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Still Have Leftover Lamb? Here’s One More Option For You – Lamb and White Bean Casserole

Okay, so you have made the leg of lamb that you wanted, then you turned around and made some lamb shawarma with some of the leftovers on one night but you still seem to have a lot of lamb left and you are not sure what to do with it. You still always have shepherd’s pie as an option, but as I said yesterday, I was hoping to find something different to do with some of the land. I came across this recipe at the New You work Times Cooking website for a lamb and white bean casserole and while technically it did not use leftover lamb but uncooked lamb shanks and the meat from them, I decided to try to adapt the recipe so that I could make use of some of the leftovers. Naturally the recipe I made does not take nearly as long to cook as the one you would find from the New York Times, but I think it makes really good use of the leftover lamb and turns out a pretty simple meal in under 30 minutes. I will post the recipe that I used here, but you can always check the link for the original recipe if you want to try that one out.

 

Lamb and White Bean Casserole

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 yellow onion, diced

2 carrots, peeled and diced

2 stalks celery, diced

5 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 pound leftover lamb, cut into 1 inch pieces

1 cup dry white wine

2 cups beef stock

1 cup peeled chopped tomatoes

2 teaspoons dried herbs de Provence

6 cups cooked cannellini beans, rinsed and drained if using canned

3 sprigs fresh thyme

 

 

Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a heavy, ovenproof 5 to 6 quart casserole. Add the onions, carrots, celery and garlic, and sauté the vegetables over medium heat, stirring often, until the vegetables are tender, about 6 to 8 minutes. Increase the heat slightly, and when the vegetables begin to brown, remove them from the pot and take the pot off the heat. Preheat the oven to 350°.

 

Season the all-purpose flour with salt and pepper in a large bowl. Toss the lamb pieces in the flour to coat them well. Heat the remaining olive oil in the casserole pan. Add the lamb pieces, and sear them over medium-high heat, stirring until the meat is browned, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the meat from the pot, and add the wine. Cook, stirring, to deglaze the pot and reduce the wine, about 2 minutes. Stir in the beef stock, chopped tomatoes and herbs de Provence. Taste the sauce, and add more salt and pepper if necessary. Return all of the vegetables to the casserole pan, then add the lamb and the cannellini beans. Place the sprigs of time on top of the dish. Place the casserole in the oven and bake for approximately 20 to 25 minutes, until everything is heated through and the beans on the top begin to brown. Serve at once, or set aside in reheat before serving.

 

You do need to be a little bit careful when you making this because you do not want to overcook the lamb that is already cooked in the first place. I found that cooking the dish in the oven for about 20 minutes heated everything through without making the lamb too tough to eat. You got great flavor from all of the vegetables and the beans were a really nice touch to give some added protein to the dish and it really helps to fill you up. This particular casserole was really nice to have on a cold night and the broth that remains underneath the beans has excellent flavor because of the herbs that you use, and from the lamb and the vegetables themselves. Again, this is a nice use for some leftover lamb if you are looking for something different to try or it can be a great dish to serve starting from scratch, but of course you need to follow the original recipe where the lamb would have to be cooked for a longer period of time to make sure that it is cooked all the way through.

 

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

lambandbeancasserole

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Posted by on January 14, 2015 in Beans, Cooking, Dinner, Lamb, Leftovers, One Pot Meals

 

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Making Use of That Leftover Lamb – Sort of Lamb Shawarma

Okay, now that you have made this delightfully tasty but quite large leg of lamb from yesterday’s recipe, what the heck do you do with any leftovers? Sure you can make shepherd’s pie, which I have done in the past, and it is quite a tasty dish in its own right and makes good use of leftovers, but I wanted to try something different. There really aren’t a ton of uses for leftover lamb and it can get kind of tough and chewy if it is overcooked as it is, so I wanted to find something a little out of the ordinary that would not require a great deal of cook time for the lamb pieces. I received a cookbook, The Make-Ahead Cook, by America’s Test Kitchen, that came to my rescue right away. They had the solution of what to try with leftover lamb that I had never considered before – lamb shawarma. You have likely had or seen lamb shawarma at a Turkish or Mediterranean restaurant at some point in the past as you see this mass of meat rotating on a vertical rotisserie and the meat is gently sliced off from there to produce your dish.This recipe attempts to recreate the taste of that dish with the use of leftovers and a trusty skillet to get you through, and makes a really great yogurt-tahini sauce to go with it.

