Sheldon declared the Greek lamb to be “chewy and …”, on national television, via Big Bang Theory. I took the Nobel Laureate Physicist’s criticism to heart and have been tenderizing lamb with extra loving care 🙂 Here too.
In my version of a classic Greek Lamb Pie, I use some curly kale and cauliflower (instead of rice). I also give a Kadhi accent to the yogurt crust. The one-pot, complete meal turned out fantabulous. Enjoy!
- 2.5 lbs (deboned) butterflied leg of lamb, fat trimmed and cut into chunks
- Marinade: 1/2 large onion, finely diced + 5-6 cloves of garlic, crushed and chopped + black pepper + 1.25 tsp (edible) citric acid + salt & black pepper to taste
- Vegetables: 4 scallions chopped; 1 cup curly Kale processed; 6 cups of cauliflower processed (or grated)
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1 tbsp besan
- Kadhi Crust: 3 cups Greek yogurt + 3 eggs + 3 tbsp besan + 3 tbsp mint leaves finely diced + salt & red chilli pepper to taste
- Topping: 1 cup grated Greek (Kasseri) cheese
Marinade the meat for at least one hour. In a thick bottomed pan (LeCruset) brown the meat. Deglaze with wine and 1/2 cup of water and cook till the liquid evaporates. Add the scallions and the curly Kale and mix well. Add a little water if too dry. Mix in 1 tbsp besan.
Flatten the top, and pack it in with a spatula. Mix all the kadhi ingredients with a wire whisk. Dot the surface with the kadhi-mix. Then smooth it out lightly and evenly with a spatula, till a uniform layer is formed on top.
Bake at 350 F, uncovered, for 30-45 minutes. Check after 30 mins to see if it requires more time- the top should be lightly browned. Then cover and bake for another 20 minutes. The top will puff up. Sprinkle the cheese topping and bake for another 10 minutes.
Let cool slightly and serve hot.
Notes, hints, tips:
- 1 average sized head of cauliflower yields 6 cups. Here I use all the 6 cups- that gives a very healthy proportion of veggies to meat.
But you could use less if you so prefer (4 cups or even 2 cups). If you do use less, you can reduce the kadhi crust to (2 cups yogurt+2 tbsp besan + 2 tbsp mint) and also baking time by 10 minutes or so.
- Sheldon will have no complaints about this dish: the citric acid is a gentle tenderizer that is very effective!
- You could skip the wine, since the citric acid already gives a light tanginess to the dish.
- Of course, you can use your favorite greens and vegetables to augment the meat in the dish.
- You can kick it up a notch with aromatic Indian spices or Mexican Oregano.