Friday’s Best Lamb Recipe

Lamb in your face

 

Serves 2-4, depending on your eaters. If this is a main course, make 8 cakes, 2 cakes per person. If this is an appetizer portion you could get up to 18 smaller lamb morsels.

I made these lamb cakes tonight. I had a pound of ground lamb hanging around, which I know is sort of eccentric, but it look fresh and bright and pink and so very British sitting there in the QFC.  The English eat lamb continually, in chops, in racks, and then there are the rosemary en-crusted legs. I needed a recipe the kids would eat. And I was inspiring by trying to make something herbal and light with lamb, which many people (and more than a few friends of mine) are afraid of.

Recipe 

1 pound ground lamb, about 85 percent lean, but you can use leaner meat, too.

1 bunch parsley, chopped rough, but fine enough that it won’t be obtrusive in your meat

1 smashed garlic clove, smash it good, baby, and then crush it…..

1 yellow onion, rough chopped (you will be running this through a processor after it’s cooked so you don’t have to fuss with your chopping.)

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons capers

1 egg yolk

1/2 cup bread crumbs, fresh (I used gluten free bread but you don’t need to)

Olive oil, for sweating onion and cooking lamb in skillet

Lots of ground pepper, to taste…

 

1.  Before you get started with the lamb, chop your onion in a rough cut dice. Then heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium non-stick skillet and sweat your onion out, as in cook it until it’s translucent and sweet.  Season the onion accordingly, as anything going in your main dish needs to taste it’s best, right?  Add the garlic the last minute or so, and stir that around. A nice mellowed garlic adds a delicious hint to lamb without being overly onion-like or over powering. Because I have young children, once the onions were done I put them in the food processor for 10 seconds and cut them down. You don’t want to do this with raw onions, as it makes them bitter. But with cooked onions, it’s fine. Then, I added the capers and did another 10 seconds. Voila, you have an onion, caper paste.

2. Okay, so here’s the deal with the lamb. Put your lamb in a medium stainless steal bowl. Or whatever bowl really, I just happened to have stainless ones. Add your parsley. Add the onion and caper mix. Add the salt, egg yolk and fresh bread crumbs. Add pepper to taste. the meat will be loose, not stiff enough for traditional meatballs, which is fine.

IMG_1312, lamb mix

 

3.  Heat two tablespoons of oil in a non-stick pan. I got about 10 little lamb cakes. I dropped them from a spoon into the oil, and formed them with the spoon. The mixture is firm enough that you can make little cakes. I kind of like things rustic, though, but that’s me. I cooked 5 at a time on medium heat. You turn them about about 4 minutes, and then let them cook through, so you  have another 4 or five minutes. Once they are cooked through, you can let them rest, or put them in the oven at a low temperature.

IMG_0892, lambI cooked my last batch with some Roma tomatoes that I had cut in half. These were a wonderful condiment, garnish.

Serve these as you like, with a yogurt sauce as an accompaniment if you like, but they are so delicious alone that you don’t need anything but a side salad.

IMG_0895, lamb on plateSo here’s a more formal presentation, like, in my kitchen, with cats against my feet and the kids going nuts. These were really delicious though, despite this crazy place, and despite how easy they are to make. Good food does not have to be fussy or snobby or hard. But you do have to have lamb on hand. You can test this mix for taste by frying a small bit, like a teaspoon in a hot skillet. This is how I learned to make a tasty forcemeat in France. Such an obvious thing, frying a little up to test for taste. See, it’s not magic. People ask me all of the time, how do you know when the meat is done?  Well, yes, a professional grill chef would touch the meat, and once upon a time (when that was alllll I did, stand around and touch meat, yay me)  I touched the meat and knew when it was done, but guess what I do now?  I cut the darned thing open. I cut the meat and I look.  Sure, I sacrifice a piece of meat, but I get to eat it, so there you go.

Let me know when you try this. I can’t wait to see what you think.

Friday's Best Lamb Recipe
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Ingredients
  1. 1 pound ground lamb, about 85 percent lean, but you can use leaner meat, too.
  2. 1 bunch parsley, chopped rough, but fine enough that it won't be obtrusive in your meat
  3. 1 smashed garlic clove, smash it good, baby, and then crush it.....
  4. 1 yellow onion, rough chopped (you will be running this through a processor after it's cooked so you don't have to fuss with your chopping.)
  5. 1 teaspoon salt
  6. 2 tablespoons capers
  7. 1 egg yolk
  8. 1/2 cup bread crumbs, fresh (I used gluten free bread but you don't need to)
  9. Olive oil, for sweating onion and cooking lamb in skillet
  10. Lots of ground pepper, to taste...
Instructions
  1. 1. Before you get started with the lamb, chop your onion in a rough cut dice. Then heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium non-stick skillet and sweat your onion out, as in cook it until it's translucent and sweet. Season the onion accordingly, as anything going in your main dish needs to taste it's best, right? Add the garlic the last minute or so, and stir that around. A nice mellowed garlic adds a delicious hint to lamb without being overly onion-like or over powering. Because I have young children, once the onions were done I put them in the food processor for 10 seconds and cut them down. You don't want to do this with raw onions, as it makes them bitter. But with cooked onions, it's fine. Then, I added the capers and did another 10 seconds. Voila, you have an onion, caper paste.
  2. 2. Put your lamb in a medium stainless steal bowl. Or whatever bowl really, I just happened to have stainless ones. Add your parsley. Add the onion and caper mix. Add the salt, egg yolk and fresh bread crumbs. Add pepper to taste. the meat will be loose, not stiff enough for traditional meatballs, which is fine.
  3. 3. Heat two tablespoons of oil in a non-stick pan. I got about 10 little lamb cakes. I dropped them from a spoon into the oil, and formed them with the spoon. The mixture is firm enough that you can make little cakes. I kind of like things rustic, though, but that's me. I cooked 5 at a time on medium heat. You turn them about about 4 minutes, and then let them cook through, so you have another 4 or five minutes. Once they are cooked through, you can let them rest, or put them in the oven at a low temperature.
Still Life with Food http://mishelemaron.com/

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