Lynn Gardner: lamb

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


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


  • 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


  • 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.


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.


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


  • 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


  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.


(Almost) Spring Lamb

Spring officially starts on Thursday and, although I know Mother Nature doesn't keep the same calendar, the few recent 40-ish blue-sky days have got me in the mood for daffodils, asparagus, and lamb. While it's a bit too early for daffs and the price of asparagus makes me say inappropriate things, there was a nice piece of butterflied lamb in my freezer so ...

Sunday Supper

Lemony Greek Butterflied Lamb

1½ lb butterflied leg of lamb
Olive oil, as desired
Penzeys Greek Seasoning blend, as desired
1 lemon, halved

Pat meat dry with paper towels and score fatty side in a criss-cross pattern. Rub thoroughly with olive oil. Rub generously with Greek seasoning. Squeeze lemon over lamb and let sit at room temperature for about an hour.

Butterflied Lamb

Preheat oven to 425F° degrees. Place meat, fatty side up, on a baking sheet. Roast for about 20 minutes (medium rare) or until desired level of doneness is reached.

Remove from oven, cover with foil, and allow to rest for 10 minutes.

Sunday Lamb

I served the lamb with celery-mashed potatoes and buttery parslied carrots and it was good. I'm guessing it would, in a few months times, also be really good on the grill.


Lambilicious Sunday Dinner

The Husband pointed out it's been a long time since I made any lamb so, to please him, I picked up a nice small semi-boneless leg of lamb at Shoprite (manager's special, woot), roasted it Sunday afternoon, and there was much rejoicing.

Sunday Lamb

Roast lamb is good lamb!

I rubbed the lamb with a paste I threw together in my food processor of dijon mustard, leftover fresh rosemary, cracked black pepper, sea salt, olive oil, and the juice and zest of half a lemon. Aside from the lemon, no actual measurements were used -- I just threw ingredients in until it looked right. I put the roast, fat side up, on a rack in a roasting pan and poured some leftover malbec into the bottom of them pan. Then I roasted the lamb in a 375F° oven for about an hour (or until the meat reached 135°F).

While the lamb was roasting, I washed and trimmed a pound of asparagus, lay them in a baking pan, drizzled them with olive oil and lemon juice, and sprinkled them with salt and pepper.

I took the lamb out of the oven, tented it with a little foil, and left it to rest for fifteen minutes. While the lamb rested, I popped the asparagus pan into the oven and roasted them for fifteen minutes.

I served the lamb and asparagus with rice (brown for me, jasmine for The Husband) and gravy. It was good and a three pound semi-boneless leg turned out to be the perfect size for two people -- enough for sunday dinner, with a little bit leftover for a sandwiches).


Stuffed Peppers On The Fly

I'm trying to get back into the slow cooker habit this summer. It's been so hot and muggy lately that I don't want to go outside to grill and, of course, I really don't want to run my stove. So we're back to eating a lot of delivery, again. Lots of salty, fatty, and ultimately regrettable food. Bah.

As long as I can remember to fill the slow cooker before work, real food will be waiting when I come home and my house won't be any hotter than it was when I left for work. Anyway, these stuffed peppers were the first slow cooker dish I've made this summer and they turned out really well for something I threw together on the fly based on what was in my fridge at the time.

Slow Cooker Stuffed Peppers

Slow Cooker Stuffed Peppers

3 large bell peppers
1 lb lean ground lamb
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
¼ cup feta crumbles
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 10.25 oz can Campbell's Tomato Bisque
2 tsp Penzeys salt-free Sunny Spain seasoning blend
2 Tbsp dehydrated sliced onion, crushed

Remove tops and seeds from peppers.

In a large skillet, cook lamb and and onion over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Add the rice, feta, corn, half the bisque, seasoning blend, and onion.

Spoon rice mixture into peppers and place in slow cooker. Pour remaining bisque over peppers, cover, and cook on LOW for six hours.
Six hours was actually a little too long for these peppers -- they started to fall apart as soon as I touched them with the serving spoon -- but they were still very good with garlicky instant mashed potatoes (why, yes, I am the Queen of Lazy Sundays). Really, I'm surprised how well these turned out for something I made up on the fly!

My mother always used Campbell's Tomato Bisque in her meatloaf so it's a real nostalgia food for me and brings back many memories of not just her meatloaf, but her stuffed peppers, too. She used to make both in a big square CorningWare baker that was so deep the meatloaf and peppers almost poached in her tomato gravy. Good stuff.


