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Braised Lamb Neck Stew over Polenta

April 4, 2014 - Written by Diana

Braised Lamb Neck Stew Over Polenta - Cookerati

The lamb neck is often an overlooked piece of lamb that people don’t ask their butcher for. I went to a lamb cutting class and when asked which part of the lamb was the favorite, I don’t remember what my response was, but I remember the response of another person, because he said lamb neck.  The butcher said it was one of the lower costing and under-valued. My Braised Lamb Neck Stew Over Polenta is a delicious way to prepare this under utilized part of the lamb that is so delicious.

Lamb neck is a very fatty piece, with a lot of bones, because of this the meat is full of flavor. It also means, that it’s more of a stew piece instead of a steak or thick roast. After you cook it, you have to wade in with your fingers, pull the meat out and the bones and also drain all of the grease to get to the flavor filled stock.  It’s a bit of work, but really worth it. I served it over polenta this time, but a nice root vegetable mash or potato mash would be great. Serving it over a nice thick Sourdough would work well for sopping up that great gravy.

This is not a quick and easy worknight meal.  You can put it into the crockpot, but the meat has to cool, so that you won’t burn your fingers. The gravy will need to cool a little also before you whirl it around in the food processor.

Braised Lamb Neck Stew over Polenta
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Lamb Neck is an often forgotten but very economical piece of meat that is great for stew.
Author:
Recipe type: Lamb Neck Stew over Polenta
Cuisine: American
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 lamb neck
  • 3 tbs cooking oil
  • 1 onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • ½ tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 2 tsp paprka
  • 1 pint lamb or chicken broth
  • 4 carrots sliced into 3 inch pieces
  • 2 large turnips quartered
  • 3 large tomatoes (or a can of stewed tomatoes)
  • 1 cup of red wine
  • (as needed)
  • 1 cup of water
  • cumin
  • all spice
  • garlic
  • pepper
  • paprika
Instructions
  1. Using a dutch oven, heat the cooking oil.
  2. Sear all sides of the lamb neck.
  3. Throw onions, garlic, sprinkle with cumin, all spice, ginger and paprika.
  4. When the onions are soft, add 1 pint broth and simmer for about an hour.
  5. Add in the carrots, turnips and tomatoes and simmer until the vegetables and soft and the meat is ready to come apart.
  6. Place the meat on a plate to cool so that you can work with it.
  7. Place the cooked vegetables (except tomatoes and onions) in a bowl with a cover.
  8. Drain the stock into a gravy separator.
  9. Using the wine deglaze the dutch oven and turn the heat off.
  10. Pour the gravy without the grease into a food processor along with the tomatoes and onions or use an immersion blender to make the sauce smooth.
  11. Add water to thin and spices to taste and return to dutch oven if you used a food processor.
  12. Pull the meat off the lamb neck and discard the fat and bones then add the meat to the dutch oven.
  13. Slice the turnips and carrots into smaller bite size pieces and add to the dutch oven.
  14. Simmer on low the vegetables, lamb neck meat and sauce.
  15. Prepare the polenta.
  16. Boil 4 cups water.
  17. Add in cornmeal.
  18. Stir until the cornmeal seems suspended and no longer falls to the bottom of the pot.
  19. Place lid on and give it a stir every so often until thickened.
  20. Ladle the polenta into a bowl, place a serving of lamb neck stew over the center.

 

Rosemary-Date Crusted Rack of Lamb

March 28, 2013 - Written by Diana

Serving Lamb for Easter has become a tradition in my home, and every year we knock it out of the park.  One of my favorite pairings with lamb is dried fruit and wine.  I ground up dates and added stonefruit vodka and rosemary to create a paste.  After baking in the oven, the paste set up into a crust that was chewy and went well with the lamb rack chops. Really yummy! The photo is awful – I can’t go back and fix it – but you can probably see how the crust set up.

 

Date and Rosemary Encrusted Rack of Lamb

 

Ingredients:

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375.

