Tag Archives: lamb

Herb-Crusted Rack of Lamb with Wild Porcini Demi-Glace

Gorgeous, pastured lamb from Menzie’s Farm in the Hill Country outside of Austin is misted with Texas olive oil and seasoned with sea salt and cracked black pepper, then flashed in a 500 degree oven for 10 minutes.

The lamb is then packed with a persillade-like mixture of fresh bread crumbs, melted butter and garlic with a bouquet garni of both fresh and dried herbs including rosemary, thyme, savory, marjoram, sage and tarragon.

Next, the lamb is roasted at 400 degrees until the internal temperature reaches 125 degrees (approximately 15-20 minutes), then removed from the oven and allowed to stand 15 minutes before being carved into double chops.

While the lamb rests, dried wild porcini mushrooms are soaked in just-boiled water enhanced with porcini powder, then strained into a pot containing brown stock and toasted shallots. The sauce is furiously reduced by a third and the mushrooms added and simmered for a couple of minutes before being finished with a spoonful of demi-glace and a knob of cold butter.

Served a perfect medium rare, this is one of my all-time favorite things to eat..

American lamb, especially those that are pastured and grass-fed, are generally milder/less gamey in flavor than those from New Zealand and Australia, with young lamb (less than 1 year old) being preferred for its tenderness.

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Naan Pizza with Spiced Lamb, Roasted Vegetables and Fresh Goat Cheese

Homemade flatbread, ghee-fried spiced lamb, roasted peppers, onions, heirloom tomatoes and garlic, with fresh goat cheese and Neapolitan parsley..

Naan Pizza with Spiced Lamb, Roasted Vegetables and Fresh Goat Cheese

For the Vegetables

1/2 pound heirloom tomatoes, cored, seeded and chopped.
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1/3 cup assorted fresh peppers (I like to use both hot and sweet peppers), chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon cracked coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds

Toss the vegetables together then lay out on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.  Place the tray in a 500 degree oven until slightly charred.  Remove from the oven and set aside.

For the Lamb

1/2 pound freshly-ground, pastured lamb
2 tablespoons ghee
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 tablespoon spice blend such as Penzeys Vindaloo, containing a mixture of ginger, cinnamon, brown mustard, red pepper, cardamom, turmeric, black pepper and cloves.  Reserve a tablespoon or two of the butter, spice and lamb juices to spread on the naan.

Gently form the lamb into 1-1/2 inch balls, taking care not to press too tightly.  Sprinkle with the salt and set aside.  Heat the ghee in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking.  Add the spices and whisk to incorporate. Carefully add the lamb to the ghee and shallow fry until nicely seared on the outside but still rare in the middle.  Transfer to a side plate and allow to drain.

For the Naan (adapted from a recipe by Madhur Jaffrey)

8 ounces organic all-purpose flour (can use sprouted or soaked flour)
6 cloves garlic, peeled, roasted and mashed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 teaspoon unrefined sugar
1/3 cup fresh whole milk, hand-hot
1 tablespoon ghee, melted, plus a little extra
1/3 cup plain yoghurt, lightly beaten
1 small pastured egg, lightly beaten

Sift the flour, salt, baking powder, yeast and sugar in a bowl and pour in the hand-hot milk, ghee, garlic, yoghurt and the beaten egg and mix it all together to form a ball of dough.  Place the dough on to a clean surface and knead it for 10 minutes or more, until smooth.

Pour about 1/4 tsp ghee into a large bowl and roll the ball of dough in it.  Cover the bowl with a towel and set aside in a warm, draft-free place for an hour or until the dough has doubled in size.

Preheat oven and a heavy baking sheet to 500 degrees.

Punch down the dough and knead it again and divide into 9 equal balls.  While working on 1 ball, keep the remaining balls covered. Flatten the ball using your hands (or rolling pin) into a tear-shaped naan, about 6 inches in length and about 4 inches at its widest. Brush the top with melted ghee.

Remove the hot baking tray from the oven, grease it well with ghee and place the naan on to it.

Put the pan into the oven on the top rack for 2-3 minutes. It should puff up and brown slightly. It will go from browned to burnt quickly, so keep an eye on it.

Once puffed up and browned on one side, flip the naan and place back into the oven until browned, about 1 minute.

To Assemble

Lightly brush the naan with the reserved butter mixture.  Scatter the roasted vegetables around the naan, then position the lamb around and about.  Tuck in a few wedges of fresh goat cheese here and there, then place the naan directly on the center rack of a 500 degree oven and bake until the cheese is soft and the edges of the naan have begun to char.  Remove from oven, dress with torn parsley and a light squeeze of fresh lemon and serve immediately.

