Blood Orange and Fig Braised Lamb Shanks

My love for lamb is no secret. Aside from being delicious on its own, it also pairs quite nicely with fruit, and if I tend to do anything, it’s to fall back on fruit (what’s your signature? We all have one). In this case, I saw a lamb shank that used blood oranges, and since I’ve been hoarding those, this seemed like a must try. So today, a lamb shank braised in blood orange, dried figs, and a variety of spices.

Blood Orange and Fig Braised Lamb Shanks

I had a hard time quite pinning down what corner of the world this dish would represent, but given the strong blend of spices (star anise, cardamom, cloves) mixed with figs, it seemed somewhat middle eastern (you be the judge). Whatever is a suitable origin for this, it was delicious. I love lamb shank because there pretty much… click to read more…

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Lamb and Red Pepper Paella

If you’ve never had paella before, you’re probably thinking what’s the big deal, its just another rice dish (or maybe that was just me). Well firstly, rice is awesome. Secondly, paella, like risotto is in a league all its own in the rice-world. This Spanish dish is not just “stuff” mixed in with rice–this is a hearty, vibrant class of dishes very open to experimentation whether it be vegetables, seafood, or meat–and technique is important. Like risotto, while the mix-ins and other flavors are important, the texture and method of cooking the rice itself is also a big part of what makes it so unique. In this particular rendition, the focus is red peppers, lamb, and chickpeas.

Lamb and Red Pepper Paella

This paella was really tasty–very fresh, slightly sweet, and enticingly aromatic (yay for saffron). Plus, I love the mix of colors and how it looks great in that big paella… click to read more…

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Shahi Korma (“Royal Lamb” with a Creamy Almond Sauce)

When I eat out, I tend to avoid ordering chicken. There’s lots of spectacular chicken dishes out there, but to me, its the least exciting of meats. But when I go to Indian restaurants, its usually another story. Often, I’ll encounter lamb (or mutton)-based curries, but what this has usually amounted to for me is tough meat, no distinct lamb/mutton flavor, and the dish is swimming in a pool of grease (on that note, I wish there were better Indian restaurants around here!). I thought I’d try my hand at it this at home to see how I would fare.

Shahi Korma ("Royal Lamb" with a Creamy Almond Sauce)

If you’re like me, the name of this dish seems a bit confusing when combined with the photo. Creamy almond sauce evokes images of a delicate, light-tannish colored, velvetty sauce. Well, it started out that way, but the end result is a lot thicker, almost to the point of adding a tacky crust to the meat (which I was… click to read more…

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Lamb Goulash

In researching goulash, I came to appreciate that this dish is like chili–not in terms of flavors, but in terms of the heated arguments about how no matter what you’re approach, whatever you’re doing is not authentic and is simply wrong. So since I was clearly doomed to fail from the get go, I figured I might as well take some liberties with it anyways, right? However it’s made though, this stew is just the thing to warm your bones this winter.

Purists would argue that goulash is not a place for tomatoes or peppers and that all such flavor should come from the paprika (since if you didn’t know, unlike most others, this dish is very much about the paprika). I avoided the former but not so much the latter–I enjoy eating peppers more than I enjoy the approval of purists. I also furthered… click to read more…

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Ragù alla Bolognese (Bolognese Sauce)

When I was young, pasta came with one of two sauces: tomato or meat. Now, I can appreciate that there’s a lot more to “meat sauce” than I used to think there was, and anybody who has ever tried to pursue that perfect Bolognese sauce knows just what I mean. For instance, despite its appearance, tomato should not be a huge part of the sauce–a variety of meats, slowly braised and simmered, is the true star, giving this sauce a full body and an incredible complexity. Of course, no matter how you make it, it won’t be hard to find somebody else who does it completely differently. Ragù alla Bolognese is one of those personal, family tradition kind of sauces that has as many recipes as there are people on the planet at any given moment.

I was inspired by the insightsclick to read more…

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Lamb Chops with Blueberry Sauce

If you’re a regular reader, you may have noticed my quiet love for blueberries (unlike my less quiet love for strawberries), and so I thought it would be nice to enjoy them in a savory dish rather than the sweets I usually flock to. In my mind, two proteins go beautifully with fruit: pork and lamb. Based on the randomness of my cravings, lamb it was, and so for this dish, we have Lamb Chops with a Blueberry Sauce.

If you’ve never had a savory application of blueberries like this, you might make a face at the thought of this, but I promise, this is a surprisingly great match. Aside from lamb chops being delicious, the dish as a whole was gamey and rich, the sauce tannic, full-bodied, dark,… click to read more…

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