A bone-in leg of lamb is a cut of meat that’s the perfect choice for a formal holiday table or a casual backyard dinner. Slather a marinade on the outside, roast the leg slowly for a few hours then crank up the heat to crisp up the outside. It doesn’t matter what you serve on the side, because the leg of lamb will get all the attention.
Of course there are health benefits that make lamb a good choice—all 8 essential amino acids, B vitamins, niacin, zinc, iron and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) to name a few – but that’s not what most people are thinking when they look at a bone-in leg of lamb. What they’re thinking is, “Now that is an impressive cut of meat!”
Your next pot of chili doesn’t have to be the same old ground beef chili.
Instead, cook up a pot of ground lamb seasoned with things like turmeric and ginger and a few tablespoons of fiery harissa. The end result is a meal that’s still recognizable as chili but has delicious new flavor.
You know the drill with lamb by now: it’s a nutritionally complete protein packed with all 8 essential amino acids and a whole lot of vitamins and minerals. Lamb can be challenging to cook, but when your butcher grinds it for you and it’s used as the base for chili, there aren’t any worries about overcooking the meat and making it tough. This is an easy and stress-free way to cook lamb.
Harissa is used as the main spice component in this lamb chili. This Middle Eastern condiment gives chili (even beef chili) amazing flavor and adjustable heat. Two tablespoons of harissa adds a slow, robust burn to a pot of chili. Cut back to 1 tablespoon for less heat, or, use the harissa strictly as a condiment. That way, everyone can give their own bowl of chili as much or as little heat as they want.
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.
Rogan Josh is lamb stew with an unusual but memorable name. It’s a meal that fills your house with the comforting aroma of spices and slow cooked meat. Luckily, in this quick and easy (and dairy-free) version of Rogan Josh, “slow” only means an hour, so you won’t be tortured by the mouth-watering aroma for long.
Rogan Josh is a popular Kashmiri dish traditionally made with lamb, yogurt, loads of hot Kashmiri chiles and other spices. This simplified version uses fire-roasted tomatoes and curry powder for heat and flavor. Creamy coconut milk easily takes the place of yogurt, coating the tender lamb in a rich, creamy sauce.
Dried fenugreek is a subtle but intriguing herb, one that adds unique flavor to sauces, meat, seafood, eggs and cooked vegetables. Slightly sweet, herbal and earthy with pleasant aromatics, it’s like adding a gentle hint of curry powder to whatever you make.
Less intense than curry powder and also less intense than fenugreek seeds or fresh fenugreek leaves, which can easily overwhelm a dish, dried fenugreek can be used in the kitchen just like any other type of dried herb. The flavor pairs especially well with other favorite herbs and spices like cumin, coriander, cardamom, fennel seeds and turmeric.
It’s a bit of a mystery why raw kale salads took off with the popularity they did and raw Swiss chard salads have yet to catch on. Raw Swiss chard greens are tender and milder in flavor than you might think. The stems are edible and have a pleasantly crunchy texture and tart flavor. Not a fan of cooked Swiss chard? There’s a good chance you’ll like it better raw. The leaves have a light and lemony flavor with very little of the astringent bitterness of cooked Swiss chard.
It’s that light and lemony flavor that pairs so well with something meatier, heavier and spicier like harissa lamb chops. The flavor combination of harissa lamb chops and raw Swiss chard salad is pretty much perfect. Plus, you’re getting ample amounts of vitamins K, A, C and E, magnesium and fiber from the powerhouse green, plus iron, niacin, zinc, B vitamins and conjugated linoleic acid from the lamb. What more do you need from a meal?