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

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Grilled Lamb Skewers with Roasted Carrots

These grilled lamb skewers are made with tender marinated leg of lamb chunks, cooked over high heat in a grill pan, then left to rest on sweet roasted young spring carrots. A sprinkle of feta and mint lend even more flavor and just the right touch of saltiness to this flavorful dish.

A number of years ago, when we were living in Kuala Lumpur, I had a friend who would buy the organic new baby carrots, greens still attached, that would turn up on occasion in one of our grocery stores. They weren’t cheap but she said that they were worth the splurge. As much as I like carrots, I didn’t imagine that she could be correct. Who would pay that much – don’t remember the exact amount except that it seemed like a lot – for carrots? Not me. After all, how special could they be?

Last week I decided that a simple spring vegetable minestrone would be the perfect recipe to share on the Sunday Supper Movement website for today’s Welcome Spring event, and since it was for the website and not just this little blog, I did splurge. I bought freshly hulled peas, fine French beans, baby zucchini, baby leeks and tiny corn on the cob along with a large bunch of spring carrots, greens still attached. Such a pot of sweet wonderfulness.

I used just a couple of the carrots in the soup so I started looking for another recipe to show off the rest. My original plan for this post was simply spring lamb but when I came across a recipe on Bon Appétit for lamb skewers with carrots, it seemed like kismet. (Which comes from the Arabic word for fate, by the way.)

Of course, Bon Appétit being Bon Appétit, the dish was complicated with two marinades and then a dressing, so I simplified it down to one marinade for the lamb and a mere sprinkling of feta and mint for the finished dish. Ain’t nobody got time for all that. I can’t imagine how this could be improved upon. It was perfect in every way and the carrots were fabulous. Sweet, tender and with such wonderful flavor. Now I know what my friend was talking about! Next time I make this, I will double the carrots so I suggest you do too. I’ve already been back to the store and bought another bunch.

Ingredients to serve 2-3
For the spring lamb skewers:
1 lb 3oz or 540g leg lamb chunks

For the lamb marinade:
2 large garlic cloves
1 small red chili pepper
2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary
1/4 cup or 60ml dry white wine
1 teaspoon large grain sea salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup or 60ml olive oil

For the oven roasted spring carrots:
9 1/3 oz or 265g spring carrots
1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (a good drizzle to coat)
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

To serve:
8-10 fresh mint leaves
2 oz or 57g crumbled feta
Freshly ground black pepper

Cut the lamb into bite-sized pieces and put them in a Ziploc bag.

Mince your garlic and red chili pepper. Strip the rosemary leaves off of the stems and chop them finely.

Add all the marinade ingredients into a mixing bowl up to and including the black pepper, then whisk in the olive oil until well blended.

Pour the marinade into the bag with the lamb. Mix it around until the lamb is well coated, then press all of the air out and seal. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes but you can also make this early in the day and leave it marinating till you are ready to cook dinner. Mine marinated about three hours.

To roast the carrots, preheat your oven to 400°F or 200°C.

Scrub the carrots well and cut the long tops of the greens off. You can leave on a little bit for color, if desired. If some of the carrots are thicker than the others, cut them in half lengthwise.

Pile the carrots on a baking pan, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Then spread them out so they aren't touching each other.

Roast in the preheated oven until lovely and golden and caramelized, turning once in the middle of roasting time of about 20-25 minutes.

Thread your lamb onto wooden skewers cut to fit snugly in your grill pan. Discard the bag with the marinade.

Heat the pan over high heat. You’ll need to turn your extractor fan on or perhaps even open a window because this is going to smoke. But it’s going to be fast and worth it, I promise.

Once your pan is scorching hot, lay four of the lamb skewers in it, quickly searing one side. You don’t want to crowd the grill pan so don’t try to cook them all at once.

Cook for 2-3 minutes on that side, then turn and cook the other side for another 2-3 minutes.

This will leave your small bites of lamb still pink inside. If you want them done more, cook for another minute or two on each side. I encourage you to leave them pink inside though, because they will be more tender.