Lamb Shawarma

For the Yogurt-Tahini Sauce

1/4 cup plain yogurt

2 tablespoons tahini

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley

1 garlic clove, minced

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Shawarma:

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

1 pound cooked lamb, sliced thin (about 1 3/4 cups)

1/4 cup minced fresh parsley

Salt and pepper

4 (6-inch) pita breads, warmed

2 cups chopped iceberg or romaine lettuce

2 plum tomatoes, cored and chopped

2 shallots, sliced thin

For the yogurt-tahini sauce. combine the yogurt, tahini, lemon juice, parsley, garlic and 1/4 teaspoon of salt in a bowl. Season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste, cover the bowl and refrigerate it until you are serving the meal.

For the lamb shawarma, Heat the vegetable oil in a large non-stick skillet set over medium-high heat until the oil is shimmering. Add the cumin, coriander, and cardamom and cook, stirring constantly, until the spices are fragrant and just beginning to brown, about 1 minute (be careful not to burn the spices!). Add the sliced lamb, breaking up any clumps, and cook until the lamb is just beginning to crisp, about 2 to 3 minutes. Take the skillet off the heat and stir in 2 tablespoons of the minced parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Spread 1/4 cup of the yogurt-tahini sauce in the center of each warmed pita, then divide the lamb mixture evenly among the pitas. Top each pita with some of the remaining 2 tablespoons of parsley, lettuce, tomatoes and shallots. Wrap the pitas around the filling and serve.

This was really tasty and only took a few minutes to put together completely. The lamb gets barely any re-heating at all, just enough to get it hot and crisp, and it tastes great with all of those great Mediterranean spices that you use in the mix. Place it on a warm pita with the yogurt sauce and it was fantastic. I have to admit I was a little worried that Michelle and Sean would not go for it but we all loved it and gobbled it down pretty easily. This will certainly be my go to dish for leftover lamb from now on. I did add some diced cucumber to the toppings of the pita to mix it all in for a bit of coolness and freshness to go along with the dish, and you could serve this simply with a side of rice or a side salad and have a great meal for lunch or dinner.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

 

lambshawarma

 
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Posted by on January 13, 2015 in Cooking, Dinner, Lamb, Leftovers, Lunch, Sandwiches, Sauce

 

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Lamb it up with Alton Brown’s Shepherd’s Pie

So after I made the lamb the other night for dinner, we naturally had some leftover. Finding something to do with leftover lamb can seem a little daunting as it is not something that always reheats well without some help. I have found that the best solution for using leftover lamb is to grind it up and use it for shepherd’s pie. Cold, leftover lamb lends itself well to being ground up in the food processor or you could simply dice it up small and use it that way. In either case, it is very easy to make and makes a great one pot meal. I have tried a few different shepherd’s pie recipes over the years, but I came across this one from Alton Brown on the Food Network website that seemed very easy to make and would give you some great flavors.