Moroccan Spiced Lamb and Couscous with Garlic, Fresh Mint and Preserved Lemon

Local, pastured lamb (Menzie’s Farm, Harper, TX) is ground and tossed with diced onions and freshly-ground ras el hanout, then seared in clarified butter with homemade harissa.  Served over stock-simmered couscous with garlic, fresh mint and Jenny’s  Moroccan preserved lemons..

Moroccan Spiced Lamb & Couscous with Garlic, Fresh Mint and Preserved Lemon

 

For the Ras el Hanout (recipe by Christine Benlafquih)

2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cardamon
2 teaspoons ground mace
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground anise seeds
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Blend all of the spices in a bowl. Transfer to an air-tight glass jar and store in a dry, dark place for up to several months

For the Harissa (recipe by Christine Benlafquih)

12 to 15 dried red chili peppers (approx. 1 1/2 oz. or 100 g)
3 or 4 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon ground cumin (optional)
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander seeds (optional)
1/2 teaspoon ground caraway seeds (optional)
2 to 3 teaspoons lemon juice
olive oil

Remove the seeds from the dried chili peppers and place them in a bowl. Cover them with very hot water and leave to soften for 30 minutes to an hour.

Drain the chili peppers, and gently squeeze out excess water with a paper towel. Using a mortar and pestle (or a blender or mini food processor) grind the chili peppers, garlic, salt and spices to a paste. Add the lemon juice and just enough olive oil to moisten the harissa, or add additional olive oil to thin it.

Store unused harissa in an airtight container in the fridge. For long storage, lightly top the harissa with a little oil before covering.

For the Lamb

1 lb freshly ground lamb
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons clarified butter or ghee
1-1/2 tablespoons harissa

For the Couscous

1 cup couscous (Israeli whole wheat is particularly nice)
2 cups vegetable stock or filtered water
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
half of a Moroccan preserved lemon, diced
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat.  Add the couscous and garlic and stir to coat.  Continue cooking until garlic is soft but not browned, about 3 minutes.

Add stock or water, increase heat and bring to a low boil. Cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add mint, lemon and salt and pepper to taste.  Cover, remove from heat and let stand 8 minutes.  Fluff with a fork before serving.

To Prepare

Heat butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat until shimmering.  Pinch off pieces of lamb about the size and shape of a ping pong ball and sauté in butter until golden brown on all sides.

Stir in harissa and toss to coat.

Place couscous in bowl and arrange lamb over the top.  Pour some of the harissa butter over the top and serve hot with additional ras el hanout, lemon and mint.

Ras El Hanout is a complex, aromatic Moroccan spice blend.  Most recipes include cardamom, nutmeg, anise, mace, cinnamon, ginger, various peppers, and turmeric, but 30 or more ingredients might be used.

Ras El Hanout’s literal translation from Arabic is “head of the shop,” meaning “the best (or top) of the shop.”

Grilled Lamb Sausages with Madras Curry Paste and Sprouted Wheat Naan

Local, pastured lamb is ground with garlic, cumin, sea salt and black pepper, stuffed in a casing and refrigerated overnight before being grilled with yellow onions and green chiles.  Dressed with Madras curry paste with nigella and fresh cilantro, then rolled in sprouted  wheat naan..

Grilled Lamb Sausages with Madras Curry Paste

For the Sausage

1 pound freshly ground lamb shoulder, about 75% lean, cubed
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
about 5 feet lamb casing

Combine lamb, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper together in a bowl. Wrap tightly and refrigerate overnight.  Thoroughly wash and drain casing, then place it onto the sausage maker attachment of a stand mixer.  Grind the meat mixture into the casing, twisting individual sausages off at about 4 inches.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

For the Curry Paste

1/4 cup coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon nigella
1 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground mustard seeds
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 tablespoons ghee
1 tablespoon freshly-grated ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon vinegar
1/4 heavy coconut milk
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, torn

Toast the coriander in a dry skillet, allow to cool, then combine with mustard and chili powder.

Heat ghee in a heavy skillet over medium heat, then fry spice mixture until the butter oil separates, about 5 minutes.  Add vinegar, ginger and garlic and cook 2 minutes.

Add coconut milk and nigella and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes.  Stir in cilantro and remove from heat.