Clean Out the Fridge With Enchiladas

Rummaging around the kitchen, thinking about the coming week's menu plan, I realized there was a lot of random food hanging around. Thawed ground lamb that never became shepherd's pie. Sliced pepper jack cheese. An unopened package of white corn tortillas. Slightly manky scallions. And an open container of plain, low-fat Greek yoghurt.

Enchiladas just seemed obvious.

Except, I had no enchilada sauce. So I made some. Sort-of. It was red. It went on things I called enchiladas. Therefore, it was enchilada sauce.
Easy Enchilada Sauce

2 Tbsp unsalted butter
3 Tbsp white whole wheat flour
1 cup water
14.5 oz can Muir Glen fire-roasted diced tomatoes with green chilies
Garlic powder and ground cumin, to taste

Using an immersion blender or whathaveyou, puree tomatoes.

Melt butter in a saucepan. Whisk in all-purpose flour. Slowly pour in water, whisking constantly, so that flour-butter-water combination makes a thick slurry. Stir into slurry. Heat until thickened. Season to taste. Set aside until needed.
Sauce made, the enchiladas went together all easy-peasy.

Lamb Enchiladas
Lamb Enchiladas

1 lb ground lamb
1 cup chopped red onions
1 recipe enchilada sauce, divided
6 slices pepper jack cheese
8 white corn tortillas

Cook lamb and onions in a nonstick skillet until lamb is cooked through and onions are tender. Drain well. Stir in about a cup of enchilada sauce and set aside.

Warm tortillas by wrapping 4 in a damp paper towel and microwaving for about 40 seconds. Repeat.

Spread ½ cup of enchilada sauce onto bottom of 13x9 baking dish.

Spoon about ¼ cup meat mixture onto a tortilla. Roll up and place, seam-side down, in prepared dish. Repeat until no tortillas remain. If there is leftover meat, scatter it across the top of the enchiladas.

Lamb Enchiladas

Top enchiladas with remaining sauce. Lay cheese slices across the top. Broil until cheese is bubbly and golden and edges of enchiladas haven gone brown and crispy.

Serve topped with a dollop of fat-free Greek yoghurt and sprinkle of sliced scallions.


Cookery Catch-Up Or "Food, There Has Been Some"

I haven't menu-planned in over a month and my last few posts have all been about cooking challenges or The Unofficial Hunger Games Cookbook (which I still seriously , by the way), but I have still been cooking food as hungry people need to eat. While it's mostly been how-fast-can-I-get-a-meal-on-the-table type food, it's all home-made and that has to count for something, I think.

Leftover Lamb Stuff

Mom sent us home from Easter dinner with a packet of leftovers, including some really nice lamb. I thought about shepherd's pie, but felt too lazy even for that. So I made lamb "stuff" -- kind of, but not really, like the "goulash" my mother used to make from leftover pot roast:

First, I made Betty Crocker's "No-Drippings Gravy" with low-sodium beef broth, Penzeys beef base, dried parsley, and salt-free Italian seasoning blend. Then, I set the gravy aside and turned my attention to the rest of the dish.

I sauteed shallots, garlic, celery, carrots, and red bell pepper in olive oil until they were crisp-tender and then added in the lamb and thawed pearl onions. Let everything sizzle in the pan for a few minutes and then poured the gravy over it all and let it cook until the onions were tender and everything was hot. Seasoned it to taste with salt and pepper and served it over parslied rice.

Chicken Barley Risotto w/ Edamame

Betty Crocker's "Chicken and Barley Risotto with Edamame" was one of the recipes I tried for April's Cooking the Alphabet Challenge. Sadly, it was pretty terrible and we threw out the leftovers. I'm deeply embarrassed to write that as I have been conditioned to never throw out leftovers, but there was simply no way either of us would eat it again. It was bland. Horribly, horribly bland. And the texture was just unfortunate -- creamy/gooey with slightly crunchy edamame. It just didn't work.

Dinner Salad

Salad, it's what's for dinner! I seasoned chicken cutlets with salt and pepper and sauteed them in a very hot pan for 3-4 minutes on each side. Then I set them aside and prepared two plates of tossed salad -- butter/bibb lettuce blend, cherry tomatoes, radish, celery, orange bell pepper, red onion, shredded cheese, hard-cooked egg, and garlicky croutons. Topped salad with chopped chicken, Cindy's Kitchen's Fresh Buttermilk Ranch (simply fab, darlings), and freshly ground pepper. Nomnomnom.