Thursday, June 24, 2010

Lamb Dinners

A couple nights ago I made the below meal of leg of lamb cooked in apricot sauce with fresh herbs, sweet potatoes, and steamed artichokes, all served with a scrumptious red wine sauce.  It looked (and tasted) like I had slaved over it all day, but it was very little prep for such a "fancy" meal.

Leg of Lamb

Place the leg of lamb fat-side up in a dutch oven.  Heat a jar of apricot jam so it has a sauce texture.  Spread the jam on the lamb with a brush.  Place some whole garlic cloves around the lamb in the dutch oven.  Sprinkle the meat with thyme and crushed garlic.  Also place some fresh herbs on the lamb.  (I used rosemary and mint since that's what we have outside.)  Cook the lamb covered in the oven at 350 degrees for a couple hours, depending on the size of the leg and how well done you want it to be.  (Our lamb was from Costco and weighed a little over 4 lbs.)

(Another marinade is the apricot jam with some spicy mustard and fresh rosemary.)

Meanwhile, prep the artichokes my soaking them in a bowl of water with the leaves sticking up.  You can also cut off the sharp ends of the leaves.

About an hour into the lamb cooking prepare the sweet potatoes by washing and pricking them.  Add them to the oven to cook until done.

Next, start on the artichokes.  Place them in a large pot with about 1 inch of water.  Put them on about a
medium-high heat and steam them until done.  (The instructions I had said to steam for 1/2 hour, but they weren't anywhere near done.)

When the lamb is done you can store it in the microwave or on a heating platter to keep warm.  Leave all the juices and such in the dutch oven and place over the stove.  Add 3-4 cups beef broth, 1 Tbsp gelatin, and 1/4 red wine.  Make sure you completely mix it all in with the juices.  Boil the sauce down to about 1 cup.

While it's boiling you can make a dip for your artichokes.  I chopped up some fresh rosemary and added it to some mayonnaise.

Serve and enjoy!  If you have coconut oil, it's delicious on the sweet potatoes (and is a must if you can't have dairy!).

When it comes to cooking leg of lamb for meals we tend to have plenty of left overs.  Last night I turned it into shepherd's pie.  The recipe I have calls for a dairy rouge and plain ol' potatoes.  Since I had left over sauce I used that with a little flour and topped it off with sweet potatoes.

Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie

Wash and puncture your sweet potatoes and put them in the oven at 400 for about 1/2 hour or until cooked.

For the filling, start by chopping up a whole onion, 1/2 a red bell pepper, a few stalks of celery, and carrots.  Saute them with a little crushed garlic until cooked.  (I used olive oil in a fairly large pan or pot.)  Meanwhile chop up the left over lamb into kiddy bite-sized pieces.  When the veggies are done add the lamb and left over red wine sauce from the previous night.  Add some flour or arrowroot to thicken the sauce to a gravy-like texture.  If needed, add more beef stock.  Add some frozen peas as well.

While that's cooking or staying warm you can prep the mashed sweet potatoes.  I simply placed them in a food processor with an egg and some salt and pepper.

When the filling it done spread it in a casserole dish.  Top off the filling with the mashed sweet potatoes.

As it's all already cooked, broil the dish until the sweet potatoes brown a bit - like 5 mins. or so.

Vwala!  Enjoy!

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