One of my new friends from the Bozeman winter farmers market is Dave Scott from Montana Highland Lamb, a genuinely happy guy who lights up when he talks about his lambs, ranch and family. So enamoured was I the first time I met him, I purchased a pound of kabob meat even though I’m not a big fan of lamb. That week I thawed the package, marinated the meat simply with rosemary and some olive oil, scewered and broiled in the oven, and WOW. It was the best tasting lamb I have ever eaten — very mild, yet fresh and flavorful, almost grassy and floral. “Homegrown and Happy” is their tagline, and the pure, clean flavor is a testimony to the benefits of natural ranching. I could hardly wait until the next market so I could buy more of Dave’s lamb!
Ground lamb was my second purchase, and I thought it deserved to become something more interesting than burgers. I found this gyro recipe on Serious Eats. Phenomenal! I served it with warmed pita pockets, thinly sliced red cabbage with a bit of balsamic vinegar and olive oil dressing, and this simple raita:
- 1 cup plain yogurt, Greek style preferred
- 1/2 cucumber, peeled and diced
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- snipped mint leaves
- 1 pound ground lamb
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 3 ounces bacon, cut into 1" pieces
- 1 garlic clove, pressed or finely diced
- 1/2 yellow onion, coarsely chopped
adapted from Lamb Gyros, by Serious Eats
Mix together and refrigerate for 1 hour or up to overnight:
Put in food processor with lamb from above:
- Line a rimmed cookie sheet pan with foil. Shape meat into a 8"x5" loaf and cook 30 minutes at 300 degrees F, until internal temperature reaches 155 degrees F.
- Let loaf cool, then slice into 1/8-1/4" slices and lay out on cookie sheet pan to broil. Broil until edges are brown and crispy. I like to flip them and get both sides.
- Serve with warmed pita pockets, thinly sliced red cabbage, red onion and raita.
Ripe Food & Wine | http://www.ripefoodandwine.com | Amy Andrews firstname.lastname@example.org