Lamb

Roast Lamb with Whipped Feta and Mustard Dressing

Serves: 4 – 6

You can’t really go wrong with roast lamb.

As soon as you carve it it, fingers appear to grab pieces and why not? Picking at food is never decorum though roast (or BBQ) lamb is an exception.

It is what roast lamb exists for.

This wonderfully simple dish puts the emphasis on the dressing rather than the roast lamb; no sticks of rosemary and garlic or anchovies here.

And that is just fine.

Accompany with an equally simple parsley and red onion salad and you have the basis of a wonderful dinner on the table.

If you’re lucky, lunch the next day too.

Ingredients

1 boned leg of lamb (around 1.5kg)
Salt and freshly cracked pepper
100gm feta
250gm plain yoghurt
1 heaped tbsp Dijon mustard
2 lemons
4 tsp sumac
½ bunch parsley, leaves torn
1 small red onion, finely sliced

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200c.
  2. Season the lamb and roast for 55 minutes; set aside to rest for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a food processor, process the feta, yoghurt, mustard, juice of 1 lemon and 2 tsp sumac until smooth.
  4. For the salad: peel, segment and dice the remaining lemon. In a bowl, combine diced lemon, parsley, onion and remaining sumac.
  5. Carve the lamb and serve drizzled with the feta and mustard dressing and the salad at the side.
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Lamb, Mince

Thin-Crust Pide with Lamb Topping (Lahmacun)

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Mince, Turkish food and a thin pizza base. What could go wrong?

Serves: 4

Every so often, you come across a dish that hits it out of the park.

A dish that delivers far more than the brief.

A dish that makes you think wow.

No surprises, this is one of those dishes.

It is enormous. It is spectacular. And it gets better with practise, something you’ll love doing – over a few Saturday evening wines – knowing that each crust will get crisper, the lamb spicier, the bottle of red emptier.

The dough is easy so please don’t get put off by that: simply knead by hand and set aside and you’re home on that front. Double the lamb like we did and make it a meal.

The rather simple recipe is from the Turkish cookbook Anatolia.

The guys behind the book – and the dish – are from Efendy, an excellent Turkish restaurant in Balmain and one I highly recommend.

In the meantime, have a few wines next Saturday afternoon, cut-sort your plans for sushi or a salad and do it right.

This is 10/10 territory.

Lordy.

(We served the salad sprinkled on each cooked pide and would suggest you do too! Also, we have slightly adjusted the recipe, though only slightly.)

Ingredients

1 ⅓ cups flour
½ cup wholemeal flour to dust

Topping
2 tomatoes
1 red capsicum
75gm capsicum paste (salca)*
5 garlic cloves, chopped
½ bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves chopped
2 tsp chilli flakes
200gm lamb mince (we used 500gm though as a starter, do 200gm)
Salt and freshly cracked pepper

*You might be able to find this at a supermarket, definitely at a deli but if not use roasted peppers in a jar

Red onion and Sumac Salad
½ red onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp sumac
Juice of ½ lemon
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 300c or as hot as she goes.
  2. Sift the flour into a large bowl and add the salt. Make a well in the center and slowly add ½ cup lukewarm water. Using your hands, mix to a firm dough adding a little extra water if necessary. Knead the dough for 5 minutes or until smooth and elastic.
  3. Sprinkle some flour on a board, turn out the dough and divide into 4-even sized balls. Cover with a damp cloth to rest for 30-minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, score a shallow cross in the base of the tomatoes and cover in a bowl with boiling water. Leave until the skin starts the peel and remove and refresh. Slice, deseed and chop.
  5. Deseed the capsicum and chop.
  6. Place the tomato and capsicum in a food processor with the capsicum paste, garlic, parsley, chili flakes, 1 tsp cracked black pepper, 1 tsp salt and pulse to a coarse paste. Add to the lamb mince in a bowl and stir well to combine.
  7. In a fine sieve or similar, push out all the liquid in the lamb mixture. You want to remove as much liquid as possible.
  8. Dust 4 sheets of baking paper with wholemeal flour. Place a ball of dough on the floured work surface and roll out until 25cm round and thin. Place on a floured baking paper. Thinly spread the lamb mixture over the base, pressing in with your hands.
  9. Place the baking paper/round on a baking tray and cook for 10 – 12 minutes until the edges are crisp.
  10. Meanwhile, make the salad by combining the ingredients.
  11. Serve the pide with the salad sprinkled on top.
  12. Repeat with the 3 other pide.
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Greek, Lamb

Keftedakia (Greek Lamb Sausages)

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Uncooked!

Makes: 20 sausages

We are on a bit of a sausage thing at the moment with the recent addition of a new meat grinder and sausage stuffer to the kitchen.

Though searching for recipes has been a bit of an underground thing.

For whilst you can find the odd super-gourmet sausage recipe out there, there is a dearth of every-day sausage recipes on the web: until you hit the underground sausage forums.

And this is where it gets serious.

