Liking the Lamb

Lamb isn’t an ingredient that I have had significant experience with. Because no one in my family particularly enjoys it, I only ever order it in restaurants. I guess that’s one of the bonuses of living on your own. You can make whatever you want to eat, whenever you want to eat it. So I decided to be adventurous and try cooking it myself. The only piece of advice I have regarding this is don’t overcook it. Mine was fine, it wasn’t dry but I would have preferred it more on the rare side of medium. It is very similar to duck in that you want it to stay nice and pink in the centre. I served it with savory bread pudding and braised kale (a dark, leafy green). Here’s the recipe.

Ingredients:

– butter and olive oil, as needed
– salt and pepper to taste
– 1 piece of dry bread
– 3 grape tomatoes, halved
– 1/2 cup finely sliced onion
– chicken stock, as needed

For the bread pudding heat up both butter and olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, about 1/2 tbsp of each. Why use two types of fat? The butter adds flavor but burns very easily – the oil prevents this. Add the onion, along with a pinch of salt. This helps to draw out the moisture, allowing the onions to caramelize mroe quickly. After 15 to 20 minutes, they will turn a rich, brown color (make sure you stir them from time to time to prevent both stickage and burnage). Add the bread and tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Once the bread picks up some color and starts to toast, it is time to add the chicken stock. Do this gradually, depending on the conditions, you don’t always need the same amount. You only want to add as much as the bread is able to absorb. Hence, the drier the bread, the more stock you can use. The bread is going to look soggy and kind of gross to be honest, you are doing everything right. Pour the mixture into a ramekin or other small, oven-proof vessel. Bake it at 350 F for around half an hour. The concept is like making stuffing, without the turkey. Use more bread and up the quantities of the other ingredients, bake it in a 9×13 Pyrex and you have yourself a great family-style side dish.

– 2 lamb chops (or as many as you want to eat)
– salt and pepper to taste
– olive oil as needed
– 2 cups of shredded kale
– 1 tbsp soy sauce
– 1/4 cup chicken stock
– 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

For the lamb, heat up a skillet to medium high and add oil, just enough to coat the bottom. Make sure it is screaming hot and add your lamb (make sure you put salt and pepper on both sides first!). Cook for about 3 minutes per side. It will develop a gorgeous, beautiful, picturesque crust. If you haven’t noticed, I get quite the kick out of searing things, it makes me feel ligit. Now this is where I went wrong. If your chops are as tiny as mine were, you can take them straight out of the pan and let them rest. They have received all the cooking they need. Heed my mantra, the poor lamb is already dead, no need to kill it again! Instead I decided they could use a touch more time so I popped them in the oven along with the bread pudding. Any of you with meat phobias, I suppose you should probably do this. But it was definitely overdone to my specifications. Anyways, while the lamb rests, add the kale to the pan and season with pepper only. Deglaze (get all the yummy brown bits off the bottom) with chicken stock. You might as well add your soy sauce and lemon juice at this point as well. We held off on the salt earlier because soy sauce is naturally high in sodium. However if it still needs more, use your discretion and add it (I DID!!!). Kale is tougher than spinach or chard or other greens so depending on how much crunch you want, you are going to let it cook down a bit longer. For me, this only took maybe 10 minutes.

Toasting the bread with the onion and tomato.
Bread pudding BEFORE its time in the oven.
Lamb before
Lamb after…isn’t it pretty!!!
Ta-Da!
I think I am getting the hang of this picture taking stuff 🙂
Finally you can plate everything up. I unmolded my pudding from the ramekin so it was shaped in a perfect cylinder. Put the kale on the side, lamb chops on top, drizzle with the pan juices and it is time to eat!

2 thoughts on “Liking the Lamb

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *