Tag

lamb

“Either give me more wine or leave me alone.”
Jalaluddin Rumi

These Lamb Chops with Red Wine turned out to be the best I’ve ever made. And I thought lamb chops were difficult to make. The simplest of ingredients – rosemary, garlic, and a limited edition Shiraz from Big Banyan Wines came together ever so beautifully to create this dish with so much character & loads of depth. Minimal fuss … & it was love at first bite!

As I have always say, it’s simple, good quality ingredients that make any dish shine, and this was no different. The wine really sang out loud! Then again, garlic & rosemary are one of my favourite savoury pairings, in fact most of my breads have the two. I use copious amounts of garlic in my food, and I think it’s the best ingredient ever! And then there’s wine…

If I talk about wine, I am far from a wine connoisseur, yet I do enjoy a good wine. In addition, I find the very idea of cooking with wine very therapeutic; very engaging actually because it always surprises. I love cooking and baking with red wine because it feels like a celebration, romanticizing the very idea of serving food. The red has a character that I like!

The ruby red Shiraz is one of my favourites. As they say at Big Banyan, “Because of its strong character Shiraz is considered the ‘man’ among wines. Its distinct, robust personality is unmistakable, making it a powerful wine among of the ‘big reds’. Its aromas burst alive in warmer temperatures, like Australia and India. So open a bottle and explore the deepest, darkest recesses of our wine’s soul.”

You might remember the Chocolate Berry Wine Fallen Gateau I did last year around the same time. It is one of my favourite holiday desserts, and the spiced jam is an exciting jam! Using the red this time in a savoury way was equally fun! The colours and flavours just popped. Deep, delicious, well balanced flavours in the lamb chops. Above all, so simple to make.

 How do you like to cook with wine? Do you enjoy it too?

Lamb Chops with Red Wine
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These Lamb Chops with Red Wine turned out to be the best I've ever made. Rosemary, garlic, and a limited edition Shiraz from Big Banyan Wines came together ever so beautifully to create this dish with so much character and loads of depth.
Servings Prep Time
2-3 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2-3 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Lamb Chops with Red Wine
Yum
Print Recipe
These Lamb Chops with Red Wine turned out to be the best I've ever made. Rosemary, garlic, and a limited edition Shiraz from Big Banyan Wines came together ever so beautifully to create this dish with so much character and loads of depth.
Servings Prep Time
2-3 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2-3 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Instructions
Marinade
  1. Whisk all the ingredients for the marinade in a bowl.
  2. Pat dry the lamb chops, rub in the marinade gently. Leave covered in the fridge for 4-6 hours, better still overnight.
To finish
  1. Heat the clarified butter /ghee in a heavy bottom pan.
  2. Over high heat, sear the chops on both sides. Pour over the marinade and drizzle with honey. Let the marinade bubble and reduce a little.
  3. Transfer to a heat proof casserole. Cook in microwave covered on high power for 5 minutes / or until done.
  4. Return to the pan, throw in fresh rosemary sprigs and garlic cloves. Cook until the wine reduces to a nice thick sauce and coats the chops. Taste and adjust seasoning if required.
  5. Serve with a sautéed broccoli salad, grilled onion rings and fresh rocket greens. Of course a glass of Shiraz on the side!
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Dhungaar e keema, Smoked Indian lamb mince “Pull up a chair. Take a taste. Come join us. Life is so endlessly delicious.”
Ruth Reichl

Dhungaar-e-Keema  or Smoked Indian Lamb Mince is a quintessential recipe from the Indian subcontinent, one that is as simple as it is flavourful. The recipe is quite basic, the underlining key words characteristically ‘andaaz‘ and ‘bhuno‘, terms very familiar to how we cook in this region. Andaaz referring to eyeballing ingredients, and bhuno, ‘the quintessential stirring and roasting’ that gives Indian cuisine its essential character. Kebab spice mix Be it kebabs, kormas, bhuna gosht or then keema like this, the spice mixes are generally region specific. This Dhungaar-e-Keema or Smoked Lamb Mince is minimally adapted from an old one from @ My Tamarind Kitchen, a blog written by Scotland based Sumayya.It’s an old familiar recipe, one that has roots across this region, North India and Pakistan. It’s strange how similar the culinary vocabulary and cooking methods are. Dhungaar e keema, Smoked Indian lamb mince My mother and her friends, who I owe a lot of my initial recipe repertoire to, always had the same two favourite words, ‘andaaz’ and ‘bhuno’. The  story was the same with my aunts who I used to pursue relentlessly in an attempt hone my abysmal cooking skills. These words were firmly rooted in the North Indian cooking lingo of the past, a reflection of how recipes have evolved down the ages. We’re down to measures now – teaspoons, tablespoons, cups, grams, ounces in cookbooks, yet ‘andaaz ‘or eyeballing in Indian cooking still rules the kitchen!Spices for a smoked Indian lamb minceFor recipes other than baking I still pretty much eyeball what goes in, merrily tasting and tossing as I stir. Andaaz is my way to go too. No better way to cook I’d say, though maybe not the ideal ‘cookbook’ for newcomers on the scene, or for people alien to a particular cuisine. The good thing is that I am an obsessive ‘picture taker’ for steps of cooking, and especially when cooking with spices as they keep me fascinated. As a result of that, I usually know how the recipe has progressed and what went it.

Spices for a smoked Indian lamb mince

Dhungaar e keema, Smoked Indian lamb mince 1000 2This time was of course no different even though I followed Sumayyas recipe pretty much. The steps were familiar since most of our curries follow the same pattern. The only thing different about her recipe was that no powdered spices were included, something that I found quite interesting. I don’t think I’ve cooked often with only a smattering of whole spices and not even a single teaspoon of coriander powder or turmeric.

The Masala Dabba / Indian Spice Box

The Masala Dabba / Indian Spice BoxI did add a few whole spices of my own though. Star anise for one. A new found love for a spice I barely cared for. Shooting for our Masala Dabba series I fell in love with it because of the way it looked. So I included it in a sangria, then in a panna cotta. Then one trip into the heart of South India to Karaikudi,and I was sold on it. It’s quite an integral part of Chettinad cuisine, often thrown in in wild abandon, the aromas filling the air the minute star anise hits hot oil.

Sunset, Chidambaram Vilas, Karaikudi, Chettinad, South India

Karaikudi, Chettinad, South India

Chilies from KaraikudiAlso in went bay leaves, a gift from the garden of my mother’s friend who lives in the UK, but grew up here in India. She carried a bag for us, for me especially, since she knows how fond we are of her recipes, a lot of them inspired from Pakistan. Bay leavesShe influenced a lot of my recipe and cooking processes when I had just got married, gingerly stepping into the kitchen for the first time. The rest of course is history …  the recipe follows!Dhungaar e keema, Smoked Indian lamb mince

Cooking | Dhungaar-e-Keema or Smoked Lamb Mince
Yum
Print Recipe
Dhungaar-e-Keema or Smoked Indian Lamb Mince is a quintessential recipe from the Indian subcontinent, one that is as simple as it is flavourful. The recipe is quite basic, the underlining key words characteristically ‘andaaz‘ and ‘bhuno‘, terms very familiar to how we cook in this region. Andaaz referring to eyeballing ingredients, and bhuno, the quintessential 'stirring and roasting’ that gives Indian cuisine its essential character.
Servings Prep Time
4 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
1 hour 15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
1 hour 15 minutes
Cooking | Dhungaar-e-Keema or Smoked Lamb Mince
Yum
Print Recipe
Dhungaar-e-Keema or Smoked Indian Lamb Mince is a quintessential recipe from the Indian subcontinent, one that is as simple as it is flavourful. The recipe is quite basic, the underlining key words characteristically ‘andaaz‘ and ‘bhuno‘, terms very familiar to how we cook in this region. Andaaz referring to eyeballing ingredients, and bhuno, the quintessential 'stirring and roasting’ that gives Indian cuisine its essential character.
Servings Prep Time
4 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
1 hour 15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
1 hour 15 minutes
Ingredients
Keema
Whole garam masala
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Heat some ghee/clarified butter in a heavy bottom and add the khara masala/whole spices and saute until fragrant. Throw in the chopped onions and stir fry until light golden brown on the edges. Add the ginger garlic and saute for a further 2-3 minutes, until the raw smell has disappeared.
  2. Now add all the chopped tomatoes and roast well until almost dry, then add the mince. Stir in well to mix, then roast over high heat until the meat is no longer pink. Season with salt.
  3. Then add the yogurt, stirring constantly to roast/bhuno until the yogurt has been absorbed and is no longer white. Cover the wok/pan with a tight fitting lid, reduce heat to lowest, allowing the mince to slow cook in it's own juices.
  4. Check once in a while to make sure it isn't catching the bottom, giving it a quick stir. A heavy bottom good quality pan really works well here. cook until the liquid has evaporated and the colour is nice and reddish brown. As Sumayya says, 'bhuno-ing the keema is key!'
  5. Add loads of fresh chopped coriander and green chilies. Cover and allow to dam for a about 5 minutes, then turn off heat and let it stand. I f you wish to smoke the mince, please see instructions below.
  6. Smoking the Keema: Light up a piece of coal over the gas fire. Make a tiny bowl with an aluminium foil. Place the hot burning coal in it and quickly drizzle a few drops of melted ghee/clarified butter over it. The coal will begin smoking immediately. Tightly shut the lid and leave for about 15-30 minutes.
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“I cook with wine. Sometimes I even add it to the food.”
W.C. Fields

