Lamb recipes are fun to cook because the meat works so well in so many different situations. The protein makes a great substitute if you're getting tired of a beef, chicken, or pork routine, and can be used in wraps or kebobs at a cookout. Here are some recipes we prepared for you
Moroccan Lamb Tagine
In a large bowl, toss lamb with about 2 teaspoons salt. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour or overnight in the refrigerator.
In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring chicken broth to a boil. Remove from heat and add dried apricots. Let sit at least 15 minutes.
In a tagine or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add lamb and cook until golden, about 4 minutes per side. Work in batches as necessary. Remove lamb from pot and place on a plate.
Reduce heat to medium and add onion to the pot. Cook until soft, 5 minutes. Add garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant, 1 minute more, then add tomato paste and stir until coated. Add cinnamon stick, saffron, and spices and cook until toasted, 1 minute more.
Add lamb, apricots, and broth to pot and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer, covered, until lamb is tender and liquid is reduced, about 1½ hours.
Remove from heat and stir in cilantro. Garnish with toasted almonds, mint, and more cilantro. Serve over warm couscous.
Grilled Tandoori Lamb
Tandoori refers to the yogurt-based, aromatically spiced marinade that can be used on grilled, broiled, or baked meat. You can adjust the spices to your own personal preferences. Serve with flatbread or rice and cilantro chutney.
Whisk yogurt, lemon juice, onion, garlic, ginger, garam masala, paprika, cumin, turmeric, and cayenne pepper together in a bowl until combined.
Toss lamb and salt into marinade; mix until lamb pieces are coated evenly. Cover mixture with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, or at least 4 hours.
Skewer lamb pieces so they barely touch. Wipe off excess marinade with a paper towel. Brush with vegetable oil and sprinkle with salt.
Preheat grill for medium heat and lightly oil the grate.
Grill skewers on medium heat until lamb springs back to the touch, about 5 to 7 minutes on each side.
Garnish with red onions, lemon wedges, and chopped cilantro as desired.
Malaysian style lamb curry
The Malaysian style lamb curry is very similar to the authentic Indian version except for the inclusion of the Malaysian curry powder, a unique blend of the local spices. The gravy is thick, and the flavor is concentrated.
1. Marinate the lamb
Use bone-in lamb because it imparts flavour to the curry. Ask your butcher to cut it into 1.5-inch cubes or larger since the meat will shrink during cooking. You need to adjust the lamb quantity from 1kg to 600g should you decide to use boneless lamb meat, and replace the water with chicken stock to intensify the flavour.
This recipe is very flexible, converting easily to chicken or beef curry by replacing the lamb for those who do not eat lamb.
Marinate is a crucial step to tenderize the lamb.
Add some yogurt to marinate the lamb for two reasons. First, it adds a delicious tangy flavour but, more importantly, tenderizes the lamb.
Yogurt tenderizes the meat by two actions. It contains friendly bacteria, which breaks down protein. It also contains lactic acid, which is mildly acidic and helps break down the meat by denaturing or unwinding the muscle’s long protein. Since yogurt is a weak acid and lamb is tougher than chicken, it will not be overly tenderized, even marinate overnight.
The marinate also comprises ginger, garlic chili powder, turmeric powder, and salt.
Massage the marinade into the lamb and let it rest for at least three hours or overnight.
You can also crush the garlic and ginger with the flat of your cleaver and finely mince them if you do not have the ginger garlic paste ready.
2. Temper the herbs and spices
Temper the spices and sear the lamb separately to prevent the spices from over burning.
Heat some oil to just below the smoking point. Most Malaysian use peanut or palm oil to cook, but you can also use corn oil, coconut, or sunflower oil, which have a high smoking point.
Add the dried spices (cardamom, bay leaves, curry leaves, cinnamon bark) to the oil to temper until it becomes aromatic.
You may add cumin seeds should you want to include it in the recipe. I use the ground cumin and only add to the curry at a later stage.
There are other versions of the lamb curry, which include fennel seeds. They should be tempered with other dried herbs if you are choosing that option.
When the whole spices become aromatic, add the chopped onion and sauté for a few minutes until it becomes soft, slightly brown, and translucent.
Remove it and use the same pan to brown the lamb.
3. Browning the lamb
Browning gives the lamb a richer, deeper, and more complex flavour through the Maillard reaction, which produces a range of flavoured molecules responsible for the inviting flavour and colour. Unfortunately, it does not happen while cooking the curry because it takes place at around 140°C to 165 °C (280°F to 330 °F). Therefore, browsing enhances the flavour of all stew dishes.
Brown the lamb separately to avoid the spices from over burning. A good non-stick pan is useful for browning with less oil if you do not object to using non-stick material.
After browning the meat, set it aside, remove the excess oil, and use the same pan for cooking the curry. Use some water or add the chopped tomatoes to deglaze the pan. These are treasures, which greatly enhance the flavour of the curry.
4. Simmer the lamb until tender and soft
Add the chopped tomatoes to the pan to deglaze the pan. Once the caramelized bits have loosened, add back the browned lamb.
The tomatoes will start to disintegrate and release more liquid. You need to add some water as it is too dry to simmer the lamb.
Meanwhile, add the remaining ground spices: chopped green chili, garam masala, chili powder, Malaysian curry powder, ground cumin, and ground coriander. Mix well and cover. Simmer over very low heat to keep it barely simmer.
It will take at least 90 minutes before the lamb becomes soft and tender. You may need to add more water from time to time so that it will not dry up. I prefer to add boiling water to keep the temperature constant. Since I want to keep my curry reasonably dry, I only add a minimum amount of water. The curry will cook down to a thick gravy with an intense flavour.
There is an option to have more gravy by adding more water and thicken it with potato wedges. The potatoes act like a sponge, absorbing all the gravy flavour, and are extremely tasty. You may add the potatoes about half an hour before removing the curry from the stove.
It is necessary to do a taste test before serving, as the amount of water in the curry may differ. You still can add some curry powder should you want a spicier flavour, or some water if it is too salty.
Serve the curry with some coriander leaves and red chili slices to garnish.