Almost everywhere that travel to has a traditional lamb meal, but it isn’t as common here in the United States. And because it isn’t as popular here, it can be expensive to buy, but it certainly worth treating yourself to from time to time. Ground lamb isn’t as expensive as other options and, if you’re only cooking for a few people, lamb chops are another good choice. If you really want to have a dinner with a dramatic presentation, then cooking a rack of lamb is an obvious choice. Since lamb can have a stronger flavor, it is often paired up with other flavorful spices such as those found in Mediterranean or Indian cooking. Whatever style of cooking you prefer, hopefully one of these options will tempt you to give lamb a try.
Roasted Leg of Lamb with Gravy – There is something about having lamb that is very emblematic of the coming of spring to us and we look forward to this meal every year. We don’t get leg of lamb very often because it is just the two of us, but we enjoy using the leftovers for other meals. Oven roasted red potatoes is definitely our favorite starch to serve with lamb and sautéing spinach made for a light and refreshing vegetable.
Delicious Lamb Biryani – Our favorite meal when we visited India was Lamb Biryani. It isn’t a particularly difficult dish to create, but it does take a bit of time and preparation. It turned out to be quite delicious and very fragrant. Depending on how spicy you like your food, you can control some of the heat by changing the amount of cayenne pepper or type of green chili that you use. We served ours over Basmati rice, but regular rice would be just as good.
Roasted Rack of Lamb – Rack of lamb can be an elegant meal and it is a good idea to ask the butcher to “French cut” the bones, which is simply removing the meat and fat from the bone tips. Some people like mint jelly with lamb, but we prefer to simply roast it with herbs like rosemary and thyme. Our preference is to cook the lamb to medium-rare or medium at the most, which keeps it moist and tender.
Lamb Chops Marinated with Dijon Mustard and Herbs – This is a simple recipe and yet it is quite delicious. We served ours with oven roasted red potatoes and brussels sprouts, which made for perfect accompaniments. You can substitute dry herbs for the fresh herbs, but you should use fresh herbs if at all possible as the flavors will be better.
Moussaka – One of the dishes that we truly enjoyed while we were staying in Europe was Moussaka. Although we went to Athens, Greece, it was in Frankfurt that we ended up trying Moussaka for the first time. Most of the staff at our favorite restaurant were actually Greek and although it was a French Bistro, they sometimes put something Greek as their special of the day. This is an inexpensive and easy dish to create, but the flavor is quite wonderful.
Greek Lamb and Rice Dinner – We used a tajine to cook the dish, but it could just as easily be entirely cooked in a skillet. Finishing the lamb chops in the rice and tomatoes keeps it moist and tender. Similar to cooking with wine, when cooking with olives it is always important to use an olive that you would eat on its own without adding it to a dish.
With so many options for cooking lamb, it can be a perfect weeknight dinner or centerpiece for a special occasion. Of all of these meals, the one that is probably our favorite is the Lamb Biryani as it reminds of us of our time in India. Although that might be our favorite, looking back at each of these has inspired us to cook a nice lamb dinner sometime soon.