As you remove the cooked lamb from the grill pan, rest the skewers on the roasted carrots.

Continue until all of your lamb skewers are done and are resting on the carrots. Give the whole pan another few grinds of fresh black pepper.

Crumble the feta and rip the mint leaves onto the lamb and carrots.


Who is ready to welcome spring with me? My Sunday Supper family sure is. Check out all the lovely spring recipes they are sharing today!

Main Dishes:
Side Dishes:


Sunday, March 27, 2016

Slow-Cooked Lamb Shoulder with Roasted Vegetables

You can’t beat lamb shoulder, slow roasted with loads of vegetables, rosemary and garlic. It practically falls off the bone, the succulent lamb is so tender. I promise you won't even need a knife.

This week my Sunday Supper group is joyously celebrating a wedding we wish we could really attend, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, the sequel to one of our favorite movies. It’s been a long time coming! When the theme for this week was first announced, all I could think about was the quote from Aunt Voula, and one of my favorite scenes from the first movie.
Aunt Voula: What do you mean he don't eat no meat?
[the entire room stops, in shock]
Aunt Voula: Oh, that's okay. I make lamb.
So I had to make lamb. We eat lamb a minimum of three to four times a month at our house, either roasted leg or shoulder, lamb steaks, lamb patties with mashed potatoes and gravy, not to mention grilled lamb chops. This dish is one of our favorites and would make a great main course for Greek Orthodox Easter Sunday which will be celebrated on May 1st this year.

Make sure you scroll down and check out the link list of all the other My Big Fat Greek Wedding-inspired dishes we are sharing today, along with our talented host, Nichole from Casa de Crews. What a fabulous Greek wedding feast this would be!

Adapted from

2 purple onions (approx. weight 9 oz or 255g)
3 carrots (approx. weight 9 oz or 255g)
2- 3 stalks celery (approx. weight 3 3/4 oz or 105g)
Few sprigs fresh thyme
5-6 fresh rosemary sprigs, plus 1 for garnish, if desired
Olive oil
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
5 lb 10 oz or 2.55kg lamb shoulder, bone in
2 1/3 oz or 65g cloves garlic (about 15)
2 red chili peppers (optional but we love the hint of spice that infuses the whole dish)
4 ripe tomatoes (approx. weight 11 oz or 312g)
2 cans – 14oz or 400g – whole plum tomatoes
1 2/3 cups or 375ml drinkable red wine (half a bottle)
2 bay leaves
1 large leek (approx. weight 14 oz or 400g, before trimming)

Preheat your oven to 400°F or 200°C and make sure the shelves are positioned so that you put a pan with a big lamb shoulder in it. I use my large Le Creuset roaster so I put the shelf almost at the bottom to leave room for the cover and its round handle.

Peel the onions and carrots. Quarter the onions. Cut the carrots and celery into bite-sized pieces.

Strip the leaves off of your thyme and sprinkle half of them into the bottom of a large roasting pan, along with a good drizzle of olive oil, a couple of sprigs of rosemary and a good pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Season the bottom of your lamb shoulder with more salt and pepper and lay it on the herb bed.

Use a sharp paring knife to poke holes in the top of the lamb shoulder, then stuff these holes with a quarter or half a clove of garlic (depending on the size of your clove) and a few rosemary leaves.

Give the whole thing a good sprinkle of salt, fresh ground black pepper. Add on the other half of the thyme leaves and a generous drizzle of olive oil.

Add the onions, celery and chili peppers around the lamb shoulder.

Chop your tomatoes in large pieces and add them to the pot along with the carrots.

Pour in the canned tomatoes, along with half a can of water and the rest of the garlic cloves.

Pour in the wine and then tuck the bay leaves down in between the vegetables.

Thoroughly clean the leek, cut off and discard the hard green end, and then chop the white part into small cylinders. Add these to the pot.

Cover the roasting pan tightly with a double layer of heavy-duty foil or its tight fitting cover and put it into the oven. Turn down the oven temperature to 325°F or 170°C and cook for about three hours.

