Lamb Meatballs with Olives and Feta

Lamb Meatballs with Olives and Feta

Do you like lamb?  I certainly do, and I believe it’s a meat you either like or don’t.  I also believe that some people associate lamb with mutton, which has turned them away from it. Mutton is from the same animal as lamb, but stronger in taste and usually much tougher due to the age of the animal.  Mutton is meat from a sheep that is 1-3 years old, which yields a stronger, gamier taste, and is tougher due to the muscles working longer.  Lamb, on the other hand, is meat from young lambs that are less than a year old.  Young spring lamb is tender and milder in comparison to mutton.

 

My personal favourite in cuts of lamb is chops, specifically grilled chops, which are delicious with a mustard rub.  I also enjoy lean ground lamb and lamb shoulder.  The wonderful thing about lamb is that it can take on robust, bold flavours and pairs wonderfully with the tomatoes and olives in this Mediterranean style dish.  Saucy, rustic and full of flavour, Lamb Meatballs with Olives and Feta is a welcome change from regular beef meatballs. Perfect with rice or toasty bread!  Enjoy!

If you’re a lamb lover like me, you’ll also want to try Braised Lamb Shoulder. Fork tender lamb shoulder braised in a creamy mushroom sauce.

 

Recipe source for Lamb Meatballs with Olives and Feta:  Compelled To Cook

Lamb Meatballs with Olives and Feta
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
3-4 people 30-35 minutes
Cook Time
45-50 minutes
Servings Prep Time
3-4 people 30-35 minutes
Cook Time
45-50 minutes
Lamb Meatballs with Olives and Feta
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
3-4 people 30-35 minutes
Cook Time
45-50 minutes
Servings Prep Time
3-4 people 30-35 minutes
Cook Time
45-50 minutes
Ingredients
Meatballs
Sauce
Servings: people
Instructions
Meatballs
  1. Add all ingredients except oil to a large bowl. Gently combine with your hands or a wooden spoon. Roll mixture into 17-18 evenly sized meatballs approximately 1 1/4 ounces each.
  2. Heat oil in a cast iron or oven safe skillet over medium heat until hot. Arrange meatballs in a single layer and brown on all sides, about 20 minutes. Remove meatballs to a paper towel lined plate and drain all but 1 tbsp of fat from skillet.
Sauce
  1. Preheat oven to 350℉.
  2. To the skillet add chopped shallot and garlic, sauté for 2-3 minutes over medium heat until soft, stirring often. Pour in white wine to deglaze the pan, stirring to scrape up any browned bits in the pan. Add chicken broth and allow to simmer for about 2 minutes.
  3. Using your hands, crush tomatoes and add to skillet along with oregano, paprika and pepper. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer. Add meatballs back to pan, stirring to coat with sauce.
  4. Place in oven uncovered and bake for 20-25 minutes until sauce is reduced, stirring once. Remove from oven and stir to coat with sauce. Sprinkle with feta cheese and olives, return to oven for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and garnish with chopped red onion and fresh oregano if desired and serve immediately on top of rice or with crusty bread.
Recipe Notes

-dampened hands help to roll meatballs.

 

Rack of Lamb with Pomegranate Sauce

Rack of Lamb with Pomegranate Sauce

As promised, this gorgeous Rack of Lamb with Pomegranate Sauce is made using ingredients from “The Founders Box” which I received to do an unboxing post for The Taste Box a few weeks ago. The Founders Box included ground coffee, herbs de Provence, organic extra virgin olive oil and pomegranate molasses. This succulent and flavourful rack of lamb gets a dose of three of the quality ingredients that came with The Founders Box.

The herbs de Provence is used to flavour the mustard rub that’s slathered onto the lamb rack prior to applying the panko coating. It imparts a wonderful herbal note that’s fantastic with the mustard and lamb. The extra virgin olive oil is used in both the mustard rub and drizzled into the panko bread crumbs for flavour and to help browning.

The third and last ingredient used in this recipe is the pomegranate molasses and its boldness is fantastic with a stronger meat like lamb. It’s the finishing touch to a reduction of broth and port, giving a slightly tart and bitter note that blends amazingly with the sweetness from  apricot jam and hint of fresh rosemary.

