Tag Archives: lamb

Lamb koftas in yogurt with cinnamon and chilli

Lamb koftas in yogurt with cinnamon and chilli

Lamb koftas are one of the classics of Indian cuisine, well adopted by Westerners around the world. In the simplest form, koftas consist of balls of minced or ground meat—usually beef, chicken, lamb, or pork—mixed with spices and/or onions. In India, vegetarian varieties include koftas made from potato, calabash, paneer, or banana. In Europe, kofta is served as fast food as a type of kebab. Koftas in India are usually served cooked in a spicy curry/gravy and are eaten with boiled rice or a variety of Indian breads. In Bengal, a region of eastern India, koftas are made from prawns, fish, green bananas, cabbage or meat, such as minced goat meat. In Kashmir, mutton is often used in the preparation of koftas, as opposed to beef or lamb. These koftas make a very good first course or snack.

Blanquette of lamb

Blanquette of lamb

Blanquette is  the French term for a ragout of white meat (veal, lamb or poultry)cooked in a white stock or water with aromatic flavorings. Theoretically, the sauce is obtained by making a roux and adding cream and egg yolks. However, the roux is more often than not omitted. Blanquette had a very important place in historical cuisine and became a classic of bourgeois cookery. Blanquettes are also made with fish (monkfish) and vegetables (chard and celery). Blanquette is usually served with rice a la creole but may also be served with celeriac (celery root), halved celery hearts, carrots, braised parsnips or leeks, cucumber (cut into chunks and braised three minutes in boiling salted water, braised lettuce or lettuce hearts. Because this is a classic “white stew” there is a prejudice to serving it with any items that would add color (i.e. carrots or peas).

Flatbread with spicy lamb and tomato

Flatbread with spicy lamb and tomato

These flavoursome flatbread with spicy lamb and tomato make an ideal snack or appetizer. The thin crispy base is smeared with a layer of lightly spiced lamb and rolled into a cone with a fresh parsley, sumac and a squeeze of lemon. When buying lamb, choose the leanest cuts with firm, creamy-white fat (although fat colour alone should not be used as a reliable indicator of quality). Avoid cuts with excessive fat or with fat that looks crumbly, brittle and yellowish: this means the meat is old. The colour and flavour of the flesh will vary depending on where the sheep were raised. Look for pale-pink flesh in a very young lamb, to a light- or dark-red colour in an older animal. A good butcher is likely to stock a greater variety of cuts than your local supermarket, or you’ll be able to order exactly what you want.

Char siu lamb with fried rice

Char siu lamb with fried rice

These tasty lamb cutlets with prawns, shallots and brown rice are a quick and easy mid-week dinner idea. Char siu literally means “fork burn/roast” (Char being fork (both noun and verb) and siu being burn/roast) after the traditional cooking method for the dish: long strips of seasoned boneless pork are skewered with long forks and placed in a covered oven or over a fire. Char siu is typically consumed with starch, whether inside a bun (cha siu baau), with noodles (cha siu mein), or with rice (cha siu fan) in fast food establishments, or served alone as a centerpiece or main dish in traditional family dining establishments. If it is purchased outside of a restaurant, it is usually taken home and used as one ingredient in various complex entrees consumed at family meals.

Lamb meatballs

Lamb meatballs

These flavoursome meatballs contain an exciting mixture of flavours and textures – sweet currants, creamy pie nuts and a harmonious blend of spices. Serve with lemon, a salad and some creamy yogurt.

Lamb mince is particularly good for meatballs, burgers and other patties. It’s popular in Middle Eastern recipes such as stuffed aubergine and koftas. Or use it in moussaka, shepherd’s pie or bolognese. Lamb works well with a range of flavours beyond the traditional mint sauce. Generally, the intense flavour of autumn lamb is a good match for equally strong seasonings and aromatics. Try rubbing it with spices such as cumin before roasting, or piercing the skin several times and inserting sprigs of rosemary and pieces of anchovy into it. Marinades also work wonders on lamb, helping enhance its flavour and making it meltingly tender.