Basque Lamb Stew Hello November. Here already? ALREADY?? With winter almost here, the Basque Lamb Stew is a good way to warm up … robust, hearty, full of flavour. It’s the time of the year when comfort food tops the list. Apple crumbles, mushroom soup, lamb and chicken curries, warm chocolate puddings, risottos, brownies, creamy cheesy pasta, ratatouille,  fresh bread, stew …

Basque Lamb Stew The lamb was meant for an Indian Lamb Stew or Gosht do Piaza, a hearty traditional Indian main. Yet some sour dough meant a loaf of fresh baked bread. The lamb thus headed for a continental makeover. Two recently gifted  bottles of wine from Four Seasons had me wanting to further my culinary skills. Google took me to Simply Recipes which had an interesting lamb stew recipe.

Basque Lamb Stew My knowledge of wine is pretty limited. A wine tasting session with a wine connoisseur some time back was enlightening. I  would like to cook with wine but am an under-confident ‘wine’ cook! I do however find wine glasses and goblets romantic, pretty too! 

Basque Lamb Stew Basque Lamb Stew was in the oven soon. Experimental cooking is always fun, and has been on the mind even more after our recent Ozzie MasterChef meeting. That rejuvenated us to think differently, creatively, out of the box, locally, internationally, responsibly … every virtual thought led to food!

Basque Lamb Stew Sangeeta’s Dark Chocolate Mousse, Parul’s Merluza en Salsa de Pinones, Ruchira’s Thai Eggplant Salad and Rekha’s Fresh Waterchestnuts, Arugula and Peach Salad reminded me of the lamb stew that was waiting in the wings! All these have the wine in common.

Basque Lamb StewThe Basque Lamb Stew was a huge step for someone like me who has always cooked traditional Indian lamb dishes. Making this dish, I thought often about the very talented Basque ex-pat Aran Goyoaga who writes on Basque country and her childhood. I heard of this beautiful region while reading her posts.

Basque Lamb StewThe stew was delicious, hearty, and an enticing red. There was something inspiring about it. Despite being cooked in a completely different manner, it still had slight undertones of my Indian stew or ‘ishtoo‘ as it is often called! Amazing! The wines gave very gentle flavour to the dish, while the roasted red peppers added most of the brilliant colour! {The sour dough bread is a tomato basil  one the recipe scraps of which I sadly misplaced!}

What keeps you warm in winter, dear reader? What is your favourite comfort food?

[print_this]Recipe: Basque Lamb Stew
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Summary: With winter almost here, this Basque Lamb Stew seems like a good way to warm up … robust, hearty, full of flavour. It’s the time of the year when comfort food tops the list. Adapted minimally from Simple Recipes. Serves 4-6.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours {plus marinating}
Ingredients:

  • 750gm lamb shoulder, cut into 2 inch pieces {I used on the bone pieces}
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
  • 1 tbs dried rosemary {or sprig fresh rosemary}
  • 1/2 cup white wine {Four Seasons Pinot}
  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
  • Salt
  • 1/2 tsp red chili flakes
  • 3 roasted red bell peppers, cut into 1/2 inch strips
  • 1 large ripe tomato, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup dry, full-bodied red wine {Four Seasons Barouque Reserve}
  • 1 cup vegetable stock 
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Method:

  1. Combine the lamb, half of the garlic cloves, rosemary, and white wine in a medium bowl. I marinated this overnight though Elise calles for 2-3 hours.
  2. Drain the meat, discard the marinade, and pat dry with paper towels. {I reduced the remaining marinade while basting the second batch}
  3. Heat olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pan with lid, over medium-high heat. Working in batches, brown the meat on all sides, about 10 minutes per batch. Salt the meat as it browns. Remove the meat from the pan and add the onions to the pan. 
  4. Cook, scraping browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon, until the onions are light brown around the edges, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another minute.
  5. Return the meat to the pan with the onions and garlic. Stir in red chili flakes, roasted peppers, tomatoes, coriander, bay leaf, and red wine. 
  6. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes, allowing the liquids to reduce a bit. Then add the vegetable stock. {Either bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until meat is very tender, 2 to 2 1/2 hours}.
  7. OR transfer to an oven safe deep dish, cover tightly with foil and bake at 150C for 1 1/2 hours. 
  8. Add freshly ground black pepper and more salt to taste.
  9. Serve with rustic bread. 
  10. If you want, try garnishing with fresh mint leaves {as Elise says, “though I have no idea how “Basque” that is, it just tastes good.”

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