Recipe source for Rack of Lamb with Pomegranate Sauce:  Compelled To Cook

Rack of Lamb with Pomegranate Sauce
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
2-3 people 30 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
25 minutes 10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2-3 people 30 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
25 minutes 10 minutes
Rack of Lamb with Pomegranate Sauce
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
2-3 people 30 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
25 minutes 10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2-3 people 30 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
25 minutes 10 minutes
Ingredients
Lamb
Pomegranate Sauce
Servings: people
Instructions
Lamb
  1. Preheat oven to 425℉. Trim lamb rack of excess fat and clean off bones if needed. Season lamb on all sides with salt and pepper. Over high heat, heat canola oil in a pan large enough to fit the lamb rack. Brown lamb rack on all sides. Remove from pan and place meat side up on a baking sheet lined with foil.
  2. In a small bowl whisk together Dijon mustard, mayonnaise, garlic, 2 tsp olive oil and herbs de provence. Smear onto all sides of lamb giving the upper meat side the most attention.
  3. In another small bowl stir together panko bread crumbs, remaining 2 tsp olive oil and 1/8 tsp of both salt and freshly ground pepper. Pack this mixture onto mustard coating on the meat side only, which will include the sides of the lamb rack.
  4. Clean up any stay crumbs that have fallen onto baking sheet as they tend to burn. Place lamb into preheated oven and cook for 25-30 minutes or until a thermometer registers 125℉-130℉ for medium rare. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Cut between bones into chops and top with pomegranate sauce, serve immediately.
Sauce
  1. In a small sauce pan heat butter over medium heat. Add shallots and sauté for 2-3 minutes until starting to soften but not browning. Add beef broth and rosemary sprig. Increase heat and bring to a steady simmer and allow to reduce for about 2 minutes. Stir in port and continue to reduce for about 10 minutes until sauce has thickened and is syrupy. Remove from heat and remove rosemary sprig. Stir in apricot jam and pomegranate molasses. Spoon over lamb chops and serve immediately, serving any extra sauce on the side.
Recipe Notes

Sauce can be made a day ahead and gently rewarmed for serving.

Grilled Lamb Koftas

Grilled Lamb Koftas

For those who don’t know, another passion of mine is overland travel, camping and the combination of both in our Jeep. My husband and I are self contained and have everything we need in the confines of a Jeep Rubicon with a roof top tent. We have hot water, power, fridge/freezer and the necessities required to live well for days when in the middle of nowhere. It’s quite amazing how much you can pack into a jeep with a little planning and the right gear, not to mention a pretty smart husband. We have the ability to go places that RV’s just can’t, which allows us to head into the hills for solitude and relaxation. It’s a shame our Canadian summers are so very short and there aren’t enough vacation days to do all that we want most years. Most of the time during the summer months it’s weekend getaways to the Rocky Mountain foothills and in the fall a longer trip to Canyonlands Utah. Grilled Lamb Koftas is Compelled To Cook’s first outdoor post and the weekend’s meal on the grill. Showing you that camping, whether it be tenting, or RVing does not mean a sacrifice on great food.

For a weekend getaway Grilled Lamb Koftas are perfect. Easy to mix together and take little time to grill to perfection. No need to worry about making side dishes and salads, just stuff the juicy lamb koftas into a pita and top with your favourite sprouts, lettuce, onions and plenty of Minted Yogurt Sauce. I’ve used a combination of ground beef and ground lamb and added greek yogurt and chickpeas to the meat to add moisture and texture. They’re nicely spiced but not overpowering, making them great for the whole family. Enjoy!

