I hope you like lamb

 

I’m not a serious meat person, but the thought of a lamb chop always makes me excited. We never had lamb for dinner in either of the homes I grew up in. Instead, I was raised on chicken, beef and turkey with the occasional veal cutlet and fish thrown in. Trying lamb for the first time was a taste-bud meltdown. (The same is true for duck!) The thing I love the most about lamb is its simplicity and fat content. Lamb is so flavorful on it’s own, that there’s not much more you need to do to it.

Here are three pretty simple recipes for lamb: Simple Lamb Sliders, Oliveri Lamb Stew and Lamb Chops with Apricot Compote. MMM. Enjoy!

SIMPLE LAMB SLIDERS
Sometimes you want to cook a meal in 10 minutes. You’re tired, cranky and not in the mood to mince garlic, measure out herbs and unload the fridge, but, you also want pizazz. Well, then this recipe is for you. I personally think lamb is good enough on it’s own without seasoning, just be sure to splurge on a good-quality, fresh ground lamb. It’ll be a little pricey, but well worth the extra cash. You’ll need:

Ground lamb
English muffins (whole-grain-it-up for your <3) or typical mini hamburger buns
Apricot jam (or a chutney of your liking)
Onions
Olive Oil

1. Form the lamb into small 1/4 inch balls and smash together while you heat up a portable grill (godbless my George Foreman) or use a real one if you have it.

2. Heat up olive oil (1-2 tbsp) in a small frying pan. Chop some onion into long slivers. Once the oil is ready, throw in the onions and caramelize.

3. Grill the lamb to your liking.

3. Toast the English muffin. Once done, top with a thin layer of apricot jam or chutney. Fix the lamb on top and then put some caramelized onions on it. Delish.

Serve it alongside fresh arugula with balsamic oil and you’ve got a complete meal.

OLIVERI LAMB STEW

This is a quintessential wintry fall stew, so bookmark it for a cold, rainy day (which we probably won’t have here in California for another eight months…)

My friend Steven made this for me about three years ago and it changed my life. Steven is one of the best chefs & bakers I know, and I wish he’d put together a food blog of his own so we could all cook a little better.  This is his recipe verbatim, so thank you Steven!!

1 lb fresh green beans
1/4 C olive oil
3 lbs lamb shoulder, cut into 2 in cubes
1/2 C chopped onion
salt
pepper
1/2 C red wine vinegar (good quality)

1. Trim, wash, and drain beans.

2. In large pot, heat olive oil on medium high. When hot, brown meat deeply on all sides. ( several pieces at a time so as not to crowd the pot… ) Then transfer meat to a plate.

3. After all meat is browned and on the plate… cook the onion in the pot until its a pale gold color. Return lamb to pot. Add salt, pepper, and the vinegar. Bring the vinegar to a brisk simmer for about 30 seconds, turning the meat and scraping loose browning residues from the bottom and sides of the pot. turn the heat down to cook at a slow simmer. Add the green beans and cover the pot. Lid slightly ajar.

4. Cook for about 1 1/2 hours until the meat is very tender.

Lamb Chops with Apricot Compote

Saw this in a magazine a few years ago and tried it. Turned out to be really scrumptious. Sorry for the kind of gross-looking photo– took this picture before starting the food blog.

1/2 cup apricot preserves
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 teaspoon soy sauce (low sodium)
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cinnamon (ground)
1/8 tsp black pepper
lamb chops, trimmed

1. Combine the first four ingredients (apricot, mustard, garlic & soy sauce).
2. Combine the salt, cinnamon and pepper and sprinkle over lamb on both sides.
3. Heat a large skillet and then spray with Pam or cooking spray.
4. Cook lamb for apprx. 5 minutes on each side (or however well-done or not well-done you like it)
5. Add the apricot, lowering the heat to the lowest setting. Let it cook for another minute.

I served this with carrots cooked in olive oil and some fresh bread fried in the skillet with a tiny bit of olive oil and garlic.

Now I’m in the mood for a little Lamb Chop’s Playalong! Did anyone else grow up with this show? Love it.

“Bounce your bottom in your chair!”

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