I have a few mates that are into smoking meats and they take it seriously. They swap notes about chips and coals and warm-up times and bastes. It is a passion and Facebook is full of their Saturday morning photos and tips as they fire up.

Sausages it seems are much the same, with the sausage forums full of – generally very positive – banter, advice, recipes and tips.

(I am yet to choose the avatar for ‘robbydogcooks3’ and remain a sausage lurker, though I feel the urge.)

Anyway, on one forum, someone by the name of ‘bradsizzle’ asked for the best Greek sausage recipe ‘in the world’.

And the community answered.

Lamb, pork, beef, the people of Crete (joke), orange peel, aniseed, fennel, more lamb, cumin, explosions, debate, more lamb.

The servers were on fire.

We chose this one to begin and it is one bloody fine sausage.

You’ll need a sausage stuffer of course and sorry if you don’t.

robbydogcooks3 is now part of the club and can’t understand why anyone wouldn’t.

Sizzle bradsizzle.

Ingredients

1kg lamb shoulder, 2 cm pieces (or ground)
½ cup breadcrumbs soaked in ½ cup milk for 5 minutes
1 large red onion, finely diced
2 tbsp red wine (or ouzo)
4 tsp finely chopped fresh parsley
4 tsp finely chopped fresh mint
2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese (or Kefalotiri cheese)
1 ½ tsp salt
1 tsp freshly cracked pepper
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp allspice
1 tsp whole aniseed
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tbsp vegetable oil
4 tbsp white flour

Method

  1. Combine the ingredients.
  2. Process through your mincer and stuff your sausages.
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BBQ, Lamb

Grilled Lamb Shoulder Provencale

Grilled Lamb Shoulder Provencale

Serves: 6

We’re in the middle of pretty big house renovations at the moment… so anything complicated in the kitchen has been ruled out.

Having taken on the project management role of the project, we are on-site pretty much every night and certainly every weekend whilst we connect the building dots.

Which of course means we are tired at night and cooking has naturally/unfortunately taken a backseat.

Hello marinated meat and BBQ.

And plenty of baked potatoes and salad.

I can’t say I am not enjoying the BBQ-ed meat phase and when baby #3 arrives in two or so months, I suspect the BBQ will go into overdrive.

This particular marinade is a keeper and will be used again over the coming months.

Nothing beats lamb on the BBQ and marinating in this overnight is awesome.

And certainly, nothing is more satisfying that putting meat in the fridge overnight to marinate. There is such a sense of accomplishment and cooking maturity/preparedness about it.

This marinade is why you do it.

Ingredients

1kg boneless lamb shoulder
⅓ cup olive oil
⅓ cup lemon juice
⅓ cup white wine
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 bay leaf
½ tsp dried rosemary
½ tsp dried thyme
½ tsp dried basil
½ tsp salt
Freshly cracked pepper

Method

  1. Slice and open the lamb shoulder like a book; you want an even piece of meat to grill. Place in a large, zip-lock bag (or bowl) ready to marinate.
  2. Combine the rest of the ingredients and pour over the lamb, massaging the marinade into the lamb. Remove any air from the bag (or cover the bowl with cling wrap) and marinate in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  3. Cook the lamb on a hot grill for 10 to 15 minutes per side. Baste with the reserved marinade often.
  4. Allow to rest, slice and serve.
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Greek, Healthy, Lamb, Mince

Simple Open Moussaka with Yoghurt Dressing

Simple Open Moussaka with Yoghurt Dressing

Serves: 4

We’ve been using a food service – Marley Spoon – for the past few months.

It came recommended and at its best, it is really pretty good; I certainly referred it onto a few friends.

You select your meals for the week and a few days later, a box is delivered containing individual paper bags for each meal and very clear recipe cards. The ingredients – especially the meat, poultry and seafood – are fresh, very high-quality and in their own chill-bags for the period they sit on your doorstep.

Each dish is relatively easy to prepare and except for one outlier where we were still hungry, a week where we seemed to eat Soba noodles every night, and one or two other meals that just didn’t quite make the taste grade, Marley Spoon has been great.

I say ‘has’ been great because this week, we stopped.

The convenience factor and the quality of packaging and instructions factor no longer trumped the value factor… and the meals just stopped feeling unique and the formula behind Marley Spoon seemed exposed to us.

When baby #3 arrives in June, I’d imagine we’ll start again, though for now, we just want to start cooking our own recipes again.

And having enough for lunches the next day.

And being rich again.

After tonight’s second last Marley Spoon dinner however, it turns out that Marley Spoon gifted us one better than just another week of their high-gloss recipe cards and crisp paper bags.

They gifted us this healthy Moussaka and it was really, very good.

Especially considering how easy it was to prepare.

Nothing beats a 3-hour Moussaka production on a Sunday afternoon, though equally, nothing beats a 30-minute Mousakka on a Thursday evening.

Enjoy.

