Thursday, June 7, 2012

Lamb Pilaf

Son Matt was in town last week for the Memorial Day holiday and so we had many of his favorites for the week - a seafood pasta, ribs for the actual holiday, smoked salmon, cream cheese and bagels for brunch - and for his farewell dinner, my Grilled Lamb Chops-Greek Style.  I usually always make a rice pilaf and chunky veggie salad with this.  The pilaf this time had in it - what else but LAMB!

Serves 4 to 6

1/3 pound ground lamb
2 Tbl extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
1 stalk celery, finely diced
1 large clove garlic, minced
1  1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1 cup long grain rice
1/2 cup orzo
2  1/2 cups water (or chicken broth)
1 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
2 Tbl chopped fresh mint leaves
Juice of 1/2 a lemon

In a large saute pan, brown the ground lamb. Drain in a colander and reserve.
In the same pan warm the olive oil and saute the onion, celery and garlic until softened.  Stir in the salt, pepper and ground cumin.
Still over the heat, stir in the parsley, rice and orzo and continue to saute for a minute or two.  Stir in the browned lamb.
Add the water (or broth) to the pan and bring just up to the boil.  Transfer the mixture to a 10x10 inch baking dish (or one similar in size) and bake in a preheated 350F oven for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is absorbed into the rice and orzo.
Remove from the oven and stir in the chopped mint and lemon juice.  Serve hot.

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