Monday, February 1, 2010

Greek-Inspired Lamb

This weekend, I had a hankering for lamb. Not sure if "hankering" is appropriate when speaking of dead baby animals, because I most assuredly did not want a live one. And I was planning on inviting a friend over that might - just might - out-hanker me in the lamb department, and let me tell you, that is not easy. The highlight of the upcoming trip to Ireland will be the availability of my meat of choice.

So, I've been cooking a lot of Indian-flavored dishes lately and decided to branch out. All the way to Greece. The problem was that I couldn't settle on one recipe. So I took bits and pieces of several and went my own way.

As I told my sister on IM "if I use olive oil, lemon juice & oregano with my lamb, I can just call it Greek".

And that, friends, is the rest of the story.

Greek Inspired Lamb

1 lb lamb, cut into 1"(ish) cubes
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup red wine
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp fresh oregano
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
1 14 oz can artichoke hearts, drained and cut in half lengthwise
feta cheese

Mix together in a bowl: vinegar, wine, oil, oregano & garlic.

Pour over lamb and stir. Marinate at room temperature for 1 hour, or in the fridge for ...let's say 2? 3?

Pour the whole she-bang into a large skillet and cook for about 10 minutes, moving the lamb around to ensure it's cooking evenly.

Add the tomatoes and bring back to a simmer for about 5 minutes.

Add the artichoke hearts and bring back to a simmer for another 5 minutes.

Serve over brown rice, couscous, etc. and garnish with feta cheese.

MAJOR Note:I was cooking this ahead of time, so when we all returned to the house from a meeting I could just pop it on the stove and heat it up while I cooked some couscous. I tasted it after the tomatoes were added and it was acidic. I freaked out a little bit, and thought "what the hell, I've got a frozen pizza" (discovered later that I didn't, actually) and just added the artichoke hearts and pulled it all off the heat to shove in the fridge.

When I got home, I reheated it as planned - and it was wonderful. Amazingly good. If I try this again - and I probably will, at some point - I might have to play around to figure out how to get the effect without 2 hours of refrigeration.

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