So apparently there are people out there in the world who don’t eat lamb. I don’t know how this is possible, frankly, though I will admit I’d never tasted lamb before I came to Idaho. Here, nearly everyone eats lamb — it’s sheep country, and the entire state’s history is based on sheep, Basque culture, and mining (but the mining only happened after the sheep).
Every spring and every fall, hundreds if not thousands of sheep herd past my house, heading to and from the national forest up north, where they are allowed to graze on federal land for a fee. Stella and I will just sit at the front door, watching herd after herd pass by, accompanied by Border Collies, Akbash and horse-riding shepherds.
How can you not feel good about eating an animal raised on green grass and sunshine, that was allowed to graze free for almost its entire life?
I had a recipe go rogue on me last week. I was just going along, minding my own business, following a recipe to the letter (very unlike me), and everything went to shambles.
But the flavors were so delicious that I have to give you the recipe anyway. I have totally tweaked the technique here, because somehow, I ended up trying to stovetop braise a piece of lamb in far too little liquid and with far too much heat (how? THE STOVE WAS ON LOW), then salvaging most of what was in the burnt pan and kind of starting again.
It was so worth it, though. The lamb is braised in a combination of curry, coriander, red pepper, orange zest and onion so savory it practically explodes with flavor on your tongue. The coconut milk adds just a touch of smoothness, and the braising method ensures the meat is perfectly tender. Continue reading
Roasting a leg of lamb can be pretty intimidating. First, lamb is expensive if you get the right kind. Second, it’s this huge chunk of meat that still isn’t common on American dinner tables — lamb trails well behind beef, pork, chicken, turkey and fish in per capita consumption, beating out veal by only two-tenths of a percentage point. Third, there is nothing worse than overcooked lamb.
But set aside your fear just this once, and I’ll point you to a recipe from Food52 that is well worth the effort. Yes, it’s going to cost you a significant amount of money, but it will probably also feed you for several days, and you can be vegetarian for the rest of the week if you need to cut back. You can also stretch this by serving leftovers on a Greek salad, in a gyro, or maybe on some kind of Greek pizza.