In the magic bullet or another food processor – drop in the dates, garlic, shallot, and alcohol.  Pulse until smooth.  Add olive oil to thin out.  We want a liquidy paste.  Not too thick or thin.  Easily spreadable, but not sliding off.  Add half of the rosemary, salt and pepper, and pulse more.

Salt the outside of the lamb and sear in a hot pan- use one that can go into the oven, or use one pan for the stove and another casserole pan for the oven.

Slice down part way between the chops about one third of the way down.  You want to stuff the date mixture down into the lamb and cover the whole outside top of the rack. Chop fine the rest of the rosemary and sprinkle over top. I forgot to cover the bones with aluminum to keep it from burning and for the photo – I also forgot to sprinkle the rosemary over top this time.

Place in the oven and using a meat thermometer pull out when the rack temp is about 140.  Let it sit for 15 minutes to rest and so the temp can come up a little.

 

 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
1 rack of lamb prepped for cooking Large handful of dates 1 cup stonefruit OYO vodka (or plum wine) 5 cloves garlic peeled 1 shallot diced Rosemary Salt & Pepper Olive Oil
Author:
Serves: 3
Ingredients
  • 1 rack of lamb prepped for cooking
  • Large handful of dates
  • 1 cup stonefruit OYO vodka (or plum wine)
  • 5 cloves garlic peeled
  • 1 shallot diced
  • Rosemary
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Olive Oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. In the magic bullet or another food processor – drop in the dates, garlic, shallot, and alcohol.
  3. Pulse until smooth.
  4. Add olive oil to thin out.
  5. We want a liquidy paste, not too thick or thin-easily spreadable, but not sliding off. Add half of the rosemary, salt and pepper, and pulse more.
  6. Salt the outside of the lamb and sear in a hot pan- use one that can go into the oven, or use one pan for the stove and another casserole pan for the oven.
  7. Slice down part way between the chops about one third of the way down.
  8. You want to stuff the date mixture down into the lamb and cover the whole outside top of the rack.
  9. Chop fine the rest of the rosemary and sprinkle over top.
  10. Place in the oven and using a meat thermometer pull out when the rack temp is about 140.
  11. Let it sit for 15 minutes to rest and so the temp can come up a little.
Notes
I forgot to cover the bones with aluminum to keep it from burning and for the photo – I also forgot to sprinkle the rosemary over top this time.

 

Rosemary & Garlic Roasted Rack of Lamb

March 26, 2013 - Written by Diana

A rack of lamb makes an elegant display for a special meal.  It’s not difficult to prepare, but you have to watch to make sure it’s not overcooked.  The display of lollipop chops on top of polenta or even mashed potatoes is a great way to serve it individually as well.  This is a savory presentation of a rack – and one of our favorite ways to eat it.

Rosemary-Garlic Rack of Lamb Roast

Ingredients:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Your butcher should trim the rack, so that it’s ready to cook.  Sear the rack on all sides to seal the juices in.  Place all of the other ingredients into a bowl and mix well.  Then with a basting brush or your fingers, spread the herbs & spices all over all sides of the rack.  Place in a roasting pan (ours was a glass pan).  Wrap foil on the chop bones so that they don’t burn.  I used one piece cover all the bones, but you could wrap them individually if you like.

Place the roast in the oven – it should cook about 20 minutes per lb.  Check the middle of the roast with the meat thermometer, it should read about 140-145  for medium – take it out earlier if you want it less cooked.  With any roast, the ends will be cooked more than the middle.  Let it stand for ten to 15 minutes for the juices to settle.

Slice the lamb down between the chops to separate and serve.

This was so yummy good, we love garlic and rosemary together.

