Happy Monday! While the rest of the world slogs off to work in the fog of our January thaw, this unemployed Blogger shuffles into my office, coffee cup in hand to start my second week of cranking out daily wisdom and fantasy.
I have decided Mondays will be my “Comfort Food” days for posts. You have had all weekend to cook and are now faced with the leftovers to convert into dinners for the rest of the week. I’d like to help, but if you know me you also know I detest leftovers. If I ate it already I don’t want to see it again for a while. However, the economic reality of life without a paycheck dictates that I find a way to disguise those tidbits and trick myself into thinking they are a whole new meal.
My sister, Zanne, has shared a classic that our Mother made famous. Sunday dinner at our house was mid-day and always featured a huge roast of something. Though we raised sheep and were members of the local 4-H club, it was many years before I discovered that pork was NOT the “other red meat.” Best not to think about where those delicious roasts came from.
So if you do happen to have some leftover lamb from a roast (or if you can make this from lamb stew meat) I will share the most comforting of comfort food from my childhood;
2 slices of bacon, chopped
1 medium onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped parsley, divided
3/4 leftover lamb gravy (you can add beef broth to stretch this)
1/2 cup tomato paste
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 cups cubed cooked lamb (if you don’t have leftovers, brown stew meat and save the juices)
3 Tablespoons heavy cream ( I go a bit heavier on this)
2 Tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees
Heat a skillet and cook the bacon to slightly crispy
Add onions, garlic and 2 tablespoons of parsley
Cook, stirring, until the onion is tender
Add gravy, tomato paste, salt, pepper and lamb
Transfer the mixture to a 1 1/2 quart casserole
Cover and bake 1 hour, stirring occasionally
Uncover and spoon the cream on top
Sprinkle with the cheese
Bake until the mixture is browned and the cheese is melted, about 10 minutes
Top with the remaining parsley.
So not everyone is a fan of lamb. Probably because you grew up eating gray, strong-tasting mutton in many households. I have served this to unwitting “lamb haters” who raved at the savory goodness of this dish. Spoon it over mashed potatoes and add snappy green beans, you will be pleasantly surprised!
Next week I’ll reveal my adventures in Smoking Mussels on the grill – provided I survive my first attempt, later this afternoon.