For the Naan

2 cups sprouted wheat flour
1/2 cup organic all-purpose flour
1/4 cup fresh whole milk
3/4 cup plain, whole milk yogurt
1 package yeast
1 teaspoon non-refined sugar
1/4 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 tablespoons ghee, melted

Warm the milk in a saucepan, then pour into a bowl and stir in the yeast.  Allow to stand until frothy, about 10 minutes.

Sift flours, sugar, baking powder and salt into a bowl and form a well in the center.  Slowly add ghee, yogurt and milk and knead until soft and pliable, about 10 minutes. Cover the dough and allow to stand in a warm place until doubled in size, about 2 hours.

Divide the dough into lemon-sized balls, then roll and stretch into the shape of a 1/4 inch-thick teardrop.  Place naan on a large, flat griddle and bake in a 475 degree oven until puffy and slightly crisp, about 2-3 minutes on the 1st side and 1-2 minutes on the 2nd side.

To Assemble

Grill or pan fry sausages until crisp and brown and  the juices run clear, about 15 minutes depending on heat source.  Cook onions and chiles in similar fashion.

Place a sausage into the middle of a small naan and top with curry paste, onions and vegetables. Roll and eat hot dog-style.

Chappal Kebab with Fresh Green Chutney and Almond-Raisin Basmati

Freshly-ground pastured lamb with onions, garlic, chiles and toasted spices is sizzled in cardamom-scented ghee and  served over almond-raisin basmati with a chutney of fresh mint, coriander, ginger and yogurt..

Chappal Kebab with Fresh Green Chutney and Almond-Raisin Basmati

For the Chutney (adapted from a recipe by Madhur Jaffrey)

2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves
2 tablespoons fresh coriander leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh ginger
1/3 cup plain yogurt
1 teaspoon freshly-squeezed lemon juice
sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper

Wash fresh mint and coriander (cilantro) leaves, pat dry and place in the bowl of a food processor along with the ginger, yogurt and lemon juice.  Pulse until finely chopped, then season to taste with salt and pepper.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

For the Rice

1 cup basmati rice
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 tablespoons raisins, chopped
2 tablespoons raw almonds, blanched, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon dried rose hips (optional)
1 teaspoon good curry powder

Cook rice in stock in the normal manner, then add raisins,  almonds, rose hips and curry.  Stir to combine.  Add 1 1/2 tablespoons pan juices from the following recipe just before serving.

Chappal Kebab

1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted
2 teaspoons coriander seeds, toasted
6 cloves
1 tablespoon sweet cinnamon shards
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1/3 of a whole nutmeg

1 pound freshly-ground pastured lamb
1/2 small yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 hot green chiles, minced
2 tablespoons ghee
6 green cardamom pods
1 sprig fresh curry leaves
1 fresh bay leaf

Grind the first 6 ingredients together in a coffee or spice grinder and set aside.

Loosely combine ground lamb together in a bowl with onions, garlic, chiles and ground spices.  Divide mixture into 8 2oz pieces, using your hands to roll each into a not too-tightly packed ball, then set aside.

Heat ghee in a heavy skillet over medium heat until shimmering.  Add cardamom pods, bay and curry leaves and sizzle 2 minutes.  Add lamb and cook until cooked through and crispy-brown on the outside, about 15 minutes.  Briefly set aside to drain, then strain some of the butter & pan juices into the rice.

To serve, spoon rice into the center of a serving dish and arrange lamb over the top.  Dress with chilled green chutney and serve immediately.

Rosemary, Garlic and Black Pepper-Grilled Lamb Chops

Local, pastured lamb is marinated overnight in olive oil, fresh rosemary, garlic and black pepper, then grilled to medium-rare over a smoky wood fire.  Served with crimini mushroom wild rice and grilled yellow tomatoes..

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Lay lamb chops in a glass dish and cover with fresh rosemary, garlic, black pepper and olive oil.  Cover and refrigerate 24 hours, turning once.  Allow to come to room temperature before grilling over a hot, smoky wood fire until just medium rare.  Transfer to a cutting board and allow to stand 5 minutes before serving (they will continue to cook a little). Lightly oil tomatoes and grill until the first split appears.

To prepare wild rice, soak dried crimini mushrooms in hot chicken or vegetable stock for 30 minutes. Transfer mushrooms to a side dish to drain and use the soaking liquid to cook the rice until just tender, about 45-60 minutes.  Melt butter over medium-high heat until shimmering, then sauté until golden brown. Stir into rice and serve hot.