This is the best time to buy lamb: it is cheaper, you help farmers and with these 11 recipes you will rediscover it
Although we usually associate seasonality with fruits and vegetables, fish and meat also have seasons. And that of the lamb could not have fallen at a worse time.
Between the month of December and until Easter is when the majority of the production of suckling lamb is concentrated and the declaration of the state of alarm, for a product that is largely sold to restaurants (40%), has caused a cataclysm in the sector.
As he explains to Direct to the Palate The inter-professional of the sheep, Interovic, if last year at this same time 40% of the production was freezing, now exceeds 80%, which has caused the industry to collapse due to not having more storage capacity.
This has caused prices to plummet, which have gone live from 3.60 euros per kilo to 2.70. A fall that, although it does not move much less to the point of sale, if it has made us find today the lamb cheaper than ever, with a price up to 25% lower than usual.
Time to buy lamb
Against this background, the National Association of Churra Select Breed Cattle Breeders (ANCHE) has launched a campaign to promote meat with Protected Geographical Indication Lechazo de Castilla y León, which under the slogan #HoyComproLechazo encourages consumers to betting on this meat for domestic consumption.
Since Direct to the Palate We want to join the initiative, including also the recient lamb, paschal or Ternasco de Argón, meats that, as Interovic explains, could be dragged down by the crisis that the whole sector is going through.
Although roast is the most iconic lamb dish, we encourage you to expand the menu, with many other equally delicious preparations, which are sure to triumph on these days of confinement.
1. Roast shoulder of suckling lamb
The quintessential lamb recipe is also one of the easiest to prepare. It only takes a good piece of lamb, a baking dish, water and salt. Any other addition is an accessory, although some people spread the shoulder with a little butter, mix the water with vinegar, or add some garlic, you can follow these instructions without adding any of these ingredients. Calculate about two shoulder blades for three people.
IngredientsFor 3 people
- Shoulder of suckling lamb 2
- Garlic clove 1
- Lard a goop (optional)
How to make roasted suckling lamb shoulderDifficulty: medium
- Total time 1 h 35 m
- Elaboration 5m
- Cooking 1 h 30 m
Spread the shoulders with lard and put them in a clay bowl, without touching the bottom. We also prepare a mixture of 75 ml of water and 25 ml of soft vinegar and mince the garlic cloves. Add half of that mixture to the casserole and put in the oven, preheated to 180ºC. We will have to bake the shoulders for approximately an hour and a half approximately with the temperature at 160º. During the process, we will be turning the chopsticks every 20 minutes and replacing a little more of the mixture of water and vinegar if necessary and we see that it is not at the bottom. I like to varnish with a brush soaked in the mixture of water and vinegar to achieve a brilliant gold. They will be finished and well cooked when the meat begins to peek out of the bone.
Complete recipe for shoulder of suckling lamb.
2. Lamb stew
This stew, very popular in areas with more sheep, such as Aragón or Extremadura, is usually made with recient lamb, as it is designed to speak as much as possible. This version is from Extremadura, and it is exquisite.
Ingredients: 1 kg of lamb meat in pieces, 3 cloves of garlic, Provencal herbs to taste, 300 g of onion, 1 tomato, half a red pepper, 100 ml of white wine, 200 ml of meat stock, bay leaf, sweet paprika and extra virgin olive oil.
Preparation: We begin by seasoning the meat and frying it in extra virgin olive oil until its exterior is browned well. Then we remove the lamb chops and in the same oil in which we have fried the meat we prepare a sauce with the very chopped onion and pepper. When the onion is transparent and the pepper has changed color, we add the aromatic twigs, the bay leaf and a handful of chopped parsley, to which we add a little paprika and after leaving it for a minute, mix it later with the other ingredients. Then add the very chopped and seedless tomato and stir with the rest of the ingredients, allowing it to cook slowly until there is no liquid left. At that time we reintegrate the lamb chops into the casserole, add the wine and let the alcohol evaporate, stirring for a minute. We already cover the stew with the broth and let it simmer for about 35-40 minutes, until the lamb meat is very tender and the aroma of this traditional stew floods the house. If we are going to make a garnish, it is time to prepare it so that it is ready when serving our stew.
