Friday, 20 November 2015

Greek Lamb with Lemon Orzo, Olives and Feta.

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

It's one of my favourite comfort foods but Greeked up!

I love any combination of pasta with mince - in lasagnebolognese and of course, any cheesy pasta bake situation.

Especially nowadays with all the heavy rain we've been having, comfort food is a must.


I don't know about you but as I get older, my tastebuds change. Things that I wouldn't have touched with a bargepole a few years ago, suddenly don't seem so bad. Recent conquests include salmonsardines and as of last night, herring! This from the person who three years ago wrote that only one type of fish passed in this house.

Another previously shunned food was feta. I did not have the patience for this, in my opinion, overly salty cheese. But then, we began by putting it into fritters, tossing it into salads and crumbling it over this pile of lemony orzo and Greek lamb. Yes, you guys, I have replaced the usual Italian lamb mince sauce with a Greek-ish version, spiced up with cinnamon, oregano and cumin among others. The predictable spaghetti/tagliatelle made way for orzo, a pasta shaped like rice (genius!!), which is cooked and then tossed with lemon and fresh coriander. Shockingly, I finished everything with a good crumble of that salty feta along with its green olive counterpart. That's comfort food in our house these days.

Orzo, previously: the recipe test.
Lamb Mince, previously: lamb mince okra curry // lamb mince curry // spicy lamb mince pasties.

A Simple List of Ingredients:
For the Greek Lamb:
1. Olive Oil
2. Lamb Mince
3. Salt and Pepper
4. Onions
5. Garlic
6. Ground Cinnamon
7. Dried Oregano
8. Ground Cumin
9. Ground Coriander
10. Crushed Red Chilli Flakes
11. Tinned Chopped Tomatoes
12. Water
13. Spinach

For the Lemon Orzo:

1. Orzo Pasta
2. Lemon Juice
3. Olive Oil
4. Fresh Coriander

To Serve:

1. Feta Cheese
2. Green Olives

Bismillah, let's begin!


To make the Greek lamb, heat 1 tablespoon Olive Oil in a large pan over a medium heat.


Take 1 pound Lamb Mince.


Add it to the hot pan.


Season with a little bit of Salt and Pepper.


Break the meat up a spoon.


Cook until the meat is well browned all over.


Remove the lamb on to a plate and set aside.


Into the same pan, over a medium/high heat, add more Olive Oil, if needed.


Take 2 Onions and 6 Garlic Cloves.


Finely chop those onions!


And, add them into the pan.


Thinly slice the garlic.


Add them to the onions.


Give them a good stir.


Fry over a medium/high heat for 10 minutes until soft and golden.


Next, the spices! We use two of my absolute favourites in savoury foods --> ground cinnamon and dried oregano.


Along with ground cumin, crushed red chilli flakes and ground coriander.


Measure out:
1 teaspoon Salt
2 teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Dried Oregano
1 and 1/2 teaspoon Ground Cumin
2 teaspoons Ground Coriander
1/2 teaspoon Crushed Red Chilli Flakes


Add them to the pan.


Fry for a minute or two until fragrant. Don't be afraid to drizzle in a little oil if the pan is too dry.


Next, 1 tin Chopped Tomatoes. This tin was 400 grams.


Add them to the pan.


Stir in and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.


Then, pour in 400ml Water or as much as you like. I just rinsed out the tomato tin and used that.


Give it a stir and bring to the boil.


Turn the heat right down and cook, uncovered, for 15 minutes.

Then, tip in the lamb mince along with any juices from the plate.


Stir, boil and then simmer, covered, on the lowest heat for 30 minutes or until the lamb is fully cooked.


Finally, we'll need a good handful of Spinach, chopped. I used fresh spinach that we had frozen at home.


In goes the spinach.


Stir it in to wilt. Then, taste the sauce for seasoning. If you prefer the lamb on the drier side, don't be afraid to turn up the heat and let it dry out a little. I kept it wetter for this recipe since we were going to be eating it with orzo pasta.


Speaking of pasta, let's gather together our ingredients to make lemon orzo.


For which, we'll of course, need orzo. This is pasta shaped like rice - it's so cute. I used 500 grams Orzo Pasta.


Boil in salted water according to packet instructions - mine took 7-9 minutes.


Once cooked, drain.


Pop it into a bowl.


Slice a lemon in half.


Squeeze in the juice of 1 Lemon.


Then, add in a handful Fresh Coriander, chopped.


Finishing with a drizzle of Olive Oil.


Stir the orzo together, grab your lamb and we're ready to serve!


To serve, place the orzo onto a platter.


And, top it with the lamb.


You can eat it just as it is but I love finishing it with salty feta and olives.


Sprinkle on crumbled Feta and chopped Green Olives, to taste.


Serve up straight away and enjoy! P.s. if you want to pop the whole thing, tossed together, with the feta and maybe a little Cheddar on top, under a hot grill to brown - yum!

Full Written Recipe:


Greek Lamb with Lemon Orzo, Olives and Feta.

Prep Time: About 10 minutes.
Cook Time: About 1 hour 10 minutes.
Serves: About 6 people.

Ingredients

For the Greek Lamb
1 tablespoon Olive Oil plus more, if needed
1 pound Lamb Mince
2 Onions, finely chopped
6 Garlic Cloves, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon Salt
Black Pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Dried Oregano
1 and ½ teaspoon Ground Cumin
2 teaspoons Ground Coriander
½ teaspoon Crushed Red Chilli Flakes
1 tin (400 grams) Chopped Tomatoes
400 ml Water or as needed
Large handful Spinach, chopped

For the Lemon Orzo
500 grams Orzo Pasta
Juice of 1 Lemon
Drizzle of Olive Oil
Handful Fresh Coriander, chopped

To Serve
Feta, crumbled
Green Olives, chopped

Method

To make the Greek lamb, in a large pan, heat the olive oil over a medium heat. Add the lamb mince and a little salt and pepper. Cook until the meat is brown. Then, remove from the pan and set aside.
Add a little more oil to the pan, if needed. Put in the onion and garlic. Fry over a medium/high heat for 10 minutes until soft and golden.
Next, add in the salt, ground cinnamon, dried oregano, ground cumin, ground coriander and crushed red chilli. Cook for a minute or two until fragrant.
Stir in the tinned tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes. Then, pour in the water. Bring to the boil and then, turn the heat right down. Cook, uncovered for 15 minutes.
Put the minced lamb back in. Stir and cover to cook on a low heat for 30 minutes until the lamb is cooked through.
Finally, stir in the spinach to wilt. Taste and adjust seasoning, if needed.

To make the lemon orzo, boil the orzo according to packet instructions – mine was 7-9 minutes. Drain and then stir in the lemon juice, olive oil and fresh coriander.

To serve, put the lemon orzo onto a platter. Spoon over the Greek lamb and then sprinkle on the crumbled feta and chopped green olives. Serve!

{Adapted from Food 52}

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Keep me in your duas please, and enjoy your lamb with orzo,

Wasalaam!

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