If you are in Indiana, and haven’t tried the lamb from Royer Farm, you are missing out.  Every time I cook lamb, I end up making something with a Greek twist to it.  Two years of sharing a dorm room with a Greek roommate will do that to you! And yes, there’s the irony of one of the ingredients listed being “Tuscan Sunset”, however this seasoning from Penzey’s has some of the same ingredients you will find in most Greek blends…. oregano, garlic, bell pepper… yep, it’s all Greek to me!

Greek Style Shells

Ingredients:
2 TB extra virgin olive oil
1 lb lamb sausage
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 TB thyme
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup black olives
pasta shells, cooked according to package directions
12 oz ricotta cheese
8 oz crumbled feta cheese
2 TB Penzey’s Spices Tuscan Sunset seasoning, or a Greek style spice blend
1 TB water

Method
1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the lamb sausage, salt and thyme and cook for 15 minutes till browned and you don’t have any large chunks of lamb left.
2. Add the green onions and black olives and cook for an additional 10 minutes in low to medium heat.
3. While the lamb finishes cooking, in a medium bowl combine the ricotta, feta and seasoning.
4. Fill shells with cheese mixture, and place in a baking dish that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Add one tablespoon of water and cover tightly with aluminum foil.
5. Bake shells in a 375 degree oven for 20 minutes, top with lamb mixture and enjoy!

** Be sure to not overcook the pasta, just cook to “al dente”. It will finish cooking in the oven.

I got some of the sweetest pomegranates at the store today. The juice is delicious, and very good for you. Full of antioxidants and vitamins.

Just a few notes before you start working with the pomegranates.

  • wear gloves and an apron when seeding the pomegranates, the stains from the juice are pretty tough.
  • squeeze ligtly as you would an orange
  • cut the pomegranates in fourths and then pull apart sections to pull out seeds.

Pomegranate Port Chop

Pomegranate Port Chop

Ingredients:

rind of one lemon
juice of one lemon
2 TB oregano
2 garlic cloves, crushed
salt & pepper
1 rack of lamb, about 7 or 8 chops
1 cup Port wine
1 large pomegranate, juiced and seeded

Method
1. Preheat oven to 400.**
2. In a bowl, mix together the first five ingredients.
3. Rub the lamb with the seasoning mixture prepared on step 1, and set aside.

4. In a small saucepan, cook the port wine and juice of one pomegranate till reduced by half. One pomegranate will yield about a 1/2 cup of juice, if not, supplement with bottled pomegranate juice.
5. Add 2 TB of the pomegranate seeds to the wine reduction and set aside.
6. Grill the lamb chops, meat side down, for 8 minutes. Turn, and grill for an additional 2 minutes. This will yield medium rare chops.
7. Remove from the grill and let it rest covered for 3 minutes.
8. Carve and dress with pomegranate reduction.
** Note: Our “grilling” method of choice during the winter months is by bringing a cast iron skillet to temperature inside the oven and then placing the meat on it to cook. We only do these for steaks and lamb chops. Alternatively you can use an outdoor grill.

Lamb, Lentil & Sweet Potato Stew

Lamb, Lentil & Sweet Potato Stew

Lamb, Lentil & Sweet Potato Stew
Ingredients:
2 TB extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 lbs cubed lamb
2 TB all purpose flour
1/2 cup chopped onions
1 TB chopped garlic
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
48 oz beef broth
1 1/2 cups sweet potatoes, cut into 1″ cubes
1 lb lentils, dry
1 – 28 oz can fire roasted tomatoes
2 TB tomato paste
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

1. Season lamb with salt and pepper, toss with all purpose flour, shaking off the excess. Set aside.

2. In a dutch oven, heat olive oil. Brown lamb on all sides, cooking in batches to avoid overcrowding the pot. Take lamb out and set aside, loosely covered with aluminum foil.

3. To the dutch oven, add onions and garlic. Cook for approximately 5 minutes till soft and fragrant, add green peppers and cook for an additional 2 minutes.

4. Add beef broth and bring to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, add lentils, bay leaf, tomatoes and tomato paste. Cook on slow heat for 25 minutes.

5. Add sweet potatoes and cook for an additional 30 minutes.

6. Add lamb back into the stew and cook for 25 more minutes.