Category: Lamb

Greek-Style Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed Peppers

I was recently confronted with an abundance of multi-colored bell peppers. Peppers are a funny ingredient. Unlike zucchini, another prolific crop, which is easily turned into quick breads and muffins, fritters and casseroles, peppers are rarely the star of the dish.

Think sausage with peppers and onions, fajitas come with sautéed peppers and there are so many recipes that call for peppers to be chopped or diced and added to other aromatics such as onions, garlic, celery and/or carrots as the foundation of a recipe. The only time they stand on their own is as a shell for stuffing. And this is where it gets interesting.

Stuffed Peppers

There are so many different ingredients to choose from. Ground meat of any type is suitable and also optional. There are a multitude of grains and beans to choose from. Add chopped vegetables and herbs and moisten with a sauce and top off with some crumbled or shredded cheese and you have a delicious entrée.

Watch the Greek-Style Stuffed Peppers Video Here.

 

Along with the peppers, I also had a few eggplants and decided to go with a Greek-style stuffed pepper. Start by sautéing some ground lamb and diced onion with salt and pepper. Stir in garlic, oregano and just a bit of cinnamon. To keep it moist, I added a thawed pint of tomato sauce I’d made earlier in the season. Cube the eggplant and toss in couple of cups along with more of those bell peppers cut into small pieces. Let it simmer for about 20 minutes. To finish in a traditional Greek style stir in chopped Kalamata olives and crumbled Feta cheese.

Stuffed Peppers

While the sauce simmers, slice off the tops and remove the core, seeds and membrane and season the insides with a sprinkle of kosher salt and a grind or two of fresh pepper.

I intended to freeze the stuffed peppers in batches for future use and needed to
partially cook the yellow bell peppers that would house the filling. The pre-cooking step deactivates the ripening enzymes to ensure that the peppers retain their color, shape and flavor.

Stuffed Peppers

Place the prepared bell peppers upright in a baking dish. and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Pop in the microwave on high for 3 minutes or until slightly softened. Stuff each shell with the filling.

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Greek-Style Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed Peppers

Use the abundance of vegetables at the farmers’ market to make these delicious and eye-appealing Greek-style stuffed peppers with lamb or to keep it vegan, use a grain such as orzo or quinoa in lieu of the lamb. Keep it colorful and use a variety of colors!

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 40 mins
  • Cook Time: 85 mins
  • Total Time: 2 hours 5 mins
  • Yield: 8 servings
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Baking

Ingredients

  • 8 bell peppers, tops removed, seeds, ribs and stems removed, save tops
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • Filling
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 1 ½ cups minced onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano or 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon minced cloves garlic (3 medium cloves)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 cup chopped bell peppers, any color
  • 1 can (15.5 ounces) fired roasted tomatoes or a pint of tomato sauce
  • ¼ cup chopped Kalamata olives
  • ¼ cup feta cheese crumbles

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease a 9- by 13-inch casserole dish
  3. Lined baking sheet to catch any spills
  4. Season the inside of each bell pepper with a sprinkle of kosher salt and a grind or two of fresh pepper. Place upright in a baking dish.
  5. Note: If you are making in advance and planning to freeze, cover tightly with plastic wrap. Pop in the microwave on high for 3 minutes or just until slightly softened.
  6. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in the lamb and onions, using the edge of a wooden spoon to break up the meat into a crumbly mix. Cook until the meat is no longer red.
  7. Stir in the oregano, garlic and cinnamon and cook for 30 seconds.
  8. Add the eggplant, peppers and tomatoes or tomato sauce and bring to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
  9. Stir in the olives and feta off heat and stuff each pepper with the filling.
  10. Cover tightly with foil and place on a lined baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes, one hour for frozen peppers.

 

Grilled Butterflied Leg of Lamb

Grilled Butterflied Leg of Lamb

Make a grilled butterflied leg of lamb as the perfect  summer get-to-together meal! Use any rub or marinade to flavor and let sit at least four hours or overnight. I checked my pantry to look for marinades that got pushed to the back and were forgotten. I found a Stonewall Kitchen pineapple ginger sauce that was perfect. It’s always nice to have some on hand – we don’t always feel like making everything from scratch!

If the lamb is large and unwieldy, use the natural lines of the meat to help you cut it into parts. Each piece has a different thickness and needs different cooking times. Separating the leg also has the advantage of cooking pieces to different internal temperatures. Satisfy your family and guests with slices that are medium rare, medium and well done.

Start with direct heat to sear the outside. Once you have a nicely browned and crispy outside, move to the indirect heat. Close the cover and continue cooking at about 300 degrees F. Optimal internal temperature is 135 degrees F for medium rare.

Serve this delicious lamb with our summer vegetable medley. A combination of eggplant, zucchini, baby bell peppers and cherry tomatoes. A little shredded cheese, such as mozzarella or feta complete the dish.

Watch the Butterflied Leg of Lamb Video Here.

