Archive for the ‘Lamb’ Category

As you can probably guess, my last two weeks have been quite an adventure. Sandwiched between two vastly different rock-climbing weekends, I spent two weeks working on some intense mind-numbing data collection in the field in the Eastern Townships of Québec. With that behind me, however, I’m thrilled to be home and to enjoy the simple things like cooking dinner together at home.

In Québec, I could well have been paid for my work in mulberries, fresh Montreal Tasty heirloom tomatoes, and zucchinis from a delicious garden in the place I stayed at. Monkeying around in the mulberry tree at 7am probably made me look like quite a character to the neighbours – but I was willing to take on the role if it meant a salad-bowl full of mulberries for breakfast every day!

When I came home, we basically changed gears into preparing for an up-coming adventure (more details to come – but I will admit it will require us to move, and very far at that). That has meant planning to cook so many meals we’ve had on our list of recipes to try all summer. Tonight was no exception: we cooked Lamb Keema from the LCBO’s Food and Drink magazine (summer 2012).

We had high hopes for this recipe. Full of home-mixed spices and protein, it’s a perfect end-of-summer meal for those days that are heavy in exercise (it was also delicious without exercise too). Not only was it delicious, it was easy to make as long as all the ingredients are readily available in your kitchen (as long as you’re into Indian cooking, your pantry can probably handle it). Topped off with a sunny-side-up egg, this meal is also an eye-pleaser. Finally, I also want to mention that it is low in carbs, if you’re looking for that.

Ingredients – 4 servings (don’t be discouraged by the long list – most are spices!)

1/2 red onion, peeled and thinly sliced

1 lb ground lamb (500g)
1/2 cup yogurt

2 Tbsp cooking oil + 1 Tbsp clarified butter
2 whole green cardamom pods
3 whole cloves
1 large bay leaf
1 stick cinnamon

1 medium cooking onion (or the other half of the large red onion), diced
1 Tbsp grated ginger (fresh)
4 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup tomato purée
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp turmeric
2 tsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp ground coriander

2 medium yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks

1 cup frozen peas
2 tsp garam masala

4 eggs
1 Tbsp butter
cracked black pepper, cayenne to taste

Fresh cilantro (optional)


Slice the half onion into half-rings. Sprinkle with salt, and let stand.

Heat the oil in a pot with a lid. Once hot, add the whole spices and fry until fragrant, around 3 minutes. Add the diced onion, and fry until translucent but not browned.

Meanwhile, mix the ground lamb and yogurt in a bowl. Mince the garlic and grate the ginger. When onions are ready, add the lamb to the onion mixture and stir to break it all apart. Cook until it is no longer pink, then add in the garlic and ginger. Cook for a minute or two.

Add the tomato purée and 1 1/4 cups water, cover, and bring to a boil. Sprinkle all of the spices on top except the garam masala. Add the potatoes, and simmer for 20-25 minutes, covered. Remove the cover near the end and leave open if amount of liquid remaining is too much.

Heat the butter in another frying pan. Cook each egg separately sunny-side up, seasoning according to taste.

Finally, add in the peas and garam masala. Remove from heat. Rince the onions under the tap. Divide the keema into four portions and serve with a sunny-side-up egg on top, accompanied with some of those salted onions, and fresh coriander if you have some.

This meal is delicious alone, accompanied with naan, or salad!

The only thing I want to do is thank the LCBO for publishing such a delicious recipe in its Food and Drink magazine!


Read Full Post »

I find myself in transit, faced by a challenging familial loss, between Canada and West Africa. We seem to all come together around food, on our tip of Normandy. I am writing this recipe to share our time together as a family in France with my brother – who had to stay in Canada.

The trick to this recipe is to cook the leg of lamb directly on a rack in the oven, with a roasting pan on a rack underneath it in order to catch all the falling juices.  That’s my grandmother’s rule to keeping the meat tender. Here, in Normandy, meat and potatoes are paramount, so I take her advice seriously!


