Monday, April 20, 2009

Easter Lamb

There are so many ways of cooking lamb, but curiously, I never liked the result in any of them before I accidentally discovered the perfect marinade for cooking lamb.
It leaves just a very very delicate smell of well, you know, lamb, instead of the ordinarily very strong smell of lamb that could make one refuse to eat if not worse things.
I couldn't say that I prefer lamb, and it's of course because of the strong smell, but this recipe leaves the meat in such a succulent condition, that every lamb hater should love it.
First of all, you have to chose nice meat cuts that don't contain much suet - the lamb fat. To be sincere, I trusted our Middle-Eastern butcher and chose boneless ready diced lamb cuts of good color and minimal fat. Saying this I mean I forgot to check which part of the lamb this meat came from :)
The second step is the marinade.
For 500 gr of diced lamb, you should use the freshly squeezed juice of 1/2 large lemon, about 70 ml light soy sauce, and 1/2 big head of onion, sliced.
The third step are the herbs. I usually experiment a lot with herbs, but the nice combinations that you can always trust are fresh springs of lemon thyme, dill and a bit of rosemary.

When you mix all the stated ingredients, just add a dash of olive oil and leave aside for about 40 minutes to an hour.
Before roasting, add some 300 ml boiling water, and roast in a ceramic dish with a lid for an hour at 200 degrees Celsius, then another hour at 140 degrees.
When the meat is ready, you can remove the gravy and add it to the rice to introduce favour.
Rice goes perfect with fresh vegetables, and I would traditionally use two bunches of fresh onions. This time however I opted for sauerkraut. First cut the sauerkraut to tiny pieces and leave in clear water for about an hour to reduce salt and acidity.
After that put the strained sauerkraut over the heat in about 200 ml olive oil and 1/2 head of onion and 2 medium-sized cloves of garlic. Sprinkle with fresh dill and leave at medium heat for some 50 minutes. Be careful the heat is not too strong. If it starts to dry out, add boiling water earlier. Alternatively add boiling water after the sauerkraut is already very soft and looks transparent.
I think here's the place to mention that my preferred pan for this type of food - that could steam easily without sticking to the surface and without evaporating the water is a heavy wok with heavier lid. The lid does half of the job.
My latest most preferred type of rice is Thai jasmine rice, but I am sure, other types will do as well. For this recipe use about 250 gr of rice. Add to the softened sauerkraut, add more boiling water according to instructions. Put the lid on and leave on very low heat so that the rice absorbs the water, so that at the end it doesn't stick hard. When the rice has absorbed half the water, you can add the gravy from the roasted meat. It is also useful to taste the dish to check if it needs more salt of other condiments.
Usually the sauerkraut is so salty, it doesn't require additional salt, but it's always up to personal preferences.

And Happy Easter!

Serves 4 :

500-600 gr lamb
juice of 1/2 lemon
70 ml light soy sauce
1/2 big onion
lemon thyme
olive oil

400 gr sauerkraut
250 gr rice
1/2 diced head onion
2 cloves of garlic
200 ml olive oil
boiling water


Ricardo said...

I loved that presentation really good the tower of rice with the delicate meat on top, and a shower of herbs surrounding it ..delicious. :) xxx

Dani said...

You can come and cook for me at any time!

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