1 pound cubed boneless lamb cut into 2-inch cubes
1 yellow onion, coarsely grated on a box grater
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon cumin
Salt and pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup whole-milk yogurt
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh mint (or 1/2 tsp. dried)
1/2 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1. Mix together lamb, onion, olive oil, cumin, 1 tsp. each salt and pepper, and cinnamon. Let stand for 15 minutes.
2. Make sauce: Combine yogurt, mint, garlic, lemon juice, and 1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper.
3. Preheat broiler to high and place rack 2 inches from heat source. Thread lamb tightly onto metal skewers. Place on broiler pan and broil, turning once, until well-browned but slightly pink within, about 6 minutes total for medium (cut a piece open to test). If you prefer medium-well, cook for 8 minutes; for well-done, cook for 10 minutes.
Serve immediately, accompanied by yogurt-mint sauce.
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup panko (Japanese-style bread crumbs)
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- Finely shredded zest of 1/2 lemon
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 pound ground lamb
SOUP AND SERVING
- 7 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
- Wide ribbons of zest from 1/2 lemon (use a vegetable peeler)
- 1/2 cup arborio rice or sushi rice
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 3 large eggs
- Fresh juice of 1 large lemon
- Chopped fresh mint and parsley
1. Make meatballs: In a large bowl, combine egg, panko, milk, garlic, lemon zest, mint, parsley, salt, and pepper and let sit a few minutes for crumbs to soften. Add lamb, breaking up with your fingers, and mix well with your hands.
2. With wet hands, form meat mixture into 3/4-in. balls (use about 3/4 tsp. for each) and set on a rimmed baking sheet. Chill until a little firmer, about 15 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, make soup: In a large covered pot, bring broth and zest to a simmer. Add rice and simmer over low heat, partially covered, until rice is al dente, about 20 minutes.
4. While soup simmers, heat oil in a large, heavy frying pan (preferably nonstick) over medium-high heat. Cook meatballs in 2 batches, turning once, to brown on 2 sides, about 6 minutes total. Shake pan, rolling meatballs around to brown a little further. With a slotted spoon, transfer meatballs to paper towels.
5. With a slotted spoon, remove zest from soup and discard. Add meatballs and bring to a simmer over high heat. Turn off heat.
6. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs to blend and add lemon juice. Whisk in a ladle of hot soup. One at a time, whisk in about 5 more ladles of soup, then return mixture to pot. Rewarm over low heat if needed. Serve immediately with more mint and parsley.
Mastering meatballs. They sound rustic, but they’re delicate things that suffer from over-handling. Here are tips for making them come out right.
Mixing: Always start by mixing the bread crumbs (which keep the meatballs from getting tough), any liquids, and seasonings—then add the meat. Stop when the mixture looks evenly blended; don’t overwork it.
Forming: Dampen your hands with cold water to keep the meat mixture from sticking while you roll it into balls. If it’s still sticky, let it sit for a few minutes in the fridge.
Browning: A good crust helps meatballs retain their shape—important if they’re going to simmer in a thick sauce. If you plan to eat them on their own or add them to broth, though, a light pan-frying will do the trick.
1 Tbsp black peppercorns
5 green cardamom pods
1 Tbsp coriander seeds
1 heaping teaspoon cumin seeds
5 Tbsp of light sesame oil or canola oil
3 medium yellow onions, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 heaping Tbsp grated ginger
2 teaspoons turmeric
1 heaping teaspoon paprika
1 stick of cinnamon, ground, or 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
4 very big, very ripe tomatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks OR 1 28-ounce can whole, peeled tomatoes, cut in quarters
2 1/2 to 3 1/2 pounds boneless lamb shoulder or leg, cut into 1-inch chunks
2 1/2 cups water
1 1/3 cups full fat plain yogurt (can use Greek style)
Using a mortar and pestle, grind the cloves until fine. Add the peppercorns and grind them roughly. Add the cardamom pods and crush them with the cloves and peppercorns.
Heat the oil over medium-low heat in a large, thick-bottomed pot with a lid. Add the chopped onions and cook, stirring often, until golden, about 10 minutes. Add the turmeric to the onions, and stir to coat. Add the cumin, coriander, paprika and cinnamon. Stir in the ground cloves, cardamom, and peppercorns. Add the crushed garlic and the grated ginger. Cook for 2 minutes.
Add the tomatoes (with their juices) to the pot and bring to a simmer. Cook for 4 minutes.
Add the lamb pieces to the pot, stir to coat with the spices, onions and tomatoes, and let cook for 4 minutes.
Stir in the water and yogurt and mix well. Add salt to taste. Cover the pot, bring to a simmer and reduce heat to a very low simmer. Cook very gently for 2 hours or more, stirring every 15 minutes or so. The stew should cook at a bare simmer until the lamb is very tender. Serve with basmati rice and/or flatbread.
Yield: Serves 6-8.
3 lbs of lamb shanks, each shank cut into a couple of pieces
Salt and freshly ground pepper
6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
2 celery ribs, coarsely chopped
4 carrots, 2 coarsely chopped, 2 cut into 2-inch segments, and quartered lengthwise
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup tomato paste
1 cup dry red wine
3 cups chicken stock*
Two 1×3-inch strips of orange zest
1 medium rutabaga, roughly chopped (1 1/2 inch pieces)
1 medium turnip, roughly sliced or chopped (1 inch pieces)
2 parsnips, chopped
2 Tbsp chopped parsley
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
*If cooking gluten-free use homemade chicken stock or gluten-free packaged stock.
Heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a large Dutch oven on medium high heat. Season the lamb shanks with salt and pepper, add them to the casserole and brown well on all sides, working in batches if necessary. Transfer the shanks to a plate.
Add the unpeeled garlic cloves, celery, chopped carrots (half of your carrots, the other half are cut lengthwise to be used later in the recipe) and onion to the pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, about 2 minutes. Add the wine; boil over high heat until the liquid is very syrupy, about 5 minutes.
Return the shanks to the pot and add the stock and orange zest. Bring to a simmer. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to low, and braise the shank for 3 hours, or until the meat is falling off the bone tender; turn the shanks from time to time as they cook.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Put the root vegetables (turnip, rutabaga, parsnips, and lengthwise-cut carrots) in a large baking pan and toss with enough olive oil to coat. Season with salt and pepper and bake in the oven for about an hour, or until tender.
In a small bowl, mix the minced garlic with the parsley and lemon zest (the “gremolata”). Set aside.
Remove the shanks from the pot and transfer to a plate. Pass the sauce through a coarse strainer, pressing hard on the vegetables. Discard the vegetable pulp. Skim the fat from the surface of the sauce.
Return the sauce to the pan, season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil over moderately high heat. Separate the lamb meat from the bones. Add the lamb meat and root vegetables; simmer just until warmed through.
Garnish with the gremolata and serve.
Yield: Serves 4.