I am not a big fan of lamb. Though I’ve tried it so many ways and have felt a little uncultured in not liking it, I don’t seem to have a taste for it. Now, I love gyros — but I guess since it’s mixed with beef and is supremely salty that doesn’t count. Or if it’s cooked in curry so spicy that it could just as well be goat, I like it; this may be because goat is one of my favourite meats.
On a recent visit to San Diego we ate in a fusion Japanese/Mediterranean restaurant in La Jolla, a seaside, ritzy suburb just north of town. San Diego is well known for sticking to its fusion style of cooking and possibly coming up with some combination you would have not expected. On the menu that night was minted spicy lamb. It was delicious, if not a little bit too oily. I liked the idea so I set about trying to determine the ingredients in the dish. The predominant flavours were mint, turmeric, and coriander. I love to cook quick dishes that pack a flavour punch like this one, so after arriving back in Houston I decided to recreate the dish. What I came up with was strikingly similar. So here’s my interpretation of the minty spicy lamb.
1 lb ground lamb
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 medium diced onions
2 cloves garlic minced
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp red chili
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 bunch fresh mint leaves
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet for 30 seconds, then add then sweat the onions until translucent. Next add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes.
Add the turmeric, coriander, and chili powder. Cook for 1 minute. The coriander smell and taste will only develop if it’s heated before the meat is added.
Add the ground lamb and cook until almost completely browned. Sprinkle the salt and black pepper, stir, then turn the heat off. Add the mint leaves and stir in.
Serve this quick dish with rice or pita bread.