Category Archives: Lamb

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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Braised Leg of Lamb and Potatoes with Gravy

Seriously Delicious. I mean, seriously. This was SO good. I’ve only just started eating lamb because I didn’t think that I liked it. Boy was I wrong.  I cannot say enough good things about this meal. Good enough to be a special occasion meal but certainly a weekend meal. I made it on a Thursday but it’s pretty special so in retrospect I would have done it on a Saturday. But anyhow, it was gooood. And I cooked the potatoes in the same braiser and they were fantastic. Plus it was only one dish I had to use. After that, I just made a quick gravy with red wine that really added to the flavor of the whole dish.  It sounds more complicated than it really is.

So, if you haven’t had a lamb roast before or in a while then this is worth the splurge. I just had it in my freezer because it came in my bulk meat box that I got from the farm. That’s where I get most of my meat, and it’s rockin’.

So this was easier than I thought it would be. I pretty much just used the same things that I would use to make a regular beef roast (also delish) but put it on the lamb instead.

For the lamb:

About a 2 pd. leg of lamb with the bone (it’s ok if it doesn’t have the bone but you will decrease cooking time)

4 cloves of garlic

About 1/4 cup red wine

About 3-4 tbls. red wine vinegar

About 3 tbls. good quality olive oil ( I always use extra virgin)

Salt and Pepper

1 tbls. butter

1 tbls. loosely packed chopped fresh rosemary and thyme, leaves only

1/2 yellow onion

1 tbls. butter

Dutch oven or a cast iron braiser like I used. (if you have neither, it’s ok you can just use a roaster. I only had a makeshift roaster for years. The cooking time will be slightly more though)

I got a cast iron braiser for Christmas and it really makes a difference. It makes roast’s more tender and seems to take less time to cook and locks in the flavor more. Defiantly worth it if you can snag one.

For the potatoes:

3-4 medium size russet potatoes

2ish tsp of each fresh rosemary and thyme

1/2 yellow onion sliced

garlic salt and pepper

1 tbl. butter

Do the potatoes first. Just slice them into about 2 inch pieces leaving the skin on. Now mix the potatoes with everything but the butter and set aside to put into the cooking dish after you’ve browned the lamb.

So, now your gonna want to take a deep breath and get excited because it’s gonna be good! Next, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. I got this going pretty late so if you have more time then you can bump it down to around 325. Took me an hour to cook it at that temp. for medium well.

Next preheat your braiser or dutch oven. (regular skillet if you have neither) and melt some butter in it. Your going to brown the meat first.  Rinse the lamb and pat dry. This helps it to brown nicely Now, take the lamb and salt and pepper it generously.

Then take all other ingredients and blend them together in a food processor until well incorporated. Alternately you can just chop the onions and garlic finely and mix with the other ingredients.  Now just take everything and rub it all over the roast and just dump the rest of it on top.

Now it’s time to brown it. Put it in your hot braiser or whatever your using with the melted butter and brown it on all sides.

Once it browned take the cut up seasoned potatoes arrange them on one side of the braiser and top with a few small pieces of butter. Put the lid on it and stick that bad boy in the oven. Set your timer for about 45 mins. and chill out for a bit.

Now, I cooked it to about medium-well which was around 160 on a meat thermometer. This lamb was so tender that it didn’t matter all that much. Normally I like meat at around medium but this worked fine. Medium rare would be around 130.

So, after the 45 is up take it out. And brace yourself because that cast ir0n is HEAVY. Check the meat and see if it needs more time to cook and if so then spread the potatoes around the meat and plop it back in there. It took another 15 mins at 400 to get it done for us. But I had 3 hungry kids to feed so I bumped up the temp. Still good. But if you have the time then don’t up the heat. This worked for us because the pastured meat is significantly more tender then grain fed and the cast iron keeps it more tender too I think.  Normally, you cook roasts low and slow but I was impatient.

Ok, so once your meat is done to how you like it remove it from the pot and let it rest before slicing it thin.  At least 10 mins to lock in all the juices.

Take the potatoes and onions put them in a serving dish.

Pretty huh? Now stop staring and put the thing you cooked it in over medium heat on the stove for the gravy.

Ok, gravy time! (If your making it)

You need:

1/2 cup chicken broth

1/4 water

1/4 or more red wine

1 large tbls corn starch

salt and pepper

You want to start by reducing the drippings by simmering it over med. heat for a min. or so and stir the whole time. Now add the broth and let it simmer a little more.  Now add the water and wine and simmer some more while you stir  it. About 3 mins.

Now take the corn starch and mix it with a small amount of cold water. Once it resembles a bit of a paste add it to the gravy and incorporate thoroughly. Let it simmer some more until you reach the desired consistency.

You may need to add more liquid or more corn starch mixture to get it just right. It’s a bit of a knack to get down gravy. Once your satisfied remove it from the heat and pour it in a gravy boat or whatever you have.

Now slice that meat up if you haven’t already and serve it with the potatoes and a veggie dish. I made green beans with tomatoes to go with it.  Don’t forget the gravy!


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