Ingredients

Olive oil
2 eggplants
2 onions, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
500gm lamb mince (we had lean beef mince and it was just fine)
2 cups, chicken stock (hot)
2 cans, 400gm chopped tomatoes
1 lemon
200gm low-fat Greek-style yoghurt
60gm tahini
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
100gm baby rocket to serve

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 220c. Line two baking trays with baking paper. Trim the ends from the eggplants and slice lengthways; you’ll need 12 – 16 slices about 5mm thick: 3 – 4 per person.
  2. Place the slices on the prepared tray and lightly brush with oil. Season and roast until softened and golden: around 15 – 20 minutes.
  3. Heat 1tbsp oil in a saucepan over a medium heat. Cook the onion and garlic for 5 minutes until softened. Increase the heat to high, add the mince and cook, stirring over a high-heat for 5 minutes or until the mince is browned.
  4. Add the chicken stock and tomatoes to the pan. Bring to the boil and simmer uncovered over a medium heat for 15 minutes or until thickened.
  5. Squeeze 2 tbsp lemon juice into a bowl. Stir in the yoghurt, tahini, combine well and season.
  6. Arrange an eggplant slice on each plate and spoon over some of the lamb mixture. Top with another slice of eggplant and repeat until all used. Top with a few dollops of the yoghurt dressing and serve with rocket leaves and a cold vino.
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Lamb, Mince, Poultry

Adana-Inspired Turkey-Lamb Kebabs

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Kebabs!

Adana-Inspired Turkey-Lamb Kebabs

Serves: 4

Last week, we cooked an incredible Turkish stew that asked for Red Pepper Paste, an addition unique (as far as I can tell) to Turkish cooking.

There is a bit of effort in the old paste, though it does add a wonderful smoky heat and the time to prepare it is half the fun.

What to do with the remaining paste however?

These kebabs are your answer.

Ingredients

250gm lamb mince
250gm turkey mince
1 onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp minced garlic
2 tbsp red pepper paste
2 tsp ground sumac
½ tsp ground coriander
¼ tsp salt
125gm Greek yoghurt

Method

    1. If using wooden skewers, soak for 20 minutes; heat your griddle or BBQ to high.
    2. Combine all of the ingredients; add a touch of water if necessary.
    3. Shape into thick sausages and skewer.
    4. Grill on each side until cooked through.
    5. Serve with some tzatziki.
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Lamb, Stew

Rich Turkish lamb stew with aubergine purée (Hunkar begendi)

Rich Turkish lamb stew with aubergine purée (Hunkar begendi)

Serves: 4

We have been watching Rick Stein’s inspiring cooking tour – Venice to Istanbul – over the Christmas Break.

We’ve streamed an episode or two a week as a treat after dinner and other than dozens of plans to spend months of our lives travelling Greece, Croatia and Turkey, we’ve also picked up some pretty amazing recipes to try.

When Rick cooked this Turkish stew, he was pretty taken aback by it, especially the aubergine purée.

It is incredible.

It is a whole new chapter in stews for me with a unique, earthy, rich, creamy heat; literally, as good as stews get. So much so that I am breaking the aubergine purée out as its own post.

It is a comparable to my favourite pan fried polenta as the base for a rich braise or stew.

There is a little bit of prep work in it, though this is an awesome stew.

10/10.

Ingredients

For the red pepper paste

600gm red peppers (3 – 4 red peppers)
50gm tomato paste
½ tsp salt
1 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tbsp olive oil

For the aubergine purée

4 medium aubergines
30gm butter
30gm plain flour
380ml full-fat milk (we added a dash or two of pouring cream in addition)
75gm parmesan cheese, grated
1 lemon, juice only
Salt and freshly ground pepper

For the lamb stew

4 tbsp olive oil
850gm boned lamb shoulder, cut into 3cm pieces
1 tbsp red pepper paste
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 onion, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 green finger chilli, sliced
1 green pepper, seeds removed and sliced
3 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
200ml hot water
Chopped flat leaf parsley to serve

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200c.

For the red pepper paste

  1. Roast the peppers for 30 minutes until dark and softened. Transfer to a bowl and cover with clingfilm and leave until cool enough to handle.
  2. Remove the charred skins, stalks and seeds.
  3. In the blender, blitz the peppers with the remaining ingredients; store for up to a week in the fridge.

For the aubergine purée

  1. Roast the aubergines whole for 30 minutes until soft. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Peel, chop and mash well using a fork.
  2. In a pan over a medium-heat, make a roux: melt the butter and add the flour and cook, stirring for 2 minutes. Add the milk and stir until you have a thick white sauce.
  3. Mix in the aubergine, cheese and lemon juice. Season with the salt and pepper and keep warm.

For the lamb stew

  1. Warm half the olive oil in a large casserole pan over a high-heat and brown the lamb in batches.
  2. When browned, return all the lamb to the pan and add the red pepper and tomato pastes, the remaining olive oil, onion, garlic, chilli and green pepper. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until softened.
  3. Add the chopped tomatoes, oregano, salt, pepper and the hot water. Bring to a simmer, turn down the heat, cover with a lid and allow to cook slowly for 1 – 1½ hours.

Reduce the gravy to a thick consistency and serve ladled over the aubergine purée, scatter the chopped parsley.

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