Stir-fries are a perfect weeknight meal. A stir-fry has meat, it has veggies, and everything is sautéed quickly in the same skillet (or wok). But when your stir-fry starts tasting the same, week after week, it’s easy to get bored. One simple way to change-up your standard stir-fry is to skip beef, pork and chicken and go for lamb instead.
It’s funny that lamb is rarely used in stir-fries because it’s really very good. Lamb tastes great with most Asian-inspired marinades and sauces, and it’s also really delicious if you want a whole new kind of stir-fry, one flavored by toasted cumin and coriander seeds, the warm heat of Sichuan peppercorns and fresh, cool herbs.
Besides offering variety and great flavor, grass fed lamb is near perfect meat, containing all 8 essential amino acids, several B vitamins, niacin, zinc, iron and lots of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). Here in the US, lamb is often overlooked at the meat counter or saved for a special occasion. But this lamb stir-fry recipe shows how easy it is to work lamb into a regular weeknight meal: slice it thinly, season it, and throw it in a hot skillet for just a few minutes. Other easy-to-make and easy to love lamb meals are harissa lamb chops, lamb meatballs, and lamb stew.
Time in the Kitchen: 45 minutes
1 1/3 pounds boneless leg of lamb, cut into very thin strips (600 g)
2 teaspoons cumin seeds (10 ml)
1 teaspoon coriander seeds (5 ml)
1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns (5 ml)
2 garlic cloves, pressed or finely chopped
½ teaspoon salt (2.5 ml)
3 tablespoons melted coconut oil, divided (45 ml)
1 red onion, thinly sliced
2 carrots, thinly sliced
2 red bell peppers, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar (10 ml)
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro (80 ml)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint (30 ml)
Heat cumin and coriander seeds and peppercorns in a skillet over medium-high heat until fragrant and lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Let cool, then transfer to a spice grinder/coffee grinder to very finely chop (or use a chef knife).
Mix the spices with 1 tablespoon/15 ml coconut oil (or olive oil) and the garlic and salt. Rub the mixture all over the lamb slices.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat until the pan is really hot. Add 2 tablespoons of coconut oil. Once the oil is hot, cook the lamb in two batches so the pan isn’t overcrowded, adding more coconut oil for the second batch if needed. Each batch of meat should be nicely browned on both sides in little more than 4 minutes.
Transfer the lamb to a serving platter and set aside. Add the carrots and red onion to the skillet. Add more oil if needed. Cook until onions are just getting soft, about 5 minutes.
Add the bell pepper. Cook a few minutes more.
Add the lamb back to the skillet. Drizzle in the red wine vinegar. Cook just a minute or two until the vinegar cooks off the meat is heated.