Alton Brown’s Shepherd’s Pie

For the potatoes:
1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes
1/4 cup half-and-half
2 ounces butter
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 egg yolk
For the meat filling:
2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 carrots, peeled and diced small
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 pounds ground lamb
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons tomato paste
1 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons freshly chopped rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon freshly chopped thyme leaves
1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
1/2 cup fresh or frozen English peas

Peel the potatoes and cut them into a 1/2-inch dice. Place the potatoes in a medium saucepan and cover them with cold water. Set the saucepan over high heat, cover and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, uncover the pot, decrease the heat to maintain a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender and easily crushed with tongs, approximately 10 to 15 minutes. Place the half-and-half and butter into a microwave-safe container and heat in the microwave until warmed through, about 35 seconds. Drain the potatoes in a colander and then return them to the saucepan. Mash the potatoes and then add the half and half, butter, salt and pepper and continue to mash the potatoes until they are smooth. Stir in the yolk until it is well combined.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the filling. Place the canola or vegetable oil into a 12-inch saute pan and set it over medium high heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the onion and carrots and saute just until they begin to take on color, approximately 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and stir to combine. Add the lamb, salt and pepper and cook until browned and cooked through, approximately 3 minutes. Sprinkle the meat with the flour and toss to coat, continuing to cook for another minute. Add the tomato paste, chicken broth, Worcestershire sauce, rosemary, thyme, and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and simmer slowly for about 10 to 12 minutes or until the sauce is thickened slightly.

Add the corn and peas to the lamb mixture and spread the mixture evenly into an 11 by 7-inch baking dish. Top the lamb mixture with the mashed potatoes, starting around the edges to create a seal to prevent the mixture from bubbling up and smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Place the baking dish on a parchment lined half sheet pan on the middle rack of the oven and bake the pie for 25 minutes or just until the potatoes begin to brown. Remove the pie to a cooling rack for at least 15 minutes before serving.

This is a very simple and tasty way to make use of leftover lamb or to just use some ground lamb that you may have. You get a nice mix of vegetables, meat and sauce with a great mashed potato topping. if you don’t want to use lamb, you could always used ground beef, turkey or chicken, but for me to really call it shepherd’s pie you need the lamb and that particular lamb flavor that you get. All you need to do is  cut yourself a slice and enjoy your meal with a simple cleanup after dinner.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

shepherdspie

 
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Posted by on June 17, 2014 in Cooking, Dinner, Lamb, Leftovers, One Pot Meals, Potatoes

 

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Lamb, Redux

Okay, so I have leftover lamb from dinner yesterday, leftover turnips and some mashed potatoes from a few days ago. This all adds up perfectly to make a Shepherd’s Pie. It will be quick, easy and a great way to use up the leftovers. You can make shepherd’s pie with ground beef instead of ground lamb if that suits your tastes better, but since I have the lamb anyway, and that is the traditional ingredient, than why not?

Shepherd’s Pie

3 cups lamb, cooked and diced

1 tablespoon butter

1 small yellow onion, finely chopped

2 carrots, finely chopped

3/4 cup frozen peas, thawed

1 cup beef broth

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

2 cups  cooked and cooled mashed potatoes

2 cups cooked, pureed and cooled turnips

Take the 3 cups of lamb and run through a food processor until ground. Set aside. In a large saucepan or skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onions and carrots and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the peas, ground lamb, broth and thyme and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 7 to 10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spoon the hot lamb mixture into a baking dish. Spread the turnips over the top of the mixture evenly, then spread the mashed potatoes evenly over the top of the turnips. Place the dish in the oven and cook until the potatoes start to brown and the edges of the pie begin to show some bubbles, about 7 minutes. Serve directly from the baking dish.

You can serve the pie with some nice, crusty bread, which I’ll  be doing since I forgot to serve the bread last night with dinner and have not heard the end of it from Michelle and Sean :). A quick meal, easy clean up and a good use of what is left over from previous meals.

Tomorrow’s meal will be from scratch and it’s going to be a good one. I’ll be making Chicken Marsala in the slow cooker tomorrow with some rice on the side. It’s the first time I’ll be making it in the slow cooker, so it will be interesting to see how it turns out. If you have any questions, comments or any input at all, feel free to leave a comment or message here. I hope everyone had a nice, long weekend and enjoy your meal tonight!

 
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Posted by on February 20, 2012 in Cooking, Dinner, Potatoes

 

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