I wonder if anyone heard the Food Programme with Sheila Dillon last week. Its focus was on the steep decline in lamb-eating in the under 30s. Apparently, the young have no taste for this wonderful meat, which is such a pity. Perhaps it is too fatty, or intimidating for them to cook - I don’t know. Lamb is such a treat for us over 30s! I wonder what would get the younger audience to try it. In the meantime, here are two lamby recipes (for oldies) to muse on….
Easy Middle Eastern koftes
This month sees the launch of several great-looking Syrian recipe books. I’ve got my eye on Syria: Recipes from Home, by Itab Assam and Dina Mousawi. They remind me that kebab season is nearly upon us. Here is a very easy version of the lamb kofte recipe that we make in the shop. It is delicious served with hummous, salad and flat bread.
Lamb koftes with yoghurt dressing
- 1 onion, peeled and diced
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
- 2 tsp cumin (toasted ideally)
- 500g minced lamb
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- for the sauce:
- Half a teaspoon of tasted cumin seeds
- 2-3 tbsp plain yoghurt
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- Small bunch of mint leaves, crushed
- Saute onion and garlic in olive oil. When soft, add cumin and cook for 2 minutes. Set aside.
- Put the lamb in a bowl with onion mix, chopped herbs, salt and pepper. Mix then roll into a fat sausage shape for kebab sticks. If you don’t have them, make into flattened golf balls. Drizzle with oil for cooking and set aside.
- Make dressing by mixing together ingredients and add seasoning.
- Place a griddle pan over a medium to high heat. Griddle each side for approximately three to four minutes until browned. Serve with dressing and flatbreads.
A Roman recipe for lamb
Every week in the papers I turn in a state of happy anticipation to Rachel Roddy’s regular Saturday food column. She lives in Rome and writes wonderfully of the Roman cooking tradition. Recently, there was a simple recipe using two of my favourite late spring ingredients: broad beans and lamb: Rice with broad beans, herbs and lamb chops
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