For many home cooks, mastering the art of cooking poultry, pork and beef is a must for putting together a delectable, hearty meal. However, if you dream of opening a restaurant or entering a culinary competition, you should be well-versed with ingredients outside your wheelhouse. Lamb is one such ingredient that many cooks may not use often, but there are a lot of recipes calling for this meat that are perfect for the spring and summer. Here are five ideas to get you started:
1. Lamb chops on the grill
Lamb chops are a delicious cut of meat that don’t require much more than a dash of salt and pepper and a few minutes on the grill to get a nice sear. Although, if you want to really pack some flavor, try marinating your chops beforehand, such as in this recipe courtesy of Food Network’s Ellie Krieger.
2. Shish kebab
Kebabs loaded with small pieces of lamb and some grilled veggies make for a fantastic presentation. After you dice up your lamb, allow it to marinate overnight to give your kebabs a deep flavor. While you can get creative with your marinade, aromatic herbs such as rosemary and thyme are staples.
3. Lamb meatballs
While meatballs require a lot of prep work, there’s a lot you can do with them besides serve them over spaghetti and sauce. Take for example Bon Appetit’s chile-cumin lamb meatballs with yogurt and cucumber recipe. Rather than load up on carbs, try offsetting the heaviness of meatballs with grilled veggies or salad.
4. Homemade gyros
Once you learn how to bake bread, making homemade gyros is the perfect excuse to put those skills to use. There’s nothing like warm, freshly-baked pita bread topped with lamb, veggies and tzatziki to appease your appetite. Similar to meatballs, gyro meat takes a bit of prep time, but the result is well worth the effort.
5. Roasted leg of lamb
If you want to showoff your culinary skills, a roasted leg of lamb is the perfect centerpiece for a backyard barbecue or neighborhood picnic. Since a leg of lamb is such a large chunk of meat, it’ll take a few hours to cook, so make sure you give yourself enough time to allow the leg to cook through.