Garlic Rosemary Roasted Boneless Leg of Lamb

Boneless leg of lamb

Try this  Garlic Rosemary Roasted Boneless Leg of Lamb or your next special occasion, such as a birthday!

Boneless leg of lamb

Sear to brown all sides.

Birthdays in our family were relatively low key, unless you were my brother. We didn’t have parties, unless you were my brother. We didn’t get presents, unless you were my brother. What we did get, unless you were my brother, was the dinner of your choice. My father and I have birthdays that are only a few days apart and we both wanted leg of lamb, always. We’re also a pie family, unless you’re my brother, so homemade fresh peach pie was also our choice. Our birthdays are late September/early October – peach season!

My brother on the other hand, likes to celebrate his birthday. He would go around the neighborhood and invite all the kids to his party. On the day of his birthday, he’d tell Mom that all these kids were coming over. You’d think that Mom and I would have caught on after a while, but we were always blindsided

Boneless leg of lamb

Rub the marinade all over.

Tom, my brother, who by the way still celebrates his birthdays in big ways, has a July birthday. The bakeries in Rochester were closed in July back in the day. There were no big supermarkets that had bakeries either. Mom and I were always running around to the penny candy store looking for goody-bag fillings and trying desperately to get a cake, a Carvel ice cream always fit the bill. Somehow we always managed to pull it off and had fun doing so. It became comical.

Boneless leg of lamb

Roast low and slow. Cover and let rest 10-20 minutes before slicing.

Dad and I stuck to our leg of lamb and peach pie routine for many years. I was reminding them  about this recently, but they are both 90 and seem to have forgotten that tradition and my brother’s birthday antics. I’m visiting him soon and am going to see if he remembers!

Boneless leg of lamb

Don’t forget to remove the butcher’s twine!

This is my favorite version of a leg of lamb. I love the flavors of the rosemary, garlic and Dijon mustard with the slight gaminess of the lamb. This cooking method is low and slow. As you’ll see in the video, the outcome is an evenly cooked roast that is very juice. My mouth is watering just writing about it!

Boneless leg of lamb

Slice and move to a warm platter.

Click here for meat and poultry roasting chart and safe minimum cooking temperatures.

Watch the video for Garlic Rosemary Roasted Boneless Leg of Lamb here.

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Garlic Rosemary Roasted Boneless Leg of Lamb

Boneless leg of lamb

This low and slow method of roasting provides an evenly cooked and juicy roast. I found that 25 minutes per pound worked well at the 275 degrees F. My four-pound roast was medium rare (135 degrees F) after 1 hour 20 minutes. I had left the roast on the kitchen counter for 2 hours before roasting.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 30 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 50 mins
  • Yield: 10 portions
  • Category: Lamb
  • Method: Roasting

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup roughly chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 6 large cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 four-pound boneless leg of lamb
  • coarse salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Garnish
  • Several fresh rosemary sprigs

Instructions

  1. Line a 15-by-10-by-1-inch baking sheet with foil.
  2. Combine the oil, mustard, rosemary and garlic in a small bowl.
  3. Roll and tie the roast with butcher twine, or ask your butcher to do it for you.
  4. Generously season the roast all over with salt and pepper.
  5. Heat a skillet large enough to hold the roast over medium-high heat. Pour in the oil and swirl across the bottom. Lay the fatty side of the lamb on the bottom of the pan and sear for 3 minutes.
  6. Turn one quarter and sear 3 minutes, repeat 2 more times with a quarter turn each.
  7. Place a good dollop of the marinade on the lined baking sheet and then place the lamb, fatty side up, on the marinade. Scoop the remaining marinade on top of the roast and spread all over the remaining 3 sides.
  8. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
  9. Bring the lamb out of the refrigerator about 2 hours before roasting. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F about 15 minutes before cooking.
  10. Place in the oven and roast for 1 1/2 hours for medium rare. Use a thermometer to check internal temps.
  11. Let rest for 10-20 minutes. Tent with foil if the weather is cool.
  12. Slice, place on a warm platter and garnish with rosemary sprigs.

 

 

How To Roast Meat

how to roast

This is the first segment in a Master Class on How To Roast Meat, which provides information on preparing, cooking, resting and serving a perfectly cooked roast.  We broke the class down into five separate videos for easy viewing. See the master class playlist here.

How To Tie a Roast

Tie a boneless roast to keep an even shape and cook evenly.

 

Factors that Affect Roasting Time

There are three factors that affect roasting time:

  • How much it weighs.
  • Whether it’s bone-in or boneless.
  • The temperature or the roast before cooking

 

How to Cook the Perfect Roast

I like the low and slow method of roasting for even cooking and juicy meat. Sear the meat first, let it sit out to warm up before putting in the oven and set your time to match the desired internal temperature, such as rare or medium rare. Click here to get a chart on cooking times per pound and here to see minimum internal temperature recommendations.

Rest the Roast for Optimum Results

Rest the meat after taking it out of the oven to maintain juiciness and flavor.

Here’s a quick recap of the important points on the roasting technique.

