Monday, August 20, 2012

Slow Roasted Lamb with Tzatziki Sauce

Happy Monday!  I hope everyone had a great weekend!  Do anything fun?  I celebrated 6 years of happily ever after with my sweet heart on Saturday!  I have no idea how it has been 6 years already, time really does fly!  We went out to dinner at an awesome new restaurant.  It is called Wildflower, and they have sort of the new American cuisine.  Very creative.  I had a farmers market salad to start with, and it was amazing.  It had quinoa on it (i'm going to by trying that on my own more often!), goat cheese that was perfectly balanced with the vinaigrette, tons of farm fresh vegetables that are all grown locally.  Amazing.  Can't wait to go back!    Here is a picture of us out celebrating :)


Now, on to food.  I'm super excited to share these recipes with you today (That's right, TWO!)  Slow roasted Lamb, and Tzatziki Sauce.  Now, for those of you that are more on the beginner side of cooking, this is super easy, I promise you can do it!  This is the way to to do cheaper cuts of Lamb too, if you don't want to spend a fortune, which sometimes lamb can be.  Slow roasting it in the crock pot is perfect for the shank, shoulder, or other tougher cuts.  It allows it to break down and become beautifully tender.  The Tzatziki sauce compliments it nicely, and I think I have finally figured the perfect combination.  (after a bit of trial and error)  This recipe goes nicely with mashed potatoes, or a Greek couscous, which is a recipe I will be sharing probably tomorrow.  This is a recipe packed week, so check back frequently!  

Tzatziki Sauce
You are able to make this ahead and chill for up to 3 days.  At the very least, let it firm up a little before serving.
Ingredients
1 1/2 cups Plain, nonfat Greek Yogurt
1 cup diced cucumber
1/2 tsp lemon zest
Juice from 1/2 lemon
1 tsp garlic
1 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
1/2 Tbsp chopped fresh Dill
2 tsp salt (for the cucumbers)

Directions
Peel and dice either 1/2 a long english cucumber or 1 smaller regular cucumber.  

Place 1 cup diced cucumber in a strainer and cover with 2 tsp salt.  Toss gently so all is coated.  We are trying to get some of the water out of the cucumber so it doesn't make the sauce runny.  Cover strainer with a paper towel, plate, and something heavy, and allow to rest for about 30 minutes.


Once cucumber is drained, combine the following in a blender or food processor.  I have this handy little ninja that is the perfect size.  Add 1 1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt.

Add 1/2 tsp lemon zest.  To zest a lemon, you can either use a microplane, a zester, or the really small side of a cheese grater.  You want to move quickly around the lemon, and only get the top yellow part.  Under the yellow is the pithy white stuff, which is bitter and not the flavor we are looking for!  After zesting, cut the lemon in half and add the juice from one half. Careful not to get the seeds!




Add 1 tsp minced garlic.

Add 1 Tbsp chopped fresh mint (Love that smell!), and 1/2 Tbsp chopped fresh Dill.  You can also add about 1/2 tsp dried dill if you already have that on hand.


 Pulse that a few times to start having it combine.  Now take your cucumber and pat it dry with a paper towel.  Add the cucumber to the yogurt mixture and blend till smooth. 


Served chilled, and like I mentioned above, it can stay in the fridge for about 3 days.  It is yummy with the lamb, but also on vegetables, wraps, as a dip, and any other way you can think of!  

Slow Roasted Lamb
Ingredients
1.5-2 lbs lamb shoulder or shank (boneless, if there is a bone in there, go for a little heavier)
1 onion
5-6 Stalks Celery
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup white wine or Vegetable stock
Salt and pepper
Garlic
Rosemary

Directions
Turn the crock pot on, either 4-5 hours at a high heat, or 6-7 hours on low.  Lamb is rare if the temp is 145 F, well done at 165 F, so keep an eye on the temperatures with a meat thermometer if you want a specific done-ness.  For this method, it is more on the well done side, but you can pull it out earlier if you wish.

In a fry pan, start 1 Tbsp of olive oil, over medium high heat.  

Sprinkle lamb with salt and pepper.

When oil is heated, add lamb to fry pan and cook 1-2 minutes on each side to get a nice brown.


Pull lamb out, but don't add to crock pot yet.  

Slice one onion, it doesn't have to be thin, just big pieces to go under the lamb.  Add 1 Tbsp of Olive to same fry pan as the lamb, when heated, add onions and allow to cook 5-6 minutes or until caramelized, but not clear yet.  Remove from fry pan and add to crock pot.

Coarsely chop 5-6 celery stalks, and add to fry pan after the onions.  Let cook about 5 min, until slightly caramelized  and add to crock pot.


While veggies are cooking in the fry pan, cover lamb with minced garlic (at least 1 tbsp, more if you love garlic like I do), and sprinkle with Rosemary.  Again, about 1 Tbsp, more to taste.  You can do this step before putting it in the fry pan, but I have done it both ways, and I like adding it after.  Sometimes the garlic gets burned in the fry pan, and that makes it pretty bitter tasting.

I didn't get a picture of the crock pot, I can't believe I forgot.  Sorry!  Add the lamb to the crock pot on top of the veggies, and add 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup white wine or vegetable stock.  Cover, and leave it alone!  Cook according to above.  When it is done cooking, remove from pan, and let rest for about 15 min before slicing.  Enjoy with the Tzatziki sauce!

Hope you got your daily dose of nutrition today, and thanks for reading!  If you enjoy the blog, please share using the buttons below, or in the box to the right.  Also, we would love to have you join us!  Join this site in the "followers" box to the right.  "Like" the blog on facebook, and follow me on twitter (@jennasteprd), tumblr, and pinterest using the the boxes on the right.  Thanks, and have a great day! ~jenna

6 comments:

  1. How long did you leave it in the crockpot for?

    ReplyDelete
  2. I do it on low, and leave it in for about 5 hrs :) thanks for reading!

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is fantastic. . . thank you for including all of the photos!!!

    ReplyDelete