Rosemary & Garlic Roasted Rack of Lamb
 
This is an easy but delicious (and impressive) main dish.
Author:
Recipe type: Dinner
Ingredients
  • I Frenched Rack of Lamb
  • 2 – 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tbs of fresh rosemary (or dried)
  • 2 tsp ground thyme
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. The roast was trimmed in class, and ready to be used.
  3. Sear the rack on all sides to seal the juices in.
  4. Place all of the other ingredients into a bowl and mix well.
  5. Then with a basting brush or your fingers, spread the herbs & spices all over all sides of the rack.
  6. Place in a roasting pan (ours was a glass pan).
  7. Wrap foil on the chop bones so that they don’t burn.
  8. I used one piece cover all the bones, but you could wrap them individually if you like.
  9. Place the roast in the oven – it should cook about 20 minutes per lb.
  10. Check the middle of the roast with the meat thermometer, it should read about 140-145 for medium – take it out earlier if you want it less cooked.
  11. With any roast, the ends will be cooked more than the middle.
  12. Let it stand for ten to 15 minutes for the juices to settle.
  13. Slice the lamb down between the chops to separate and serve.

 

 

Lamb Cabbage Rolls – Battle Cabbage

February 29, 2012 - Written by Diana

I met some really cool foodbloggers in Cicinnati at the #5B conference – and a couple of them intorduced me to Culinary Smackdown. It’s a challenge where you try to create a recipe using a particular ingredient chosen by the winner of the previous smackdown. February’s smackdown ingredient is cabbage – one of my favorite ingredients. I had cabbage from my market bag, so it was a no brainer. I was determined to use other ingredients I had already on hand – so I made cabbage rolls using ground lamb, but I added baby potatoes, onions, sweet red peppers and carrots, along with a few herbs and fresh sage. I made the dish really sagey – chopped sage inside the cabbage rolls, but also i threw more on top.

We each ate three cabbage rolls – and I stopped my husband from eating more, though he wanted too. My son was supposed to put the cabbage rolls in the oven, but forgot, so he only had a sandwich before leaving for work. I saved his share for after work, fighting my husband off the whole time. My son started with one, but then finished off the other two. I only used some broth to cook the cabbage rolls in a baking pan, but because you are using ground lamb, there will be a lot of fat at the end. Lamb is very fatty, but has a lot of flavor, so if you want to substitute a lower fat meat, go right ahead.

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Ground Lamb Cabbage Rolls
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Cabbage rolls using lots of fresh ingredients and vegetables. Easy assembly. Make the night before and heat when you get home from work, or stick in the crock pot on low.
Author:
Serves: 3-4
Ingredients
  • 6 outer cabbage leaves
  • 4 small potatoes diced small
  • 1 med onion diced small
  • 1 medium carrot diced small
  • 1 red pepper diced small
  • 1 pint lamb or chicken broth
  • Sage leaves ½ chopped ½ whole
  • salt
  • pepper
Instructions
  1. Either place leaves in the freezer the night before assembly or Drop large leaves into boiling water to soften.
  2. Mix meat with all of the vegetables, herbs and salt and pepper.
  3. Place a handful of meat into the middle of the cabbage leaf then fold the top and bottom over the meat and cover side to side.
  4. Place the cabbage rolls into a flat bottom glass dish and cover with broth.
  5. Throw sage leaves over top, salt and pepper.
  6. Cook for about 30 -45 minutes on 400 covered with aluminum foil.
Notes
The leaves were a little tough when I used the freezer method, so boiling water method may be better. I made my cabbage rolls the night before and then cooked it when I came home from work. I think you could probably put it into the crockpot also.

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Chef Daniel Humm Prepares Lamb Skewers

May 27, 2011 - Written by Diana

Still looking for Memorial Day ideas.  Daniel is currently the Executive Chef at the prestigious, four-star Eleven Madison Park in New York City, recent winner of the 2010 James Beard Award: Best NYC Chef and the Victorinox Cutlery spokesperson. Michelin Star Winning Chef Humm has partnered with Victorinox Swiss Army (makers of the original Swiss Army Knife) to create a video tutorial on how to prepare Provencal lamb skewers.  Lamb would be a great way to share your Memorial Day gathering, don’t you think?