Remove the cover or the foil, baste the lamb shoulder with the juice in the pan or drizzle with a little more olive oil.  Cook for another 30 minutes or until the lamb is nicely browned and falling off the bone.

You can gently remove some of the bones before putting it on the table for folks to help themselves or pull it apart for them in the kitchen.

Either way, serve it with some crusty bread to sop up all the juices. Or over the top of some mashed potatoes.


Have you seen My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 yet? It just opened in the cinemas here in Dubai but I haven’t had a chance go yet so I am going to have to just console myself with some movie-inspired dishes instead. Won’t you join me?

Greek Appetizers:
Greek Soups:
Greek Breakfast:
Greek Main Dishes:
Greek Side Dishes:
Greek Desserts:
Greek Beverages:


Sunday, March 13, 2016

Persian Lamb Meatballs

Tart barberries give these lamb meatballs or koofteh berenji a subtle edge, mellowed by the addition of lentils and rice. This is a tasty one-pot meal to feed a hungry family.

This week Sunday Supper is celebrating National Meatball Day, albeit just a little late. My attitude is that anytime is a good time for meatballs, and I’m sure our host this week, Sue of Palatable Pastime, would agree. Almost 50 Sunday Supper tastemakers certainly do! Make sure scroll down to check out the link list below for an amazing array of meatball recipes.

A couple of years ago, when my sister and a friend were visiting me here in Dubai, we went on a foodie tour with Frying Pan Adventures, something I would highly recommend to anyone who travels here and has an interest in foods of the world. One of the stops was a lovely little shop that sold all manner of Persian and Arabic ingredients, including barberries. I had never heard of barberries so, of course, I had to buy some. They are used in many traditional Iranian dishes, especially rice pilaf and lend both a tart flavor and a beautiful ruby highlights.

This meatball recipe is adapted from one in Delicious. magazine’s March 2015 edition.

For the meatballs:
3/4 cup or 150g basmati rice
1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more for seasoning
Scant 1/2 cup or 100g green lentils
1 lb 1 1/2 oz or 495g ground lamb
Small bunch parsley
Small bunch cilantro
3 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
1 large onion
2 handfuls dried barberries, stems picked out and discarded, if any are present
3 eggs
Black pepper

For the sauce:
Olive oil for frying
1 large onion
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
3 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons tomato purée
14 oz or 400g can chopped tomatoes

To serve:
Chopped green onions or more cilantro and parsley
Plain yogurt

Finely chop your parsley and cilantro. Chop one onion finely and slice the other as thinly as you can manage. Finely mince the garlic or put it through a garlic press.

Bring one liter or 4 1/4 cups water to the boil in a large pot. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and add in the rice. Boil for seven minutes then drain the rice and set aside to cool.

Repeat the process with the lentils but reduce the heat to medium after you add them to the boiling, salted water and cook for 20-25 minutes, or until the lentils are just cooked. Drain, rinse and set aside to cool.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooled rice, lentils, ground lamb, herbs, flour, turmeric, and a generous sprinkling of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Shape the mixture into 12 large meatballs. Traditionally, they should be rugby ball-shaped but I made mine round.

Drizzle a few tablespoons of olive oil into a large deep saucepan with a lid and gently fry the sliced onions until they soften and start to color slightly.

Add in the teaspoon of ground turmeric and the garlic and fry for a few more minutes.

Pour 1 liter or 4 1/4 cups water into the saucepan then add in the tomato purée and stir well. Sprinkle on some more fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Add the can of chopped tomatoes and bring to the boil, then turn the fire down to a medium heat. Carefully add the meatballs to the pan, one by one.

Partially cover the pan with the lid, leaving it slightly ajar, and cook the meatballs for 1 1/4-1 1/2 hours.

Once the cooking time is done, taste and add more salt and pepper, if necessary. Sprinkle on some chopped green onions. Serve with yogurt and flatbread.


You might also like my Sopa de Albondigas, Easy Meatballs á la Jamie Oliver, Porcupine Balls or my grandmother's favorite spaghetti sauce with meatballs.

