Thursday, 22 April 2010
Lamb was not something I really ate a lot of before I moved over here. I guess it was just not something that was readily available where I lived over in Canada, or maybe it was because it was not something that my mother ever really cooked when I was growing up.
She did try to cook some lamb chops one time, but they smelled like she was burning a pair of wool mittens when they were cooking, and none of us would touch them. That was my sum whole total experience of lamb.
After Todd and I got married our church Ward took us out for a meal about a week later to celebrate. One of the things on the menu at the restaurant was Roasted Lamb Loin with a Cumberland sauce. It sounded really good and I thought . . . . why not be brave and go for it.
I fell in love. Totally in love. The meat was sweet and tender and incredibly tasty.
Since then I have taken every opportunity to cook lamb when I can. I once did a slow roasted shoulder in the oven, using lemon and oregano and it was succulently delicious with some boiled potatoes. That reminds me . . . I need to do that again soon!
We had a delicious lamb curry one night for our tea last week and it was gorgeously tasty. Not too spicy . . . I don't like it when the spice in a dish masks the true flavours of what you are eating. The rich flavour of the lamb shone through in this, with just a hint of curry.
It was incredibly moreish served up with a Coriander Rice. I had thought there would be leftovers the next day for lunch . . . but
It was gone right away. Totally gone. In fact . . . we licked the platter clean.
*A Mild Lamb Curry*
A delicious gentle curry, creamy and mild. Serve with some tasty lime coriander rice.
2 tsp coriander seeds
2 tsp cumin seeds
The seeds from 8 cardamom pods
4 whole cloves
3 TBS mild flavoured oil
4 medium onions, peeled and thinly sliced
1 KG of lamb shoulder, trimmed and cut into ½ inch squares
2 tsp ground turmeric
4 fat cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
1 TBS minced fresh ginger root
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
450ml of coconut milk
150ml of chicken stock
The juice of one lime
For the rice:
500g basmati rice
1 ounce butter
A large handful of fresh coriander, chopped
The grated zest of one lime
The juice of one lime
Salt and black pepper to taste
To make the curry, toast the seeds and whole cloves in a dry skillet until fragrant. Tip into a pestle and mortar and grind until fairly fine. Pour two TBS of the oil into a heavy based saucepan over high heat. Once hot, add the onions and cook, stirring for about 5 minutes. Scoop out to a bowl and set aside. Add the remaining oil and add the lamb, in batched, browning one batch on all sides before removing to the bowl with the onions and browning the rest. Don’t overcrowd the pan or your meat will not brown properly and will stew instead of sear.
Tip the onions and meat back into the pan along with the ground spices, the turmeric, garlic and ginger root. Season to taste with some salt and pepper. Toss all together and then add the stock, coconut milk and lime juice, stirring and scraping any juicy bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for about an hour, until very tender. Remove the lid and simmer for about 15 minutes longer. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.
While the curry is cooking cook the rice. Place the rice in a sauce pan with double the volume of salted water. Bring to the boil. Cover with a lid. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 to 12 minutes until the rice is completely cooked and all of the moisture has been absorbed. Remove the pan from the heat and let sit for about 10 minutes with the lid on. Stir in the butter, lime zest, lime juice and chopped coriander with a fork. Serve immediately with the curry.