everything.

To cook the 2½ lb roast, I stabbed the fatty "top" of the roast all over with a knife and shoved slivers of garlic into the cuts. Then I rubbed the roast with a little olive oil, slipped a few sprigs of rosemary under the netting, and sprinkled the whole things with freshly ground salt and pepper. Popped the roast, uncovered into a 400°F oven for 12 minutes, then turned the heat down to 325°F and let the roast cook for about 75 min longer. When the roast reached 145°F, I removed it from the oven, covered it loosely with foil, and let it rest for 5 minutes ... et voilà, noms.

And what did it taste like? Like lamb, obviously. But there were also definite notes of garlic and rosemary so I think I'll use this method again. Usually, I coat lamb roasts with a paste of rosemary, olive oil, garlic, lemon, salt, and pepper, and the roast looks beautiful when it comes out of the oven, but all the coating comes off as I remove the netting, leaving little non-lamb flavor behind. Stab and stuff, people. That's where it's at.

3.17.2016

Improv Challenge: Lamb & Rice

I really struggled with this month's Improv Challenge ... which is a bit surprisingly, considering how much I love lamb! My problem was that while I could think up many yummy ways to prepare lamb, the rice basically remained a surface to serve it on. It was never lamb and rice, but lamb with rice. I was probably overthinking the whole thing, but I really wanted the lamb and rice to form a stronger partnership ...


So. Here. "Greek Style" slow cooker lamb and rice stuffed peppers. They're mixed together all higgledy-piggledy and stuffed in a pepper. It doesn't get much more "and" than that, does it?

When I made these peppers the first time, I cooked them on High for 4 hours and that was too hot too long as the peppers just disintegrated when I tried to remove them from the slow cooker. They were delicious, yes, but not very nice to look at, so I tried them again on Low for 4 hours and they were, while clearly cooked, firmer. Unfortunately, I only took pictures of the falling apart fail peppers, so you will just have to believe me! And the falling-apart-peppers were delicious -- like very sweet roasted peppers -- just rather messy and unpretty.

Flavor-wise, I use crushed tomatoes, onion, garlic, Greek seasoning blend and cinnamon to try to create a filling that tasted something like the meat-and-rice stuffed dolmades I buy at the local Greek festival. The goat cheese is just there because it seemed like a good idea, but it's not really necessary and can easily be omitted. Or, maybe, just stir the cheese into the meat and rice mixture before you stuff the peppers?

Also, while you certainly could make rice for this dish, I just used brown rice leftover from Chinese takeout. It was a bit clumpy, so I crumbled it between my fingers to break it up as I added it to the skillet.

"Greek Style" Slow Cooker Stuffed Peppers

Yield: 4 peppers

Ingredients

  • 4 large red bell peppers
  • 1 lb ground lamb
  • 3 oz minced red onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 14 oz canned crushed tomatoes
  • 8 oz cooked brown rice
  • 1 Tbsp Greek seasoning blend [Penzeys]
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 oz goat cheese crumbles
  • &frac; cup low-sodium fat-free chicken broth

Instructions

  1. Trim tops off bell peppers. Remove ribs and seeds. Set aside.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add lamb and cook until no pink remains.
  3. Remove lamb from skillet to a fine mesh strainer or colander set over a large bowl and let fat drip through.
  4. Meanwhile, add onion and garlic to empty skillet and cook, stirring regularly, until onion softens and garlic is fragrant.
  5. Add drained lamb back to the skillet along with the tomatoes, rice, seasoning blend, and cinnamon. Set aside.
  6. Stuff peppers with lamb mixture and arrange in slow cooker. Pour broth AROUND peppers. Cook on LOW for 4 hrs.
  7. Remove lid. Sprinkle tops of peppers with goat cheese. Cover and cook for another 10 minutes.