Peter Aitken's Recipe Collection

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cooking recipes kitchen food 12



Definitely Indian in inspiration, although probably not an "authentic" Indian recipe. Serve with chutneys and a cucumber salad.

2c basmati rice, not rinsed
2 medium onions, diced
2 TB of hot or mild curry powder, or a mix, according to your taste
4c water
1 tsp salt
1 lb ground lamb
1/4c oil
1/2 chopped fresh basil

You'll need a large saute pan (12") or skillet with a tight-fitting cover. Heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring, until just starting to brown. Add the lamb and curry powder and cook, stirring, until the lamb is cooked though. Pour mixture into a sieve set over a bowl and let drain. Return the oil to the pan over medium heat. Add the rice and stir until coated with oil and translucent. Add the water and salt, bring to the simmer, and cover. Cook over low heat until water is absorbed, about 15 min. Stir in the lamb mixture and the basil and cook for a few more minutes before serving.

Algerian lamb shanks

This is delicious dish, with rich and complex flavors. It goes well with couscous or rice and an onion/tomato/parsley salad. It is modified from a recipe I cut out from a cooking magazine many years ago - I do not remember which one!

4 lamb shanks
1-1/2c coarsely diced yellow onion
1/4 c garlic cloves, peeled and, if large, cut into large dice
1 TB minced fresh ginger
seeds from 3 cardamom pods
large pinch of saffron
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp caraway seeds
2 tsp fennel seeds
4 inch length cinnamon stick
2 TB curry powder
1/2 TB salt
2/3c blanched slivered almonds
1/2c golden raisins
2c peeled and diced tomatoes, or use canned
1 bottle white wine *
zest and juice of 1 orange
4 medium carrots, peeled and coarsely diced
1 large bulb fennel, coarsely diced

Dry the shanks and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Brown on all sides in some olive oil in a medium size Dutch oven, then remove from the pan. Add a little more oil, reduce heat to medium and sauté onions and garlic until the onions are soft but not browned. Add all the ingredients between the ***** and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add tomatoes, wine, orange juice and zest and bring to a simmer. Return shanks to the pan and braise in a 325-350f oven for about 2 hours, regulating the heat so the liquid remains at a steady simmer. Add the carrots and fennel and cook for 20 minutes more.

* Use something sturdy here - I have used a white Spanish Rioja with good results.

Grilled leg of lamb

1 boneless leg of lamb
1 jar Gray Poupon grainy mustard
5 garlic cloves
2-3 TB olive oil
2 TB dried herbs du Provence (I use Penzey's)
Salt, black pepper

Untie the leg and discard the netting. Trim off any excess fat (but leave the thin layer that's on the outside). Rub both sides with the remaining ingredients mixed in a blender or mini-prep. Refrigerate overnight or at least several hours. Grill until medium rare in the thickest parts.

Lamb meatballs with black trumpet mushrooms

This recipe resulted when we found a trove of black trumpet mushrooms in the yard. Other mushrooms would work but not be quite as good. Goes well with rice.

1 lb ground lamb
1 tennis-ball sized onion
1 egg
1/3c fine dry breadcrumbs
1 tsp herbs de Provence
1 c fresh black trumpet mushrooms or the equivalent of dried, reconstituted and drained
1c veal or beef stock
1 TB tomato paste

Use the metal blade of a food processor to finely chop the onion. Add the lamb, egg, crumbs, herbs, S&P to taste, and mushrooms and process until well mixed. Form into 1 to 1.5 inch balls and refrigerate for 30 minutes or more. Brown in one TB of oil in a skillet. Dissolve the tomato paste in the stock and add to the pan. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes or so, turning the balls once or twice.

Braised stuffed lamb shoulder

This is a truly luxurious way to prepare lamb. It is loosely based on a Julia Child recipe. Serve with buttered new potatoes and a cold asparagus salad.

1 boned and rolled lamb shoulder, 3-3.5 lbs
1/2lb fresh mushrooms, preferably shitake, chopped
1c cooked and chopped spinach (frozen is OK)
1/3c diced onion
1/4 pine nuts
2 minced garlic cloves
1/2c dry bread crumbs
1 egg
fresh rosemary sprigs
1 tsp dried thyme or 1 TB fresh
1 large onion halved then sliced
1 large carrot peeled and sliced
1c dry vermouth
2c (appx) beef or lamb stock
2 TB butter
3-4 TB goose or duck fat (preferred) or oil

Preheat oven to 325f.

Sauté the mushrooms in 1 TB butter until the liquid has all evaporated and they are starting to brown. Remove from pan. In the same pan sauté the diced onion in 1 TB butter until just starting to brown. Add the garlic and pine nuts and stir for a minute or two. Squeeze most of the liquid from the spinach and add to the pan (the spinach, not the liquid!). Return mushrooms to the pan and cook for a moment, stirring. Stir in bread crumbs and remove from heat. Taste carefully for seasoning and correct as needed. When cool stir in the egg.

Remove the netting from the lamb and spread out on a cutting board. Carefully trim excess fat and gristle, but do not remove the fat on the outer surface. Spread the stuffing over the inside of the lamb, making sure to push it down into any pockets. Scatter the rosemary over the stuffing and re-roll the lamb, tying it with several wraps of cotton kitchen string. Use wooden skewers if needed to secure the openings.

Heat half the goose fat in a enameled casserole that is just large enough to hold the lamb with an inch or two of space all around. (Le Creuset's oval casserole is perfect for this). Add the sliced onion and carrot and saute for 5-10 minutes until starting to brown. Remove from pan. Add remaining fat to pan. Pat the lamb dry and put in fat, seam-down. Brown on all sides and the ends. When the lamb is browned reduce the heat, return the vegetables to the pan, and add the wine, thyme, and enough stock to come about 1/2 the way up the lamb. Cover the lamb with a piece of aluminum foil. Bring to a simmer, cover the casserole, and place in the oven. Cook for 1.5 hours, regulating heat so the liquid is slowly simmering. Remove from oven, turn lamb over, and return to oven for another hour.

Remove lamb to a plate and cover it with a foil tent to keep warm. Pour the liquid through a strainer into a saucepan, pressing the carrots and onions to extract as much liquid as possible. Skim off as much fat as possible and boil down rapidly until you have 1.5-2 cups and the sauce has a nice rich taste. Thicken with 1 TB cornstarch mixed in 2 TB wine. Correct seasoning.

Lamb meatballs

One of my better inventions! They go well with mashed potatoes or rice.

1 lb ground lamb
2/3c finely minced onion
1 TB curry powder
1/2c chopped fresh cilantro
1/2c applesauce
2/3c cooked white rice
2 eggs
1/2c plain dry breadcrumbs
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1/2c tomato puree
1/2c dry red wine
1c beef stock

Gently mix first group of ingredients. Form 1 TB of mixture into a small patty, cook, and taste for seasoning. Correct if needed. Form all of mixture into 1-1/2 inch balls and refrigerate until needed. Heat 2 TB olive oil in a skillet. Dust meatballs with flour and brown in oil. Mix second group of ingredients and add to skillet. Cover and simmer slowly for 20 minutes, until sauce is thickened and meatballs are done. 





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