And here are all the wonderful Sunday Supper recipes:

Meatball Appetizers and Soup
Main Dish Meatballs
Meatball Desserts

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Irish Lamb Stew

Lamb shoulder is one of the tougher cuts so it is perfect for stewing, becoming melt-in-your-mouth tender as it simmers, creating its own rich gravy flavored by thyme, onion and garlic. Add in some Irish whiskey and lemon juice to brighten the whole pot. 

This week my Sunday Supper group is throwing a Spring Fling to celebrate spring recipes and my thoughts went immediately to lamb. It is the meat of choice in many cultures and countries for spring, as the weather starts to warm and the lambing begins.

We eat a lot of lamb at our house, whatever the season. It’s funny because in my growing up home, we never ate lamb. My grandmother thought it was too strong in flavor and she passed that prejudice on to my mother. It wasn’t until I started dating my British husband, that I discovered the delight of lamb and embraced the baaaah, as we used bleat when discussing lamb. Mom also didn’t like goat cheese for the longest time because she said she could taste the goat. My mother is a most adventurous eater, as I’ve written about here, so I am pleased to say that she got past her own childhood embargoes and will now eat both goat cheese and lamb chops. I am still working on her for leg of lamb or shoulder.

This stew starts with browning the lamb shoulder then adding onions, garlic and celery, along with Irish whiskey and lemon juice to the sticky pan. Then a long slow simmer makes sure that the meat is falling off the bones. When the nights are cold, as they still are in the frozen north of the US - never mind that we have passed the first official day of spring and it’s still SNOWING as I type this in Providence, Rhode Island - this dish will fill the kitchen with fragrant aromas and warm you, body and soul.

2.25 kg or almost 3 1/2 lb lamb shoulder, cut in thick slices
Flakey sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil
1 large onion
2-3 stalks celery
3 cloves garlic
Handful sprigs fresh thyme plus more for garnishing before serving, if desired
1/4 cup or 60ml Irish whiskey
2 tablespoons or 30ml fresh lemon juice
3 medium sized potatoes or more to stretch your lamb to feed more people
1-2 medium sized carrots or more to stretch your lamb to feed more people

Season your lamb shoulder on both sides with a good sprinkling of salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Dice your onion, celery and garlic.

Pan-fry the lamb in a little olive oil, just a few pieces at a time, so you don’t crowd the pan and they can brown well.

Remove them to a plate and continuing pan-frying until all the lamb is well browned on both sides.

Add the onions, celery and garlic to the pan and give it a good stir.

Cook for a few minutes over a medium flame and then add in the whiskey and the lemon juice. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to make sure all the sticky bits on the pan are loosened.

Add the lamb back to the pan, along with any meat juices that have accumulated on the plate.

Toss in a few sprigs of thyme and cover the pot with a tight fitting lid.

Simmer, covered for at least an hour, but, really, you could leave it for two, checking the liquid level occasionally and adding in a little water if it looks like the stew is going dry.

Meanwhile, peel your potatoes and carrots and cut them into chunks. Keep them in a bowl of cool water until you are ready to add them to the pan.

When the lamb is tender, drain the potatoes and carrots and add them to the pan. Give the whole thing a good stir to coat the potatoes and carrot with the pan juices. Sprinkle with a little more salt and pepper and add some water to almost cover the meat, if more liquid is needed.

Cover your pot again and simmer another hour or so. Check the salt and pepper and add more if necessary. Garnish with a few more sprigs of thyme, if desired.

I always serve my lamb stew over white rice because I may not have been raised on lamb but rice and gravy was a childhood staple. In this, my grandmother would have been in complete agreement. Nothing better for a still chilly spring Sunday Supper than rice and a rich gravy.

I must confess that I also chose to share this recipe because lamb stew is one of my husband's favorite dishes. It's our 29th wedding anniversary today and although I am in Providence making new memories with our daughters, it is never far from my mind that I owe all of this to him. All of it.


