What are you having for dinner? (wanna share your recipe?)

@Friday thinking about doing this with onions. Lamb is on my dinner meat rotation now.
On a stuffed pepper theme.. Another fun version is Sheppers Pie… shepherds pie IN a pepper! Meat & veg filling, topped with mashed potatoes, run under the broiler or baked.

Lamb is amazing in 10,000 things. I think Australia & Mediterranean (Greece, Turkey, Morocco, Etc.) have the best recipes. As I speak English best? I usually hit up Oz for it’s expertise!

Northern EU & American Lamb recipes tend to be more mutton-recipes. They SAY lamb, but it’s really the heavy/gamey cold-weather mutton dished up.
 
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heavy/gamey cold-weather mutton
When I made that Babylonian stew which was beets and tomatoes and lamb chops? I loved the gamey earthy taste, but I think that may have been because the beets and acid of the stew played off it so nicely. When I did the ground lamb in spaghetti sauce last night? I could tell when it was cooking that I was going to need to wrestle with it a bit. I won, but I could tell that it wouldn’t just easily slip in for any old ground beef substitute—lamb is substantial and makes its presence known!
 
lamb is substantial and makes its presence known!
Only in the US! (IME, possibly elsewhere, but here it’s standard).

Lamb/Lamb is really light/yet with depth, like beef cooked in wine… rather than flavorless like veal…, if it’s still lamb. Instead of the SMACK! of mutton (or venison). Which is still good, just not a delicate experience, needing … wrestling is a GREAT description… always. Heavy heavy heavy acids (wine, citrus, etc.) and herbs to cut the lanolin.

We don’t sell mutton, as a rule in the US, but “only” sell lamb. My mom? Buys 20lb legs of lamb. That’s not lamb. That’s mutton. That’s OLD/BIG mutton. Lamb is maybe 5-7 pounds, at most. Often as little as 2-3.

Ground lamb, in the US, is nearly always ground mutton. The only exception I’ve found is in middle eastern Halal markets because people will return it (with FURY!) if it doesn’t smell/taste delicate. Even restaurant supply? Is 50/50 on whether it’s “really” lamb, or mutton.
 
OLD/BIG mutton
In U.S. lamb is considered up to one-year-old IIRC. And meat breeds are always selected to gain as quick as possible because the sooner you can slaughter the less you have to pay for feed.

I didn’t know that mutton isn’t sold in U.S., but now that you mention it—I’ve never seen it—why is that? Maybe lamb is considered up to 1yo *because* mutton isn’t allowed. Also, Dickens taught me about the “joint of lamb”, took me a long time to realize that was what they called “leg of lamb”.

Side note, have you heard of the mutton flaps ban? In a number of Pacific Island nations this cut of meat was banned to fight obesity. I want to try it!

Also there are breeds of sheep specifically bred for their fat butts and tails. These breeds are from North Africa, Middle East, Central Asia. Also want to try that!
 
Maybe lamb is considered up to 1yo *because* mutton isn’t allowed.
There’s no legal requirement. In the US. You have to market the SPECIES correctly but not the age. Lamb prices higher than mutton. So sheep = species = “lamb”.

Veal, otoh, is strictly regulated. In the US. Because our cattle markets are a backbone in our economy. There are a number of places I’ve eaten “veal” in Europe… that this is beef. Full stop. NOT veal.

I expect it’s a common usage, thing. In both places. And capitalism/business being what it is. Lamb is …relatively… rare in the US. As beef is …relatively… rare in the EU. And people don’t know, what they don’t know. So lamb is supposed to be “big & gamey” in the US, and veal is “red, not white” in the EU. Except neither is true. Just most people’s experience of “it”.
 
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when my kids were babies and I hung out with the granola moms, grass fed beef and raw milk was becoming the thing for health. And lamb got thrown in there too. I never figured out how lamb got to be seen as healthy. Maybe because
Lamb is …relatively… rare in the US
So it became like a signifier of wealth/health? Or *is* it “healthy” in some way relative to beef?

Also, to keep it on topic with recipe sharing, would you ever do lamb nachos? If this idea intrigues you, can you share what your version would be?
 
So it became like a signifier of wealth/health? Or *is* it “healthy” in some way relative to beef?

Also, to keep it on topic with recipe sharing, would you ever do lamb nachos? If this idea intrigues you, can you share what your version would be?
yes/no wealth, because it’s been a staple at ethnic markets, so is now astronomically priced (the same way flank/flap/other “steaks” are now stupid priced… forever. Because posh people finally caught on via restaurants how good peasant / foreign food is).

Lamb nachos? No. Because lamb & flatbread is soooooooo much better! Same TYPES of ingredients, meat, veg, beans, carbs… but different individuals. Garbanzo Beans & cannellini beanie, instead of pinto/black. Flatbread instead of Tortillas. Cucumber and mint and tomato, instead of tomato & cilantro & peppers. Hot sauce to both, but different variants. Ditto cheese.
 
I had the lamb stuffed onion for dinner. First, I have to say, that eating it was kind of like a puzzle. There were elements of planning and sorting and surprise, kind of reminded me of a dissection. I have eaten stuffed peppers before but that was my first stuffed onion. The filling was awesome and I really appreciate all your tips @Friday .

I halved a large onion and pulled out the middles. Then parboiled in salted water for a couple of minutes. After they cooked I pulled out some more of the middles because they were still a bit thick.

For the filling I did:
Veg/Fruit: onion, carrot, chilies, blessed golden raisins
Meat: ground lamb
Grain: Barley
Sautéed. Added the onion water diluted a bit to simmer.
When almost done added chopped up Meyer lemon, including the peel, and capers.
Nestled the onion halves in leftover tomato sauce from yesterday’s lamb spaghetti. Stuffed with filling. Topped with more sauce. Broiled.

Really delightful and again, eating became more like an activity with thought involved rather than just shoveling food in my mouth.

I have lots of leftover stuffing and the barley doesn’t soak up all the water like rice does so I have a kind of soup leftover.
 
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Something Sea-Ish Soup…

… If it had more seafood it would be cioppino
… If it had fresh tomatoes it would be bouillabaisse
… If it had bacon & potatoes it would be Manhattan clam chowder

So it’s really none of the above, just sorta kinda like all of them, because this was what was in my pantry/freezer, and I wanted something lively.

Olive oil
Celery
Onion
Bell pepper
Garlic
White wine
Boxed chopped tomatoes
Fresh parsley
Cilantro
Clams
Shrimp
Lemon
Salt & Pepper
 
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