Lamb and Soaked Lentils

This dish was so appreciated after a long day; I just wanted to curl up with my kiddos and relax without spending over an hour in the kitchen trying to make them something healthful. I wanted something easy but also very comfort food-ish without spending all day preparing it. With a little forethought this is a very effortless meal to prepare that even your little ones will enjoy.

I will admit that I have never honestly cooked with coriander and fenugreek before and I’m really not sure why. I have only ever seen them in a couple of recipes and it’s a shame. They bring a certain mellowness to the dish that is really hard to describe unless you try it yourself. I wasn’t sure how much to use them so I didn’t measure the amounts and rather just sprinkled it in. If I had to guess I would say around 1/4-1/2 of  a tsp. Feel free to experiment starting with less and them build from there. Your mouth will thank you!

If you haven’t thought about doing a pre-soak with the lentils you can skip that step but I find it to be beneficial because it helps to break down the digestive inhibitors so you can get more of the good out of the legumes.  It only takes about an extra 3 mins. and also cuts the cooking time down some-about a 1/3 in my experience which also contributes to the speedy-ness of this meal. Honestly, it only took me the time to brown the ground lamb to get this dish from the stove to the table. So….15 mins? Maybe 20 tops?

So, in the AM (or about 7 hours before you plan to eat) soak 2 cups of lentil with about 2 cups of very hot filtered water. You can add a dash of vinegar or lemon juice if you want but it’s not entirely necessary for the phytic acid to break down, as long as the water is good and warm when you start. Doesn’t hurt to add it though.  Then proceed to recipe below.

Here’s what you need: (note that measurements on the spices are approximate as I did not measure because we needed to eat fast!)

  • 2 cups lentil soaked in equal amount of filtered water
  • 2 cups beef or chicken broth (I used homemade beef broth that I saved from when I made beef roast last week)
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 lb. ground lamb-pastured (this is a bit more spendy than ground beef but not by much and it’s worth the splurge)
  • Touch of healthy fat such as: bacon grease, grass-fed butter, ghee, tallow, lard, or I just used a bit of the fat that was on top of the beef broth that I had in the fridge
  • A squirt of concentrated tomato paste or fresh tomatoes if you have them
  • Sour Cream and Cheddar Cheese for serving if desired
  • Seasoning-I didn’t measure them but I guess around 1/4-1/2 tsp of each:
  1. Sea Salt
  2. Freshly ground black pepper
  3. Coriander Seed-ground
  4. Fenugreek Seed-ground
  5. Adobo seasoning
  6. Ground garlic (fresh is better-about 2-3 cloves)

The How To:

First, saute the chopped onion with the garlic, if using fresh, and add to the pan with the lentils. Then add the broth and tomato paste to the soaking lentils and turn the heat up to about med/well. Now you can add the seasonings. Allow the lentils to cook while at the same time browning the ground lamb in the same pan that you cooked the onions and garlic in. Once the lamb is browned, simply add it to the lentil dish and allow everything to cook together for at-least 5-10 mins or longer if you so desire. I’m sure this could easily be converted to a crock-pot meal as well is you wanted.

Serve with a touch of full fat sour cream and some raw milk cheddar cheese. Enjoy, this dish is a real treat. I didn’t get a chance to take a picture-sorry!

Serves about 6

This recipe is posted on Weekend Gourmet Blog Carnival week 5/2

And On Real Food Wed. 5/4/11 at Kelly the Kitchen Kop

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2 responses to “Lamb and Soaked Lentils

  • Rhi@The Challenged Cook

    A great suggestion of soaking the lentils. I’ve always wondered if it would be a good idea, but read that it’s not necessary. It makes sense, though, to do it if you’re going to need to get dinner done quickly at night. I will definitely try it. Thanks for posting in Weekend Gourmet.

    • jenniepaige

      Well I was under the same impression about the lentils not needing to be soaked but I recently read “The White Paper” where it breaks down everything and lentils do benefit from the break down. Plus they cook faster too! Thanks for stopping by!

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