Category: Lamb


Grilled Lamb Chops with Chimichurri

Chef Kipp Ramsey, Farm-to-Table Manager of Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch, loves his lamb chops prepared simply. No frenching, no fuss—just a quick char on the grill then served with homemade chimichurri sauce.

We have to agree with Kipp. Not only is frenching tedious and time-consuming but when you remove all of that delicious rib meat you end up missing out on the best part! We’re talking about those golden-brown delicious bits, charred to perfection and begging to be eaten straight off the bone.

Roasted Leg of Lamb with Potatoes, Apples, & Citrus

We love hearing from our network of chefs!  Recently, Ryan DeNiccola, Executive Chef of chi Spacca wrote us about his experience with our Navajo-Churro lamb.

I enjoyed the Navajo-Churro lamb legs.  They ended up being fantastic.  I loved the richer, gamey flavor they had.  We de-boned them, rolled into a roast, slow roasted in the oven, and finish on the grill with pecorino polenta and rosemary lamb jus.  The wine dinner customers loved it.  It’s a great story to tell, too!

Ryan’s recipe sounds delicious!  We love the simplicity of Roasted Leg of Lamb.  Try this recipe for a citrus twist on an old classic.  The key is marinating the meat overnight and cooking the roast low and slow.  This recipe is great in the oven, and also does wonderful on the grill.

Ingredients

1 5-7 lb lamb leg
1/2 lb fingerling potatoes
2 medium apples
2 lemons
1 orange
Freshly ground black pepper
Kosher salt
2 cups white wine

Marinade

  1. Zest the lemons and cover the leg with the zest.
  2. Season meat liberally with salt and pepper.
  3. Slice the potatoes, apples, and citrus and arrange the slices so the leg is covered from top to bottom.
  4. Wrap tightly with foil and place on a baking sheet.
  5. Allow 24 hours to marinate in the refrigerator.

Roast

  1. Remove from the refrigerator 2-3 hours before roasting, allowing the leg to come to room temperature.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 250°F.
  3. Unwrap the leg from the foil, and place back on the baking sheet or in a roasting pan if you have one large enough.
  4. Add the fruit and juices from the marinade to the pan. Pour one cup of wine into the bottom of your pan and tent the leg with foil.
  5. Place the leg in the oven and reduce temperature immediately to 200°F.
  6. Roast the leg for 5-6 hours keeping a close watch. When the bottom of the pan is dry add the second cup of wine.
  7. Once the leg reaches an internal temperature of 120°F remove from the oven. Turn the broiler on to high. Allow a few minutes for your broiler to heat up then place the leg uncovered back in the oven to brown.
  8. When the meat reaches 130°F internal temperature remove from the oven, and let rest for 15 minutes.
  9. Slice against the grain & serve.

Buglione, Italian Lamb Pot Pie

From Chef Cesare Casella, this True Tuscan dish is an American favorite with a Tuscan miners’ touch. Buglione was traditionally made around a campfire and miners would throw everything they could find into this stew. Buglione, lamb pot pie, is perfect for this cold weather and would be a holiday treat.

(Serves 8)

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon for brushing
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Flour for dusting
3 pounds lamb, cut into 1½ inch cubes from the leg
8 cups diced celery
4 cups diced carrots
5 cups diced onions
2 cups diced fennel
3 tablespoons minced garlic
1½ cups dry red wine
2 pounds potatoes, peeled and diced (6 cups)
3 bay leaves
2 cups peas, fresh or frozen
3 cups sliced asparagus (½ inch pieces)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme
2 tablespoons finely chopped Italian parsley
1¼ pounds focaccia dough
Eggwash: 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water

1. Coat the bottom of a stockpot with the ¼ cup olive oil and heat over medium-high heat. Season the flour with salt and pepper and use dust the lamb cubes. Add the lamb to the pot and brown well on all sides, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. This should take 8 to 10 minutes.

2. Add the celery, carrots, onions, fennel, and 2 tablespoons of the garlic. Cook until the vegetables start to soften, 10 to 15 minutes.

3. Add the wine and reduce by half.

4. Add enough water to just cover the lamb. Add the potatoes and bay leaves and season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour, stirring frequently to prevent sticking and burning. Add more water if needed.

5. Add the peas, asparagus, the remaining 1 tablespoon garlic, and the fresh herbs. Stir well and simmer for 40 minutes. Taste for seasonings. The stew should be thick and flavorful.

6. Preheat the oven to 475 F.

7. Divide the stew among 8 ovenproof bowls – at Il Ristorante Rosi we use cast iron pans.

8. Divide the focaccia dough into 8 equal balls. Roll each ball into a disk large enough to cover each bowl/pan, with some overhang.

