Friday, December 11, 2009

Still Life With Soup

That is what I titled the photo above, featuring our delicious homemade tomato soup alongside a bobbin full of yarn and my favorite yellow soup bowl ;)

I was reminded by a reader that I promised some lamb recipes more than a week ago! I got so busy preparing for the winter storm and artic blast that was predicted (and that we did receive by the way) that I didn't spend much time at the computer. So today as I put some dried navy beans on to soak for one of those recipes, I thought I just better sit down and get to blog posting.

By the way, here is a link to the tomato soup recipe that will take you right to the original post (September 25, 2008), if you don't already have it. The first of our family favorites with lamb makes use of that soup ;) It is called:

I use this recipe for whatever meat I have handy that I want to barbecue in the oven. This might be ribs, chops, steaks. We have our lamb chops and steaks cut 1 inch thick, so they work really well here. One of the things I really like about this one is that the meat is browned in the oven, saving the mess of an additional pan for browning on top of the stove)

3-4 pounds lamb - ribs, chops or steaks, whatever you have
Garlic powder, salt, pepper
1 pint homemade tomato soup (see recipe link above) or substitute 1 can (10-3/4 ounces condensed tomato soup, undiluted
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves minced garlic
1 cup water
1/2 cup honey (you can use light corn syrup or I have even used maple syrup, though the sauce was not quite as thick with the maple syrup - tasty though!)
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cider vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons chili powder or hot pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Sprinkle meat with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Place in a single layer in a large baking pan. Bake at 325 degrees for about 30 minutes; drain off the fat. Combine the sauce ingredients and pour over the meat. Bake about 50 minutes longer, turning to coat occasionally.

Now this next dish is a real comfort food, just right for these cold blustery nights, but it makes use of the slow cooker so is also nice for summer cooking when you don't want to turn on the oven. The county in Michigan where I live has been known as "bean country" for all of the beans produced, so having beans in the mixture along with our farm lamb makes it all-around Michigan Farm Food ;)

2 cups dried navy beans, soaked overnight in water
About 3 pounds lamb shoulder chops
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 medium parsnip or turnip, chopped (if you don't have either of these, you can substitute a couple of peeled, diced potatoes)
1 large chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped (include the leaves if you can)
1 bay leaf
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 16-ounce can chicken broth (or homemade chicken stock if you have it)
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup half and half (you can use milk)

Drain the liquid from the beans. In a slow cooker, combine the beans and lamb with the next 8 ingredients. Cook on high heat for about an hour, then turn your temperature to low and cook for about 6 hours or till the meat is done. When the lamb is tender, remove it and chop into chunky pieces, discarding the bones. Return the meat to the cooker and add the butter and half & half. Stir and allow to heat through. Ladle it up and enjoy! NOTE: If you notice that the liquid is cooking away, add additional stock or water if needed.

Well, there you have it - two favorite lamb recipes from our home. I hope you give them a try. I wish you could try them with Serenity Farms lamb, but if you can't, please try to find a farmer local to your area where you can purchase the meat. Ask to try just a package or two of sample cuts if they sell them that way. A good way to find a producer in your area is by going to Local Harvest - a website that helps locate and support family farms, CSA's, Farmers Markets, etc (a great resource!) Also, someone asked about the Lamb Ham I mentioned in the last post. All we did was have our processor smoke some of the roasts in the same fashion you would cure and smoke a ham when you have pork processed. I need to go pour myself another cup of hot coffee! I sure am thankful for wool socks today....