Complete recipe for lamb stew.
3. Lamb burger with yogurt sauce
Lamb is as versatile a meat as any other and, of course, can be minced for burgers. This combination with yogurt sauce is simply unsurpassed.
Ingredients: 300 g of minced lamb meat, 200 ml of plain yogurt, fresh mint, parsley or coriander, tomato, lettuce, hamburger bun, 2 ras el hanout (optional).
Preparation: The first thing is to form the minced lamb burgers. I only use meat and a little salt and mix with my hands. Then I make balls that I crush lightly with my hands to shape a hamburger. I leave them at room temperature for 40 minutes so that the meat and salt are compacted and the meat does not crumble. Optionally, you can add Ras el Hanout spices if you want to give your burgers a more Moroccan flavor.In a very hot griddle that I leave on the fire with a pinch of oil for 5 minutes before using it, I make the hamburgers allowing them to cook for 4 minutes on each side, -depending on the thickness and weight of your hamburgers- and while they are made, I will preparing the yogurt sauce and preparing the garnish of the lamb burgers. To make the sauce, chop the herbs used well and mix them in a bowl with the yogurt, beating to make it very light and creamy and full of herb shavings. For the garnish, I cut the tomatoes into slices and cut the lettuces into small pieces. I also prepare some green pepper rings and some cherrys to complete the dish. To assemble the hamburgers, toast the hamburger buns lightly on the griddle, place the lettuce and tomato mixture on the base and place the hamburger on them. On the meat, we pour a tablespoon of the yogurt sauce and bring to the table, with the rest of the sauce aside for those who want to serve more.
Complete recipe for lamb burger with yogurt sauce.
4. Leg fillets with stewed vegetables
The lamb shank fillet is a very grateful cut, which can be eaten grilled or, for example, as a sandwich. In this recipe, however, we accompany them with some stewed vegetables, which go wonderfully
Ingredients: 6 lamb shank fillets, half broccoli, 150 g of mushrooms, half zucchini, 1 onion, 1 Italian green pepper, fresh sage to decorate, 50 ml of vegetable broth, a stream of soy sauce.
Preparation: In a saucepan we put two or three tablespoons of olive oil and brown the leg fillets until they are beautiful and appetizing. If you want you can make them as is or by frying a minced garlic clove to give it its particular flavor. We reserve them. Chop the vegetables and begin to brown them in the same saucepan. I have used green pepper, broccoli, zucchini and onion, but you can use what you like best or what you have in the fridge because this recipe is ideal for use. When they are taking shine and color, we add the varied mushrooms and cover the saucepan, leaving everything to cook very slowly, with the fire at a minimum for about 15 minutes. After that time, we add a good chorreón of soy sauce and a little vegetable broth, leaving everything to stew for another 15 minutes more. Reintegrate the fillets with the mushroom and vegetable stew, turn off the heat and let the meat heat with the steam of the vegetables, before bringing it to the table. You will see that explosion of flavors in each bite.
Complete recipe for leg steaks with stewed vegetables.
5. Lamb pie with tahini and tomato sauce
We return to the Middle East, where the recipe book is full of great lamb recipes. This cake is one of the proposals of the last book by the Israeli cook Yotam Ottolengi. It is much easier than it seems with the naked eye and it is delicious.
Ingredients: 1 zucchini, 1 carrot, 1 onion, 3 tomatoes, 500 g of minced lamb meat, 4 cloves of garlic, 80 of Parmesan cheese or Roman pecorino, 50 g of breadcrumbs, 2 eggs, 2 teaspoons of concentrated tomato, 3 teaspoons of ground cumin, 2 teaspoons of allspice, 100 of tahini, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, salt.