Chef Daniel Humm Prepares Provencal Lamb Skewers

Provençal Lamb Skewers

Serves 4, 2 skewers per person,

Ingredients:

Marinade:

Lamb:

Vegetables:

To Finish:

Directions:

Begin by making the marinade for the lamb and the vegetables by combining all of the ingredients together in a large metal bowl. Whisk well to combine.

Cut the lamb loins into 1 inch cubes. Place in bowl metal bowl with marinade. Add vegetables and mix gently to coat lamb and vegetables well with marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in fridge for 1 – 2 hours.

Using 10” metal skewers begin to build skewers as desired. It should approximately be 2 -3 pieces of lamb, 2 pieces of red onion, 2 cherry tomatoes, 2 basil leaves, 2 olives and 2 pieces of red bell pepper. Grill to desired temperature.

Combine lemon zest, thyme leaves and chopped parsley in small bowl. Sprinkle over grilled skewers. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper as needed.

Minty Spring Asparagus & Pasta with Lamb Mint Sausage

April 7, 2011 - Written by Diana

The last time we had Lamb Mint Sausage there were a few who said they didn’t know if lamb and mint went together.  I love mint and I think the lamb mint sausage are very tasty, but it is a very mild flavor.  I wanted to up the mint factor this time.  So, I made a mint and parsely pesto to use with gemelli pasta and some asparagus, one of my favorite spring time foods.  Of course I added some lamb mint sausage because I thought it would be the perfect thing to round out the dish.

For dinner, the pasta was warm when mixed with the pesto and the warm asparagus and sausage.  The next day cold leftovers were even better.  I think my mother will love this dish so much that I’m going to make it for her when she visits this summer.  She has strict dietary restrictions and we have to go without tomatoes, onions and she doesn’t like heavy sauces, so this will be perfect for her.  You could substitute beans for the sausage, or even use a grain instead of pasta for a salad.  This salad embodies spring, lovely light taste, lots of pretty green – and lamb too.  First ingredient fresh from the garden this year – parsley!  Yay!

Ingredients:

In a food processor, or magic bullet, pulse the mint, parsley, pine nuts, shredded romano cheese and drizzle olive oil while pulsing.  Cut the asparagus and the green onion into bite size pieces and saute in pan with olive oil.  Saute the lamb mint sausage separately in another pan.  After the sausage rests, slice the sausage into bite size pieces.  Toss the pesto, asparagus and green onion and the sausage together with the cooked (and drained) pasta.  Salt and pepper to desired taste and serve.

Garlicky Smashed New Potatoes with Spinach and Lamb Mint Sausage

March 27, 2011 - Written by Diana

Lamb Mint Sausage is my new favorite sausage.  We bought it at Blues Creek Farm Meats when we were at the Lamb Cutting Class and discovered that we love it .  The mint is sort of subtle, and when you throw it into an Alfredo sauce like my daughter did last week, you might not taste the mint at all. However, if you cook it on it’s own and serve it without any sauce, you can get the nice mint flavor that’s subtle, but it’s there.  As a result, I don’t like to mix this sausage with other foods and serve it on the side.  Tonight, to go with the sausage, I made one of my husband’s favorite sides – potatoes, though he likes potatoes almost any way you can think of to prepare it.  I did a rough smash, mixed it with some garlic and shallots that were sauteed in oil, and some fresh spinach that wilted down.  I threw in a couple of tablespoons of butter and some garlic olive oil and stirred it around a little.  That’s it.  Garlicky potatoes – yummy, yummy.

Ingredients:

-chopped herbs

Pour about 3 tbs olive oil into a saute pan.  Heat up and when it is hot enough, saute the shallots and garlic lightly. Drain almost soft potatoes.  Add to pan with shallots and garlic and using a potato smasher or bottom of a slotted spoon, rough smash the potatoes.  With a large spoon, toss the potatoes with the spinach while the spinach wilts.  Throw in the butter, the salt, pepper and chopped herbs and give it a nice mix heating it up.  Drizzle top with a little more garlic oil and serve.