 

 

 

Mediterranean Braised Lamb Shanks

We started March with almost summer-like temperatures in the mid-70s and now the first day of spring, we’re expecting a snow storm! I decided to take advantage of the hopefully last cold days to make Mediterranean Braised Lamb Shanks in the slow cooker. Always make a braise the day before, the flavors are much better and it gives you an opportunity to easily remove the fat before reheating.

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Eric went to Stew Leonard’s and picked up some beautiful grass-grown lamb shanks from the Amish country. For the Mediterranean flavors, I’m using sundried tomatoes, Dijon mustard, herbes de Provence, saffron and a lovely Italian red wine. I had ¾ cup of cornmeal in the cupboard and decided to make a soft polenta with some sautéd shaved Brussels as my sides.

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The snow came Sunday night and it was a beautiful sight to wake up to this morning! The sun glistening on the snow-covered limbs and a brilliant blue sky. The snow didn’t even stick to the paved surfaces and the barely three inches we got are melting away quickly!DSCN5036

 

Goodbye Winter!

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Happy Spring everyone!

 

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Mediterranean Braised Lamb Shanks

A flavorful Mediterranean Braised Lamb Shank recipe for the slow cooker. Cook the day before to allow the flavors to come together and to let the fat set for easy removal.

  • Prep Time: 45 mins
  • Cook Time: 8 hours
  • Total Time: 8 hours 45 mins
  • Yield: 8 servings
  • Category: Lamb
  • Method: Stew/Braise

Ingredients

  • 8 Lamb shanks
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more if needed
  • 2 cups diced onion
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup diced carrot
  • 8 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 1 cup sundried tomatoes, not packed in oil
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons dried herbes de Provence
  • Pinch saffron
  • 1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup stock or water
  • GARNISH
  • ¼ cup pitted and sliced Nicoise olives
  • ¼ chopped rosemary, thyme and parsley
  • zested lemon peel

Instructions

  1. Generously season both sides of the lamb shanks.
  2. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven and brown the lamb shanks in batches.
  3. Add a little more oil if needed and stir in the onions, celery, carrots and garlic. Cover and sweat for 5 minutes, stirring once.
  4. Add the wine, sundried tomatoes, mustard, herbes de Provence and saffron, stir to combine, bring to a boil and reduce by three-quarters.
  5. Stir in the tomatoes and stock/water. Add the lamb shanks, cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, until fork tender.
  6. Combine the olives, herbs and lemon peel. Plate the lamb and sprinkle the garnish over the top.

Keywords: stew, braise, lamb stew, slow cooking

Greek-Style Lamb Burgers

What’s better on a beautiful summer evening than burgers, grilled corn, and a mélange of roasted eggplant, zucchini, red bell peppers, red onions and cherry tomatoes tossed with cubes of fresh mozzarella and basil leaves. I’m making a Greek-style Lamb Burgers to celebrate EJL’s 62nd birthday!

 

Chocolate Cream Pie!

 

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Greek-Style Lamb Burgers

Greek-style Lamb Burgers with Kalamata olives, pine nuts, feta cheese, fresh herbs and garlic. In lieu of a bun, serve on grilled eggplant spread with humus!

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 burgers
  • Category: Lamb
  • Method: Grilling

Ingredients

2 pounds ground lamb
1 cup finely chopped fresh herbs (parsley, oregano, thyme and/or mint)
1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, finely chopped
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
2 garlic cloves, minced
zested peel of one lemon
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled

Instructions

Place the lamb, herbs, olives, pine nuts, garlic, lemon zest, salt, pepper and nutmeg in a large mixing bowl. Use your hands to combine all the ingredients.

Press the lamb mixture around the bottom of the bowl to make a roughly 1-inch thick layer and scatter the crumbled goat across the top. Gently fold a few times to incorporate the cheese.

Take 1/8 of the mixture and form a patty. Set on a tray and repeat until you have 8 burgers.

Refrigerate until 30 minutes before cooking; pan fry, broil or grill.

Grilled Lamb Chops

It’s Valentine’s Day and we gave up going out to celebrate years ago. The food is usually mediocre, even the best restaurants go off menu and over book. It’s a nightmare. We’ll have a low-key, peaceful dinner at home with Grilled Lamb Chops.

I marinated the chops in olive oil, with a generous dollop of Dijon mustard, a splash of balsamic vinegar, a handful of roughly chopped garlic, a couple of branches of minced rosemary, salt and pepper. I’ll grill these to medium rare.

On the side we’re’ having sweet potatoes with goat cheese and creamed spinach. I’ve prepped both ahead so all I have to do is heat them through before serving to keep the cleanup minimal. After all, cleaning the kitchen isn’t very romantic!

Eric won’t get home until 8pm and having the prep work done in advance and the grill preheated means I can have dinner ready in 15 minutes. While the chops are on the grill, I’ll reheat the sweet potatoes and spinach and we’ll be eating at 8:05.

Happy Valentine’s Day!