9. Brush the sides of each bowl with eggwash. Mold a disk over the top of each bowl, being sure to bring it down the sides so it is well anchored. Press the dough onto the side of each bowl to prevent it from coming loose during baking. Brush the dough on each pot pie with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

10. Bake for 20 minutes. When done, the crust should be golden brown and very firm.

Serve immediately and buon appetito!

cesarecasellaChef Cesare Casella is best known as “the chef with the rosemary”. For the past 20 years, Chef Casella has been sharing his passion for authentic Italian food with Americans. Today, Chef Casella is the owner and executive chef of two Italian restaurants in New York City. He is the Dean of Italian Studies at the International Culinary Center and serves as Chief of the Department of Nourishment Arts at The Center for Discovery, where he works to raise awareness about sustainability and nutrition.

Lamb Meatballs, Janet Fletcher

Lamb Meatballs in Warm Yogurt Sauce with Sizzling Red-Pepper Butter

A delicious recipe, thoughtfully shared by our friend Bonnie!

“As promised, I’ve included the delicious (best lamb I’ve ever tasted) recipe by Janet Fletcher, who is one of my heroes. I made this dish with your ground lamb processed for Tamarack Vermont Sheep Farm. I served the lamb and yogurt meatballs over egg noodles and went wild over the flavors.

Janet’s book, YOGURT gave me the recipe I’ll make forever…and purchase your products forever. Thank you Heritage Foods USA!”

Lamb Meatballs, Janet Fletcher

Lamb Meatballs in Warm Yogurt Sauce with Sizzling Red-Pepper Butter

SERVES 4 TO 6

1 pound ground lamb
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 ⁄ 2 cup fine fresh bread crumbs
1 ⁄ 2 cup finely minced yellow onion
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1 ⁄ 2 teaspoon toasted and ground cumin seeds (see note, page 45)
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup chicken broth
2 cups plain whole-milk yogurt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 cloves garlic, grated or finely minced (see note, page 88)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, plus more for garnish
1 tablespoon minced fresh mint
2 teaspoons unsalted butter
1 ⁄ 2 teaspoon medium-hot coarsely ground red pepper such as Aleppo or Maras¸ pepper (see note, page 82), or hot paprika
1 ⁄ 2 teaspoon toasted and ground cumin seeds (see note, page 45)

A gem of a recipe from the Eastern Mediterranean kitchen, these succulent meatballs bathe in a sauce that will have you scraping the bowl. I have seen similar recipes for whole lamb shanks or chunks of shoulder, but meatballs cook more quickly. They are browned first, and then simmered in broth, but the magic happens just before serving, when yogurt and a beaten egg are whisked in to thicken the juices. Sizzling red-pepper butter provides a final flourish. Serve with bulgur or rice pilaf, or with egg noodles.

To make the meatballs: Combine all the ingredients and mix well with your hands. Shape into 24 balls, dipping your hands in cold water as needed to keep the mixture from sticking.

Heat a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and swirl to coat. When the oil is hot, add the meatballs; they should fit in a single layer. Fry gently, turning the meatballs with two soup spoons so they brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meatballs to a plate. Pour off and discard any fat in the skillet.

Return the skillet to medium-high heat and add the broth. Stir with a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the skillet and simmer until they dissolve. Return the meatballs to the skillet, cover, and reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook for 10 minutes, and then transfer the meatballs to a plate using a slotted spoon.

In a large bowl, whisk together the yogurt, egg, garlic, dill, and mint. Slowly whisk in about 1 ⁄ 2 cup of the hot broth to warm the yogurt, and then pour the yogurt mixture into the skillet. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the sauce visibly thickens and just begins to simmer. Add salt and pepper to taste. Return the meatballs to the skillet and turn to coat them with the sauce. Cover and simmer gently until hot.

Divide the meatballs and sauce among 4 to 6 warmed bowls. Put the butter in a small saucepan or butter warmer and set over medium heat. When the butter melts, add the red pepper and cumin and swirl the pan until the butter foams and sizzles and the pepper’s aroma rises. Drizzle each portion with some of the red-pepper butter. Garnish with chopped dill.

 

Grilled Lamb Hearts with Onion Relish

Grilled Lamb Hearts with Onion Relish 
by Evan Hanczor of renowned Brooklyn restaurant Egg
Serves 4

Once you try these lamb hearts, you’ll wonder why you ever paid top dollar for other cuts before. The firm, dense hearts stand up to a number of pairings, and this quick marinade and an easy, bright onion relish set these up for any kind of use. They shine as an entree over asparagus and grits or alongside potatoes and broccoli rabe, but my favorite way to eat them is to take the grilled hearts, slice them up, and mix them with a generous amount of the relish. Scoop that mix with some nice grilled sourdough or flatbread, maybe a little pecorino grated on top or a touch of hummus or romesco underneath, and you’re good to go. Serves 4 as an entree and at least 6-8 as an appetizer.

