Gay Cook’s Greek Lamb Pilaff with Greek salad

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4 – 5 servings

This recipe came from an English friend who was shot down in Crete during the Second World War. There, he learnt to love and cook Greek food. Fresh lamb, rice and herbs are a popular combination in Greece and is often made with leftover roast lamb added to herbed rice along with Greek salad.

1 pound (450 g) fresh lamb leg or shoulder chops or roasted lamb
2 tbsp (25 mL) butter
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 – 2 garlic cloves, minced
½ tsp (2 mL) dried thyme – double amount if fresh thyme
½ tsp (2 mL) dried sage – double amount if fresh sage
½ tsp (2 mL) dried oregano – double amount if fresh oregano
½ tsp (2 mL) dried basil – double amount if fresh basil
½ tsp (2 mL) dried cut rosemary – double amount if fresh rosemary
2 cups (500 mL) chicken or lamb stock part dry red wine
Salt and pepper
1 cup (250 mL) long grain rice
½ fresh lemon juice
Garnish:
1/3 cup (75 mL) slivered almonds fried in 1 tbsp (15 mL) butter
Chopped parsley or bouquet of parsley at on side of platter.

1. Cut the fresh or cooked lamb into 3/4-inch (3 mL) cubes cutting away any fat or gristle. In heavy saucepan, melt the butter on medium-high heat and sauté the onion until softened and golden, about 5 minutes stirring often; add the garlic during the last minute. Stir in the herbs then add the stock. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a gentle simmer. Add the fresh lamb and simmer for 30 minutes. If using cooked meat add it now.

2. Stir in the rice, cover and gently cook on low heat for 20 minutes. Remove the lid and use a fork to toss the rice from the bottom up to the top. Stir in lemon juice, cover to allow the rice to steam. Taste the rice to check there is enough seasoning. Fry the almonds in the butter just until almonds are golden.

3. Mound the rice on a platter and garnish with almonds and parsley.

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Photo: copyright Gay Cook 2012