A Greek Way with Lamb Chops (4)

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Imagine gathering the flavors that to me conjure up Greek food – lamb, black olives, tomatoes, potatoes, lemon, oregano, feta cheese – and tossing them all together then cooking them in the oven in a large baking dish until the meat is tender and juicy, the potatoes a little crisp, the tomatoes bursting with juice. Dinner party worthy.

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees

4 x loin lamb chops

1 large onion – sliced

2 large cloves garlic – roughly chopped

8 oz. baby tomatoes – halved

2 oz. black olives – pitted and cut in half

12 oz. new potatoes – cut into 1 inch chunks

1 tbsp. each of fresh oregano, thyme, parsley – finely chopped

Juice of half a lemon

3 tbsp. olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 oz. feta cheese – cut into small cubes (optional – I can eat this as it is made from sheep’s milk. I can’t tolerate cow’s milk)

Place the lamb chops in a large baking tray.

Put the tomatoes, olives, potatoes and herbs in a large bowl.

Whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper and pour over the vegetables. Stir well, cover and leave to marinate for half and hour.

Place vegetables around the lamb chops and cook for an hour – check every so often and give veg.  astir.

Add feta cheese (optional) and serve.

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Jo’s Greek Meatballs (4)

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Meatballs to me are comfort food. These meatballs are very quick to make and combine what I think of as Greek flavors – lamb, oregano and feta cheese. I cook them in the oven on a metal rack over a roasting tin so that the grease drops into the tin and leaves you with moist but not greasy meatballs. They go nicely with a salad I serve them with a salad as I think a sauce would drown the taste. If you want a new idea for cocktail nibbles make them very small and serve on a toothpick.

1 pound of ground lamb seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tsp. dried oregano

2 oz. feta cheese – crumbled

1 egg – beaten

Place the lamb, oregano and feta in a large bowl and mix well together.

Add beaten egg and mix again, then make into palm of hand size meat balls.

Cook in oven at 350 degrees for between 20 – 30 minutes depending on size of meatball (cut in half to see if cooked).

Tamarind Lamb Chops on a Bed of Moroccan Vegetables (4)

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Lamb is a frequent feature in North African dishes such as stews and tagines and I have borrowed some flavors from the area – cumin, cilantro and harissa paste – to bolster this dish.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

4 x lamb chops drizzled with oil

1 tbsp. olive oil seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 of a large yellow onion – chopped

1 tsp. cumin

2 tsp. harissa paste

1/2 a medium size cauliflower – cut into smallish florets

6 fl. oz. water

1 x 15 oz. can of chickpeas – rinsed and drained

1 tbsp. cilantro – finely chopped

Tamarind paste – for spreading on cooked lamb chops

Place the lamb chops in oven and cook for 30 minutes.

While the chops are cooking prepare the bed of vegetables.

Heat seasoned oil in a skillet and when sizzling add onion, turn heat down a little and soften.

Add cumin, harissa paste and cauliflower florets and stir. Then pour over the water, cover skillet, bring to boil and simmer for a few minutes until cauliflower is just tender. Pour in chickpeas and cilantro and heat through.

Place vegetables on a serving dish, top with lamb chops brushed with tamarind paste.

 

Lamb, Apricot and Prune Stew (serves 4)

Lamb, Apricot and Prune Stew (serves 4)

Why on earth would I photo - lamb, prune and apricot stewmake a stew in August? It’s just that I had an idea and had to act on it (dog likes it as she has just licked my plate clean!). Had stewing lamb in freezer and thought that it might be nice with dried apricots and prunes and then I flung in a can of Great Northern Beans (small white beans). In other cuisines (Moroccan – tagine) lamb is combined with fruit and in the UK roast lamb is served with red currant jelly, so it goes well with sweet flavors. After bringing all the ingredients to a boil in a cast iron casserole dish, I placed it in the oven for 3 hours at a low heat. Then I brought it out and brought it back to boil to reduce the liquid a bit. And then I added 2 tbsp. of red pepper jelly (easily available in supermarkets in the US, not sure about elsewhere but red currant jelly could be a substitute and almost 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard and added it to the sauce. Mashed/baked sweet potato would complete the meal.

2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 large onion – chopped

2 large cloves of garlic – finely chopped

1 1/4 pounds of stewing lamb cut into cubes

3 cups veg. broth/stock

1 x 15.8 oz can of reduced sodium Great Northern Beans

8 x prunes – roughly chopped

10 x dried apricots – roughly chopped (managed to find some with no preservatives)

2 tbsp. red pepper jelly

Just less than 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard

Heat 1 tbsp. seasoned olive oil in cast iron casserole dish and when sizzling add onion and garlic and cook until a little browned.

Remove from pan and place aside.

Heat the other 1 tbsp. of olive oil and when sizzling add lamb and sear on all sides.

Add veg. broth, prunes and apricots.

Bring to boil, then place in low oven for 3 hours.

Remove from oven, place on cooker, bring to boil and reduce liquid for about 5 minutes or so.

Add red pepper jelly and Dijon mustard and stir well.

Spring Lamb Stew with Peas (serves 4)

Spring Lamb Stew (serves 4)

Spring Lamb Stew is a lovely dish – half comfort food but with hints that better weather is round the corner. To the lamb, I added carrots, peas and snow peas (fresh, if possible) and served new potatoes with mint. The carrots were all different colors – orange, yellow and purple which I found at the Farmer’s Market and they livened up the color. When I saw something similar being served (on a cold, windy Spring day in the UK!) it came in a large soup plate with a large rim and that seemed a nice way to serve it.

1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 x onion – chopped

2 pounds of lamb – cut into bite size pieces

3 x carrots – sliced

6 oz. fresh peas

6 oz. fresh snowpeas/mangetout

2 cups veg. stock/broth

Place oil in cast iron casserole dish and season with salt and pepper.

When sizzling add onion and cook will just a bit brown.

Remove onion for casserole dish, add lamb and sear on all sides (add more oil if  you need, I didn’t)

Place onion back in dish when lamb is seared, then add carrots, peas, snowpeas/mangetout and veg. broth.

Place in oven at 350 degrees for 1/2 and hour, then turn down heat to 250 degrees and cook for a further hour.

Leg of Lamb with Garlic and Rosemary Smeared All Over It

Leg of Lamb with Garlic and Rosemary Smeared All Over It

For me, Easter isn’t Easter without roast lamb (and mint sauce and redcurrant jelly). I smear a rosemary and garlic mixture all over the leg of  lamb, pop it in oven, basting once in a while.

Place 3 tbsp. of rosemary leaves, 2 large cloves of garlic (chopped) and 2 tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil in food processor. Smear over lamb (you may not need all of the mixture depending on the size of your leg of lamb). Pour another tbsp. of olive oil over lamb and place in oven.