For the relish

3 red onions or a large bunch of spring onions, finely julienned or sliced (if you want to char half of the onions on the grill or in a pan before slicing, that’s a pretty delicious move, but I recommend leaving at least some raw to get the kind of pungency that works well in this relish)

1 jalapeno, seeded & very finely sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Juice 1 lemon or lime
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar or cider vinegar
1/4 cup chopped herbs (I like cilantro and parsley)
2 tablespoon olive oil
2 anchovy fillets, chopped (optional, if you want to amp the funk)

Mix the thinly sliced onions and jalapeño with the salt and sugar and let sit for 5 minutes. Mix up the rest of the relish dressing and combine with the marinated onions, mixing to combine evenly. Adjust seasoning to taste—it should be bright, pungent, and herbey.

For the hearts

4 lamb or goat hearts, trimmed of gristle and sinew inside and out
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove, smashed or chopped
A little herb, if you have it (bit of thyme, rosemary, parsley) chopped
Pinch of salt and pepper

Ensure hearts are well-trimmed, but don’t obsess—a little fat here and there is no problem. Marinate hearts in oil, garlic, herb, and salt and pepper mixture for at least a half hour, as long as a couple days. Heat a cast-iron pan till ‘ripping’ or fire up a grill. Grill the hearts for about 1-2 minutes on each side, seasoning with a bit more salt, until medium-rare. Rest for a few minutes before slicing.

Evan-Hanczor
Photo by Sam Ortiz, featured in “Life and Thyme” magazine

Chef Evan Hanczor The restaurant critics at The New Yorker and New York magazine recognize that Evan Hanczor’s commitment to local and heirloom ingredients and his strongly held values about sustainable agriculture are the foundation of his contemporary American cooking that puts him and his restaurant Egg in the center of the Brooklyn culinary renaissance. And while Hanczor is famous for the brunches he serves at Egg, he was equally celebrated for the sophisticated, seasonal farm-to-table food he prepared at Parish Hall and now reprises in the evenings at Egg.

Summer Lamb with Fennel and Roasted Nectarines | Clodagh McKenna

Clodagh McKenna Lamb Recipe - Clodagh's Irish Kitchen

Over the past 15 years, Clodagh McKenna has become one of the most recognized faces and brands in Ireland’s Food & Lifestyle sectors. This comes as no surprise to us! She is easily one of the most charming and charismatic people we’ve had the pleasure to meet here at Heritage Foods USA. Clodagh was kind enough to sit down with Alexes and Phillip on Heritage Radio Network’s, The Main Course, to talk about her most recent book, Clodagh’s Irish Kitchen. Listen to the full interview HERE at HeritageRadioNetwork.org and enjoy her recipe for Summer Lamb Chops!

Summer Lamb with Fennel and Roasted Nectarines

from Clodagh’s Irish Kitchen by Clodagh McKenna

The aniseed flavor of fennel and the sweetness of rosemary work really well with lamb cutlets, but you could use this marinade for a whole leg of roast lamb. Sweet, roasted nectarines are a great companion to any lamb dish. I coat my nectarines (or peaches) with apple syrup, but you could use a good-quality maple syrup instead. These nectarines could also be served as a dessert with mascarpone or softly whipped cream.

Serves 4

Ingredients

For the lamb:

1 teaspoon fennel seeds 1/2 sprig of rosemary, finely chopped plus more to serve
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 thick lamb cutlets (about 3.5 ounces each)

For the nectarines:

3 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon High Bank Orchard syrup or good quality maple syrup
2 nectarines, halved and pitted

For the salad:

1 head baby romaine lettuce, leaves separated and coarsely torn
1 1/2 cups loosely packed mixed salad greens
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
2. In a skillet, dry-roast the fennel seeds over medium heat for 30 seconds, then finely chop. Place in a large bowl, along with the rosemary, olive oil, and red wine vinegar. Season to taste with sea salt and black pepper.
3. Add the lamb cutlets to the bowl and toss to coat, then let marinate at room temperature for 10 minutes.
4. Prepare the nectarines: In a small saucepan, melt the butter and syrup together over low heat and stir. Place the nectarines on the foil-lined sheet and drizzle with the syrup mixture. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, or until tender.
5. Heat a large grill pan over medium–high heat. Grill the lamb cutlets, turning once, until charred and cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. Set aside to rest for 5 minutes. Just before serving, scatter with extra rosemary.
6. Make the herb salad: In a large bowl, combine the salad greens. In a small bowl, beat together the extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and mustard to combine. Season to taste with sea salt and black pepper, drizzle over the salad, and toss to coat. Serve with the lamb and sweet nectarines.