Delicious Tomato Curry Roast Leg of Lamb

November 11, 2010 - Written by Diana

I’ve used curry powder in a few recipes and decided it’s my go to spice for a lot of different things.  I’m adding it to all different dishes to try out and see if it works for me.  Last weekend, I had time to roast a leg of lamb and wanted to try it out with curry and some of the garden vegetables that I had left which were really just tomatoes and peppers.  This is such a great combination – no leftovers, though there could be if you stop eating before you run out . We weren’t able to stop ourselves from devouring it because it was so delicious.

I cooked the lamb roast in a clay baker that I’ve had for years. My kitchen equipment isn’t all beautiful, but when I find something that works, I use it until it dies or breaks.  This is basically throw it all in the pot and let it roast until the lamb falls apart recipe.  After I put the lamb roast in the oven my husband and I walked the dog at a new Metro Park that opened near us and when we came home,  I made some rice for a side and dinner was ready.  Ta Da.

Ingredients:

This was a small roast, even smaller after the fat was removed.  Basically remove the fat from the lamb and place in the roasting pan – or clay baker.  Place the vegetables around, and sprinkle the top with herbs.  Cover with foil.  I baked it at 400 degrees for about 15 minuts and then turned it to 250.  Roast until the lamb falls off the bone.

Lamb Skewers

May 29, 2010 - Written by Diana

We all like to look for interesting recipes to share for our holidays.  Memorial day is coming up, and I thought I’d share this recipe for Lamb Skewers.  This recipe is for an intimate dinner of 4, but you can always increase the recipe to accommodate more if you like.  The recipe (and video) are by Chef Daniel Hamm.

Chef Daniel Humm, executive chef at Eleven Madison Park and spokesman for Victorinox Cutlery, was awarded “Best Chef in NYC,” at the James Beard Foundation Awards that took place May 3rd. Victorinox Swiss Army officially began its partnership with Chef Daniel Humm in December 2008, however, Humm has been using Victorinox Cutlery since he was an apprentice chef at fourteen-years-old in Switzerland.  He continues to use Victorinox Cutlery in his professional kitchen today.

I think the Lamb Skewers would make a great light Memorial Day meal to share with family.  A nice salad with it and some sweet tea or good wine and you are ready to go.  You can probably make the skewers up earlier in the day, stick in a container or Ziploc and put into the fridge until about a 1/2 hour before you serve.  Then let it come to room temp before cooking, though the prep is pretty fast in the video.

Provençal Lamb Skewers (or Lamb Kabobs)

Serves 4, 2 skewers per person,

Ingredients:

Marinade:

Lamb:

Vegetables:

To Finish:

Directions:

Begin by making the marinade for the lamb and the vegetables by combining all of the ingredients together in a large metal bowl.  Whisk well to combine.

Cut the lamb loins into 1 inch cubes.  Place in bowl metal bowl with marinade.  Add vegetables and mix gently to coat lamb and vegetables well with marinade.  Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in fridge for 1 – 2 hours.

Using 10” metal skewers begin to build skewers as desired.  It should approximately be 2 -3 pieces of lamb, 2 pieces of red onion, 2 cherry tomatoes, 2 basil leaves, 2 olives and 2 pieces of red bell pepper.  Grill to desired temperature.

Combine lemon zest, thyme leaves and chopped parsley in small bowl.  Sprinkle over grilled skewers.  Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper as needed.

Lamb Chops with Sorrel Sauce

May 26, 2010 - Written by Diana

My daughter inadvertently planted my sorrel last year in the flower bed.  It has leaves similar to other plants when it is first growing, which makes it difficult to find until the flowers start growing in.  The other way to figure it out is to taste the leaves, and if it’s lemony, it’s sorrel (if not, ugh).  My sorrel has finally reached a nice size for using in cooking and tastes lemony good when cooked down into a sauce.  I made some lamb chops and grilled it on the NuWave, just brushing it with some olive oil, salt and pepper.  Then I made this delicious sorrel sauce from Michael Roux’s Sauces. It really was the perfect sauce for the lamb chops; I can’t wait to use it on some salmon.

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