STYLE

Four recipes to start cooking with lamb

03/18/2013 05:00 EDT | Updated 05/17/2013 05:12 EDT
Four recipes to start experimenting with lamb, the forgotten meat:

Moroccan Lamb Stew

The exotic combination of flavours in this stew is a nice complement to the taste of the lamb.

3 ml (3/4 tsp) salt

2 ml (1/2 tsp) pepper

2 ml (1/2 tsp) cinnamon

1 ml (1/4 tsp) allspice

1.6 kg (3 1/2 lbs) lamb shoulder, cut into 2.5-cm (1-in) pieces

30 ml (2 tbsp) olive oil

500 ml (2 cups) onions, chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped

22 ml (1 1/2 tbsp) fresh ginger, minced

325 ml (1 1/3 cups) water

2 large blood oranges, peeled and sectioned

15 ml (1 tbsp) honey

Salt and pepper to taste

50 ml (1/4 cup) fresh parsley, chopped

Mix salt, pepper, cinnamon and allspice in a medium bowl. Add lamb and toss to coat.

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add lamb to pot and saute until brown on all sides. Add onion, garlic and ginger to pot and saute 5 minutes. Add water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer until lamb is tender.

Remove from heat. Add blood oranges and honey. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with parsley and serve.

Makes 4 servings

Source: lambrecipes.ca (Ontario Sheep Marketing Agency)

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Cranberry Orange Lamb Chops

Lamb chops take on a festive air with the addition of cranberries and orange juice.

125 ml (1/2 cup) sugar

250 ml (1 cup) cranberries

50 ml (1/4 cup) orange juice

5 ml (1 tsp) grated orange rind

5 ml (1 tsp) Dijon mustard

Pinch of allspice

6 frenched lamb chops or 4 loin chops, 2.5 cm (1 in) thick

Preheat oven broiler.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar, cranberries, orange juice, rind, Dijon mustard and allspice. Cook until mixture boils and cranberries pop (about 10 to 12 minutes). Set aside.

In a preheated broiler, 10 cm (4 in) from heat, broil lamb chops on one side for 6 minutes. Turn chops and broil 4 minutes longer. Spoon about 20 ml (one generous teaspoonful) of sauce over each chop. Broil for 1 minute longer. Serve extra sauce on the side, along with parsley potatoes and vegetables julienne.

Note: A "frenched" lamb chop or rack of lamb means the meat, cartilage and fat have been removed from between the tips of the rib bones to make for a neater presentation. This can be done at home with a very sharp knife (there are instructions on the Internet) but it is best to buy them that way or to ask your butcher to do it.

Makes 2 servings

Source: lambrecipes.ca (Ontario Sheep Marketing Agency)

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Roasted Rack of Lamb

This elegant meal will impress family or friends at Easter dinner or any special occasion. Like beef, the lamb can be served rare to well done, depending on preference.

125 ml (1/2 cup) fresh bread crumbs

30 ml (2 tbsp) minced garlic

30 ml (2 tbsp) chopped fresh rosemary

5 ml (1 tsp) salt

5 ml (1 tsp) black pepper

60 ml (4 tbsp) olive oil (divided in half)

1 7-bone rack of lamb, trimmed and frenched

15 ml (1 tbsp) Dijon mustard

Move oven rack to the centre position and preheat oven to 230 C (450 F).

In a large bowl, combine bread crumbs, garlic, rosemary, 5 ml (1 tsp) salt and 1 ml (1/4 tsp) pepper. Toss in 30 ml (2 tbsp) olive oil to moisten mixture. Set aside.

Season the rack all over with salt and pepper. Heat 30 ml (2 tbsp) olive oil in a large heavy oven-proof skillet over high heat. Sear rack of lamb for 1 to 2 minutes on all sides. Set aside for a few minutes.

Brush rack of lamb with the mustard. Roll in the bread crumb mixture until evenly coated. Cover the ends of the bones with foil to prevent charring. Arrange the rack bone side down in the skillet. Roast the lamb in preheated oven for 12 to 18 minutes, depending on the degree of doneness you want. With a meat thermometer, take a reading in the centre of the meat after 10 to 12 minutes and remove the meat, or let it cook longer, to your taste. Let it rest for 5 to 7 minutes, loosely covered, before carving between the ribs.

Note: Allow internal temperature to be 5 to 10 degrees F less than you like because the meat will continue to cook while it sits. Bloody rare - 46 to 51 C (115 to 125 F); Rare - 51 to 54 C (125 to 130 F); Medium rare - 54 to 60 C (130 to 140 F); Medium - 60 to 65 C (140 to 150 F).

Makes 4 servings

Source: lambrecipes.ca (Ontario Sheep Marketing Agency)

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Ground Lamb Meatloaf with Pesto and Red Pepper Glaze

You may have to ask your grocery store or butcher for ground lamb but it is a good way to start for people who have not cooked with lamb before. The pesto in this recipe adds a pop of extra flavour throughout the meatloaf and the glaze gives it a sweet zing.

Meatloaf:

1 kg (2 lb) lean ground lamb

1/2 Spanish onion, diced

7 ml (1/2 tbsp) cracked black pepper

10 ml (2 tsp) cumin

2 eggs

175 ml (3/4 cup) breadcrumbs

Pesto:

30 ml (2 tbsp) mustard seeds

30 ml (2 tbsp) fresh dill (or 15 ml/1 tbsp dried)

30 ml (2 tbsp) extra virgin olive oil

5 ml (1 tsp) sea salt

For pesto: Put the mustard seeds, fresh dill, oil and salt in a mortar and pestle and "grind" to make a chunky paste-like mixture. (Use a food processor if you do not have a mortar and pestle.) Set aside.

For meatloaf: Preheat oven to 200 C (400 F).

In a bowl, gently mix with your hands the lamb, onion, pepper, cumin, eggs and breadcrumbs until just incorporated. Don't over-mix the meat as it will make the meatloaf dry and tough.

Transfer the meatloaf mixture into a shallow pan. The meat should be wider than it is tall. Spread the pesto over the top of the shaped meat. Put meatloaf into the hot oven on the middle rack. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 68 C (155 F). Remove from oven and allow the meatloaf to rest about 10 minutes.

While the meatloaf is cooking prepare the red pepper glaze:

Glaze:

15 ml (1 tbsp) oil

125 ml (1/2 cup) onions, diced

125 ml (1/2 cup) red peppers, diced

250 ml (1 cup) red pepper jelly

125 ml (1/2 cup) beef stock

Heat a heavy skillet to medium-high. Add oil, onions, red pepper and saute until onions begin to brown. Add the red pepper jelly, stirring until the jelly melts down. Add stock and reduce heat, cook until mixture has reduced and slightly thickened.

Slice the meatloaf, and pour warm red pepper glaze over each slice of meatloaf and serve.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Chef Jeff Suddaby

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