-1 leg of lamb
-3 sprigs parsley
-3 sprigs thyme
-1 sprig rosemary
-6 cloves garlic
-cracked pepper
-juice from 1 lemon
-2 Tbsp olive oil
-1-2 cups water


Preheat oven to 425F. Place a rack in the middle of the oven, and a second one underneath.

Place leg of lamb on a clean surface and rub in pepper. Place the peeled garlic cloves, lemon juice, olive oil, parsley, thyme, and rosemary sprigs, and one cup of water in the bottom of a large roasting pan.

Place roasting pan on bottom rack, and place leg of lamb directly on the middle rack. Baste the leg of lamb with the juices from the pan. Cook for 15 minutes at 425F and then reduce heat to 350F. Baste every 15-20 minutes.

Cook approximately 20 minutes per pound, or until done to your liking. Serve with strained cooking juices with fat skimmed off, stewed beans, and crisp potatoes.

Bon appétit!


Read Full Post »

I have finally made the move to Ottawa for the summer, arriving via a spoiled detour in NYC!

Lamb is always one of my absolutely favourite meals, and my family welcomed me home with a delicious lamb supper.  A long family favourite way to cook lamb is to marinade it in mustard.   We decided to sear the lamb in a garlic and rosemary infused mustard sauce (a family favourite), and as per usual it was stellar!  The rub brought out the earthiness of the lamb, keeping the delicious juiciness intact!

Mustard-Infused Rack of Lamb

(1 rack – serves 3 small or 2 large portions)


1 rack of lamb

2 cloves of garlic

1 tablespoon of dried rosemary

1/4 cup Dijon mustard

Freshly ground salt and pepper


Mix the mustard, garlic, and rosemary together.  Rub evenly into lamb, and ground salt and pepper to your liking over the marinade.  Allow the lamb to marinate for at least 15 minutes, or as long as overnight.

Preheat the oven to 450 F.  Cook lamb for 10 minutes, before reducing oven to 350 F and cooking for another 15 to 20 minutes.  Allow the lamb to sit for a few minutes before serving.  Absolutely delicious with some mint sauce or red pepper jelly!

– Catherine

Read Full Post »

Braised Lamb Stew

While Catherine goes on her March vegetarian adventure, I guess I’ll take care of a few meat recipes, although to be honest, I am at least 4/5 a vegetarian normally.  Just before I left for Belize, Graham and I had planned a delicious meal. My molecular biology experiment took over my free time, so by the time we were home I realized that we had forgotten to get most of the ingredients we needed. In the fridge/pantry, we had some lamb shoulders, carrots, canned tomatoes, rice, and thankfully, a bottle of red wine on hand. Instead of following any major recipe, I just went with my instinct – which is always fun. It’s useful to have enough cooking experience that these types of games usually work out! And I guess the only other important thing to say here is that when I cook with only a few ingredients, I always find it more difficult to go wrong!

Simmering the lamb slowly makes for melt-on-your tongue deliciousness.

Ingredients – 2 servings

-2 lamb shoulder steaks
-1 Tbsp olive oil
-2 large carrots, chopped into medium chunks
-1 can tomatoes
-1 onion, sliced
-3 cloves garlic, finely minced
-1/2 cup red wine
-1 tsp cumin
-1/2 tsp ground coriander
-1 tsp worcestershire sauce
-salt and peper to taste
-10 sprigs parsley, leaves only, finely chopped


In a sauté pan, heat oil over medium heat.  Brown the lamb on each side for 5 minutes.  Remove the lamb from pan, and let stand in a dish.  Add onions to pan, and let them melt over medium for 2 minutes.  Add carrots, and let them cook over low heat for 15 minutes or so.  Season with spices, add wine, and bring to a simmer.  Then add garlic, canned tomatoes, and lamb, and bring to a boil and then stew for 30-45 minutes at a simmer.  The sauce should be rich, and the meat should be tender.  Serve with couscous or potatoes – and sprinkle the parsley over top!  You can also add lemon zest, or lemon juice when you add the tomatoes if you have some.


Read Full Post »