Recipe source for Grilled Lamb Koftas: Compelled To Cook

Grilled Lamb Koftas
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
6-8 servings 30 minutes
Cook Time
12 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6-8 servings 30 minutes
Cook Time
12 minutes
Grilled Lamb Koftas
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
6-8 servings 30 minutes
Cook Time
12 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6-8 servings 30 minutes
Cook Time
12 minutes
Ingredients
Minted Yogurt Sauce
Lamb Koftas
Servings: servings
Instructions
Minted Yogurt Sauce
  1. Stir together all ingredients and chill until ready to use.
Lamb Koftas
  1. Add all ingredients to a large bowl and gently mix with your hands until well combined but not overworked. Cover and chill for up to one day in advance. Shape approximately 2 1/2 ounces of meat mixture into a 3" long log, making 13-15 in total. Thread onto skewers and chill until ready to grill.
  2. Preheat heat grill to medium and grill lamb skewers for approximately 12 minutes turning to brown all sides. Meat should no longer be pink and the internal temperature should reach a minimum 160℉. Split pitas and fill with 2 koftas. Top with Minted Yogurt Sauce and desired toppings such as lettuce, sprouts, and onions.
Recipe Notes

Recipe makes approximately 35 ounces of mixture and can be made into burger patties as well.   I used metal skewers, however if using wooden skewers be sure to soak in water according to directions prior to use.

Braised Lamb Shoulder

Braised Lamb Shoulder

Are you planning on serving lamb for Easter? Braised Lamb Shoulder is tender and smothered with a creamy mushroom thyme sauce. A wonderful main dish to share with your family and friends this Easter.

Not sure if you’re a lamb lover or not? It’s definitely a stronger meat and most people either really like it or can do without it. I rather like it, and grilled lamb chops are my personal favourite. Braised lamb is my second favourite because the long braising time helps to mellow the stronger lamb taste. To make it even better, this fork tender Braised Lamb Shoulder is generously hugged by a flavourful sauce made with sherry, mushrooms, thyme and cream.

My thoughts for this dish came from having brunch at the Banff Springs Hotel. There, they just happened to serve three separate braised lamb dishes. The one that took me back for seconds was a braised lamb in a creamy mushroom sauce. While this Braised Lamb Shoulder is not exactly what I had, it is similar in many ways and just as delicious. I always love it when dining out generates motivation and inspiration for creating great food.

Don’t be a slave to the kitchen either, with a little prep you don’t need to worry much about this roast for 4 hours. So you can spend most of the afternoon with your guests. The final dish can also be left to sit in a low oven, giving you time to enjoy an appetizer or mingle over a glass of wine, or both. Enjoy!

Recipe Source for Braised Lamb Shoulder:  Compelled To Cook

 

Braised Lamb Shoulder
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
4 1/2 hours 4 hours
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
4 1/2 hours 4 hours
Braised Lamb Shoulder
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
4 1/2 hours 4 hours
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
4 1/2 hours 4 hours
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325℉. Season lamb shoulder generously with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large braiser or dutch oven over medium high heat. Sear roast until browned on all sides. Remove roast to a plate and add mushrooms, sautéing until browned and starting to give off their liquid. Add garlic and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring often.
  2. Add sherry and reduce over medium high heat for 2 minutes. Stir in chicken stock and heat to a simmer. Add roast back into pan, along with a bay leaf and about 5 sprigs of fresh thyme. Cover and cook in oven for 2 hours. Turn roast over and replace lid, continue to cook for an additional 2 hours.
  3. Remove from oven and carefully lift roast out of pan onto a plate. Cover with foil and allow to rest while completing sauce. Remove bay leaf and thyme sprigs and discard. Skim any excess fat from liquid and simmer over high heat to reduce liquid to about 2 cups, approximately 15 minutes. Whisk together heavy cream and cornstarch. Whisk into sauce along with the chopped thyme and bring back to a simmer. If sauce is not thick enough, continue to reduce for 2-3 minutes until a desired consistency is reached. The sauce will thicken slightly as it cools so be careful not to reduce too much. If you do, simply add a splash of heavy cream to adjust. Adjust final sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Remove butcher string from roast and slice against the grain into 1/4" slices. Arrange slices in desired serving dish and ladle with sauce. Serve immediately or cover with foil and keep warm in a low oven for up to 1 hour.
Recipe Notes

If your boneless lamb shoulder comes with a netting, cut it off and retie with butcher string so the roast can be seared prior to braising.