 

ClodaghOver the past 15 years, Clodagh McKenna has become one of the most recognized faces and brands in Ireland’s Food & Lifestyle sectors.

With her passion for food combined with her business savvy, Clodagh has developed her brand into an emerging business empire encompassing Clodagh’s Kitchen restaurants, her television shows, cookbooks and her food column in Ireland’s number 1 glossy magazine, The Gloss. She is regularly asked to contribute to food columns in national newspapers and magazines.

More recently Clodagh has taken the US by storm with her hugely popular US show, Clodagh’s Irish Food Trails which aired on PBS and Create TV reaching audience levels of 15 million.

In addition to the series, Clodagh successfully published three of her cookbooks in the US; HomemadeClodagh’s Kitchen Diaries
,
and most recently Clodagh’s Irish Kitchen. Look for it on shelves in 2015!

How to French a Rack of Lamb

In butchery, “frenching” is the process of removing all fat, meat, and connective tissue from the rib bones on a rack roast.

Personally, I like to leave all that stuff on when I’m cooking lamb. I love the crispy, fatty bits on the bones, but for the purposes of presentation, frenching is often preferred.

Basic Trimming:

A rack of lamb consists of a loin attached to a series of rib bones. When untrimmed, this loin is covered with a thick layer of fat and connective tissue that should be removed before cooking.

Begin by using your fingers to find the natural seam between the top layer of fat and the rack. Slowly peel away the layer. You may use a paper towel to help grip and a small knife to help free any stubborn connective tissue.

The fat should separate along a natural fault line leaving a thin 1/8th-inch to 1/4th-inch layer next to the meat. Be careful not to get carried away when trimming. The more fat left on a lamb rack, the more flavor will come through!

At this step, your lamb rack is fully trimmed ready to cook. To french the rack, follow the steps below demonstrated for us by Phil Lewis, Chef du Cuisine at Fat Radish.

How to French:

Using your knife, score the membrane along the center of each bone. Place the tip of the knife against the center of the bone about an inch and a half away from the cut end and pull the knife slowly and firmly down away from the eye of the loin. Repeat along each bone.

photo 1 (6)

 

Grip the meat and pull away from the ribs slowly and firmly. You can use a paper towel to get a better grip. the meat should pull cleanly away from the bones. Continue working each rib until all are exposed.

photo 3 (7)

 

Flip the rack over and use your knife to cut away the flap. Discard excess fat, or render if desired.

 

photo 2 (9)

 

If you’re really lucky, the fat and membrane will come cleanly off the bones, leaving them bare and pearly white, but most of the time, little bits of meat and fat will remain behind. These can be removed with the help of a small pairing knife.

photo 1 (8)

 

 

 

To divide rack into smaller chops, stand it on end, starting from the exposed rib end, cut between ribs with a smooth, single stroke. If you don’t get through in one stroke, pick up your knife, photo 2 (8)place it back in the seam, and pull it again. Try to avoid sawing back and forth, which will create jagged edges.

That’s it! It may seem intimidating at first but it just takes a little practice.

Leave any questions in the comments section bellow.

Happy Cooking!

Bacon-wrapped Loin Chops with Salsa Verde by Chef Julia Jaksic of Employees Only, NYC

In Chef Julia’s recipe, lamb plays well off the cured bacon while the salsa verde cuts the pork fat and brightens the loin chops. It’s simple, delicious, and totally satisfying!

Ingredients

Sliced bacon
Romney lamb loin chops
Shallot
Garlic
Anchovies
Parsley
One lemon
Olive oil

Directions

1. Trim lamb chops of any excess fat.
2. Wrap bacon around loin chops covering as much of the meat as possible and secure the bacon with toothpicks.
3. Bake on a sheet pan at 400°F until bacon is crispy, at that point the lamb should be perfectly cooked.

Salsa Verde:
1. Chop equal parts shallot, garlic and anchovies and combine with double the amount of chopped parsley.
2. Mix the chopped ingredients with the zest of one lemon and drizzle with olive oil.

 

julia-jaksicJulia Jaksic is the Executive Chef Employees Only. Her Croatian-American roots continue to inspire her charcuterie and her appreciation for local and seasonal ingredients.

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