Are you ready for spring? I’ve got plenty of recipe inspiration for you today, along with our fabulous hosts, Valerie from Lifestyle Food Artistry and D.B. from Crazy Foodie Stunts and the Supper Sunday crew.



Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Keema (Spicy Lamb Stuffed) Naan

Keema Naan - spicy lamb cooked with peas and carrots stuffed into soft dough and cooked in a non-stick pan - makes a wonderful starter or can even star in a meal rounded out by a crunchy side salad or cucumber raita.

Food Lust People Love: Keema Naan - spicy lamb cooked with peas and carrots stuffed into soft dough and cooked in a non-stick pan - makes a wonderful starter or can even star in a meal rounded out by a crunchy side salad or cucumber raita.

This month’s Twelve Loaves challenge was to create a bread with herbs but I decided to take that one step farther along the herbaceous road and use cilantro in my dough AND in a stuffing, making a savory keema naan with ground lamb and curry spices. This is perfect summer food, cut into wedges as a starter for a party, or to take along for a picnic. I don’t have a tandoor – nor would I want to hover over one in this heat – but, though far from traditional, a non-stick pan with a tight-fitting lid works beautifully.

Many thanks to our host this month, the delightful Sherron of Simply Gourmet. If you haven’t met her yet, you need to stop on by. I love her honest life storytelling as much as I enjoy her beautiful recipes.

Note: I’ve given approximate weights for some of the ingredients in the filling, just to give you an idea of the size of my tomato, for example. Don’t dwell on this too much. A little more or a little less will not make a difference. It’s all going to cook down anyway.

Keema (Spicy Lamb Stuffed) Naan

Most folks are familiar with naan, a soft yeast dough traditionally brushed with butter or ghee and baked to brown-spotted perfection in a tandoor or cylindrical oven. A few charred bits are considered essential. Just as traditional but less well known in the western world are variations like keema naan, which is stuffed with seasoned ground meat, or Kashmiri naan, stuffed with nuts and raisins.

For the dough:
1 cup or 240ml tepid water
1 1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 level teaspoons or one 7g sachet dried yeast
1/2 cup or 125g active natural yoghurt at room temperature
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup or 125g strong bread flour
3 cups or 375g plain white flour
Small bunch cilantro or fresh coriander (about 3/4 oz or 20g)

For the filling:
Olive oil
7 oz or 200g ground (minced) lamb (Beef can be substituted.)
1 thumb-sized knob of fresh ginger (about 1 oz or 30g)
6 garlic cloves
1 fresh hot red chili pepper
1 medium-sized tomato (about 3 1/2 oz or 100g)
1 small carrot (about 2 oz or 55g)
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 cup or 70g frozen peas, thawed
3/4 or 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
Small bunch cilantro or fresh coriander (about 3/4 oz or 20g)

To cook the keema naan:
4 tablespoons melted unsalted butter or ghee (clarified butter)

Add the sugar and warm water into a big mixing bowl with the yeast and allow it to sit for a few minutes until it gets foamy. If it doesn’t get foamy, you need to start again with new yeast.

Cut the hard stems off of your cilantro and chop the leaves and tender stems finely.

When the yeast water is all foamy, add in the bread flour and stir well.

Add in the yogurt and salt and mix well again.

Now add in the chopped cilantro. And you know the drill: Mix well.

Add the rest of the flour, a little at a time until you have a nice medium firm dough. You should be able to poke a finger in like the Pillsbury Dough Boy commercial and it'll slowly puff back out. You may not use all of the regular flour.

Knead the dough for several minutes, either by hand or with a dough hook, until it is smooth and elastic. Set aside to rest for 30 minutes in a covered bowl, somewhere warm.

Meanwhile, peel and mince your garlic and ginger. Mince your red chili pepper. Dice your carrot into tiny cubes and chop your tomato. If your peas are still frozen, go ahead and take them out of the freezer to thaw.

As before, cut the hard stems off of your cilantro and chop the leaves and tender stems finely.