Preparation: First turn on the oven with the fan running at 190º C to warm it up. Put the zucchini, carrot, onion, and one of the thick peeled and chopped tomatoes in a food processor or chopper. Process the vegetables until you get a paste that has a consistency similar to that of minced meat. Transfer the mixture to a large strainer and extract as much water as possible. In a large bowl, mix the strained vegetable paste with the minced meat, two minced garlic cloves, the grated cheese, the breadcrumbs, the eggs, the tomato paste, the spices and a teaspoon of salt. Mix all ingredients well. Grease a rectangular pan with oil so that the cake does not stick and pour the meat and vegetable dough into it. Place this on a wide baking sheet and carefully pour water into it to cover half the height of the rectangular pan. We want the cake to be baked at the same time as it is done in a bain-marie. Put the pan with the pan in the oven, which will have reached the temperature, and let it cook for about an hour, until the top of the cake has browned. While the cake is cooking prepare the sauce with which we will cover this. In a medium bowl, mix the tahini or tahina –a ubiquitous sesame paste in all Arab cuisine, which in Spain can already be found in almost any supermarket–, with the two remaining garlic cloves, the lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Gradually incorporate 70 ml of water, stirring until obtaining a dense and creamy sauce. This step can also be done with a mixer. If you are going to eat with people sensitive to garlic, it is better to reduce its amount somewhat, because with this mixture the sauce is very strong. When the cake is done, remove the rectangular pan from the bain-marie, and allow it to cool for 10 minutes. Drain the liquid and the excess fat that may remain in the mold and, with the help of a spatula, extract the cake and transfer it to a source in which to serve it. Sprinkle the cake with the tahini sauce and the grated tomatoes. What you can over serve it separately so that diners add it to the cake as they like.
Complete recipe for lamb pie with tahini and tomato sauce.
6. Lamb to chlindrón to Navarra
This traditional stew typical of the foral community is usually prepared at Christmas, but it is perfect for any cold season. The meat is super tender and the sauce is to slice to taste.
Ingredients: 1.5 kg of lamb in pieces, 2 tablespoons of choricero pepper pulp, 1 onion, 6 cloves of garlic, 250 ml of white wine, 300 ml of water.
Preparation: We start by submerging the chorizo peppers in a liter of water to hydrate them. After an hour, we remove them and scrape the skin to remove the meat or pulp. We will need 2 tablespoons approximately. We can also use canned choricero pulp that we find in any supermarket. Fry the floured pieces of lamb until golden brown. Once they have a good color, we remove them from the saucepan and reserve them. We chop a tomato, a green pepper, two onions and eight garlic cloves. In the same saucepan where we made the lamb, brown the garlic cloves with the onion and when they are poached, add the pulp of the choriceros, the tomato and the wine, leaving to cook for 15 minutes or so. Then we incorporate the lamb meat that we had reserved, and a little water, allowing everything to simmer for another 30 or 40 minutes until the sauce is well locked and the meat is very tender. We test and rectify salt where appropriate.
Complete recipe for lamb with chilindrón
7. Grilled ternasco shank
Ternasco is the typical variety of lamb in Aragon, which has its own PGI, and is ideal for making this recipe, although you can also use any other recipe lamb.
Ingredients: 2 ternasco jugs, 2 potatoes, 1 l of meat broth.
Preparation: In a dish suitable for the oven, we pour a good jet of extra virgin olive oil. Peel and cut the potatoes into medium-sized slices and place them over the oil. We preheat the oven to 200ºC. On the oven rack, place the two ternasco jugs from Aragón, lightly smeared with lard, butter, or olive oil and lightly seasoned. We put the baking tray with the potatoes below so that it collects the juices that the lamb drops when roasting. While the lamb shank is cooking, we put the meat stock to reduce over high heat until obtaining a thick and almost creamy sauce, a demi-glace with which we varnish the lamb every fifteen minutes, turning it half a time each time.