To make the filling, drizzle a little olive oil in the your pan and add the lamb. Cook it over a medium heat, breaking the lamb into tiny crumbly bits. If the pieces are too large, they will try to break through your naan when we get to the rolling out stage. Keep cooking the lamb until it is nicely browned and kind of crispy in places.

Add in the garlic, ginger and chili pepper. Cook until these soften, stirring often.

I kept mashing the meat, even at this stage, so the bits were smaller by the time this finished cooking.

Now add in the carrot and tomato, plus the cayenne and curry powder.

Cook for a few minutes and then add about a half a cup or 120ml water. Cover the pan and simmer this mixture for about 20-25 minutes. Stir the pan occasionally.

After the time is up, remove the lid and add the peas. Cook for a little while longer, until the peas are hot and all the moisture has evaporated.

Add in the salt and stir.

Mine seemed a little greasy so I drained the mixture on some paper towels. If your lamb wasn’t very fatty, you might not need this step.

Add the chopped cilantro to the mixture and stir well. I tipped mine off the paper towel and into a bowl to stir. Allow the mixture time to cool a little.

Your dough should be a nice puffy ball now! Knead it again and then divide it into four reasonably equal balls.

On a floured surface, flatten one of the balls and then roll it out into a circle of about five inches or 12cm across.

Spoon one quarter of the filling into the middle. Draw each side up to connect at the top, trying hard not to trap any air inside. Pinch the sides together and then set the ball aside, pinched side down, to rest.

Continue until all four balls are stuffed and resting. Sprinkle them with flour and cover with a tea cloth. Set your timer for 30 minutes and let them continue to rest.

When the time is up, melt your butter and start heating a non-stick skillet over a medium heat on the stove.

Gently roll out each ball to about 7 inches or 18cm in diameter. Brush lightly with the melted butter.

Place butter side down in the heated pan. Cook for just a couple of minutes until you see browning happen when you check the bottom side, then cover with a lid for a further few minutes.

Remove the lid and wipe the condensation dry with a towel.  Brush the top of the naan with melted butter. It should be puffy from the yeast dough rising in the heat.

Food Lust People Love: Keema Naan - spicy lamb cooked with peas and carrots stuffed into soft dough and cooked in a non-stick pan - makes a wonderful starter or can even star in a meal rounded out by a crunchy side salad or cucumber raita.

Now turn the naan over. Cook uncovered for a few minutes or until you see that the bottom is browning again.

Food Lust People Love: Keema Naan - spicy lamb cooked with peas and carrots stuffed into soft dough and cooked in a non-stick pan - makes a wonderful starter or can even star in a meal rounded out by a crunchy side salad or cucumber raita.
This was the first side down.
Pop the dry lid on and cook for a few more minutes until the naan is cooked through and golden on both sides. You can flip it back and forth if you need to. Keep drying the condensation off the inside of the lid so that the naan stays crispy on the outside. We want dry heat, not steaming, to go on in that pan.

Food Lust People Love: Keema Naan - spicy lamb cooked with peas and carrots stuffed into soft dough and cooked in a non-stick pan - makes a wonderful starter or can even star in a meal rounded out by a crunchy side salad or cucumber raita.
This was the second side down.

Repeat the process for the other three balls. You can keep the finished naan warm in a slow oven until they are all done, but these are great at room temperature as well. In fact, I ate leftovers cold the next day, straight from the refrigerator. Divine.

Cut the keema naan into wedges for serving. Serve this with some cucumber raita. That would be a very good thing.

Food Lust People Love: Keema Naan - spicy lamb cooked with peas and carrots stuffed into soft dough and cooked in a non-stick pan - makes a wonderful starter or can even star in a meal rounded out by a crunchy side salad or cucumber raita.


If your garden is growing herbs like weeds this season, you’ll want to make a few of our wonderful herby breads! We have a great selection for you this month.

Pin it! 

Food Lust People Love: Keema Naan - spicy lamb cooked with peas and carrots stuffed into soft dough and cooked in a non-stick pan - makes a wonderful starter or can even star in a meal rounded out by a crunchy side salad or cucumber raita.