Roast Ternasco Hock Complete Recipe
8. Lamb tagine with zucchini, raisins and mint
This classic of the Moroccan recipe book is a delicacy whose preparation only has the difficulty of having a tagine, although if you don't have one, you can opt for a covered caderola and the result does not detract either.
Ingredients: 750 g of chopped lamb meat, can be from the leg, shoulder, Ras el Hanout spices, 4 prunes, 1 zucchini, 1/2 liter of meat stock, 1 onion, 8 green olives, a sprig of mint or peppermint.
Preparation: We start the recipe by poaching the very chopped onion in a little extra virgin olive oil. While it is done, fry the lamb slices in a frying pan and brown them, stirring continuously and keeping the fire alive, passing them to the tajine as soon as the onion is soft. Incorporate two tablespoons of Ras el Hanout spices on the meat and stir the pieces in the tagine to roast the spices. Then we add the meat stock, the olives and the raisins and bring it to a boil. When it boils, we cover the tajine and lower the heat to a minimum. When our stew has cooked for 30 minutes, add the zucchini cut into slices and taste the sauce to rectify the salt if necessary. We put 8 minced mint leaves and mix them with the broth to add their aroma. The courgettes will be ready after 10 minutes of cooking, at which point we can turn off the heat and let it rest while we take the opportunity to prepare the garnish. The stew or tagine has to be somewhat broth, as you see in the first image.
Complete recipe of lamb tagine
9. Lamb shoulder at low temperature
Although the shoulder of suckling pig can be roasted in a conventional oven, the low temperature technique allows us to ensure that the meat is tender and retains all its flavor. If you have a circulator, this is a recipe you're taking a while to try.
Ingredients: 1 shoulder of suckling lamb, 3 cloves of garlic, piquillo peppers (garnish), a glob of lard, sherry vinegar, two or three sprigs of fresh rosemary.
Preparation: We prepare the shoulder of suckling lamb, season it and lightly grease it with a small piece of lard. We put it in a vacuum bag and add a few sprigs of rosemary and a few drops of vinegar. We seal in a vacuum. In a saucepan or in any other container, fill with water and connect the immersion circulator and set the temperature to 64 degrees. We let cook for 48 hours. After that very long cooking at low temperature, we open the bag and pour the juices in a saucepan. Add two tablespoons of sherry vinegar and reduce until you get a sauce. The flavor of rosemary, meat juices and vinegar give it an impressive flavor. On the other hand, we place the shoulder in a baking dish and brown it in the gratin until it is to our liking. Cooking at low temperature leaves it very tender but does not produce Maillard reactions so it does not look good until browned. Then there is really "lagrimita".
10. Grilled cutlets with yogurt and mint sauce
With this recipe of only three ingredients, we return to the flavors of the Middle East, in a combination that never fails. It can be done with all kinds of lamb, although now that the suckling pig is cheap, it is time to pay homage to us.
Ingredients: 16 lamb chops, 1 sweetened plain yogurt, 1 sprig of fresh mint.
Preparation: To achieve a grill effect, we need a ribbed pan, carmela or grill that can be kept on the fire for a long time. Without adding oil, we put it very hot and when it takes five minutes or more to the fire, we place in it the previously salted lamb chops. We let them cook for three or four minutes, without touching them in that time so that they cook well and are golden, and then we turn them over, leaving them for another three minutes on the other side. At that time, we prepared the yogurt and mint sauce. It is important that you find mint since although it has the sweetness of peppermint, it has a spicy touch that contrasts very well with the sweetness of yogurt. If you can't find, you can use peppermint, although it will lose part of the effect. We chop the herbs well and put some on the meat and the rest we use to make the sauce that is made simply by whisking the yogurt with the mint with a fork. We turn the chops and place them on a bed of lamb's lettuce, arugula and carrot salad in threads and finish by pouring a teaspoon of the sauce on each cutlet. The rest of the sauce is served in a separate sauce boat.