They say that March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. And Easter is right around the corner—early this year. So lamb has been on my mind a lot lately.
As part of the research for my new paleo/primal lifestyle, I’ve been reading a lot about the benefits of eating grass-fed meats. The fact is that animals allowed to graze on pasture are generally healthier, free of hormones, antibiotics, and pesticides than factory-farmed animals. Grass-fed, pastured meat is up to four times higher in vitamin E than feedlot meat. And it’s also lower in overall fat and higher in health-friendly omega-3 fatty acids.
Since purely grass-fed beef is so hard to find (not to mention the exorbitant price of meat overall) in Switzerland, I have been trying to find alternatives. Perhaps it’s only my own imagination, but I think that lamb is less likely to be mass produced and factory farmed.
Plus it tastes great.
Unfortunately, compared to most other protein sources, lamb produces extremely high levels of carbon dioxide. So we make lamb a special treat.
To try out the garam masala that my friend Marianne had given me as a present, I decided to make an Indian dish called Lamb Saag—or lamb with spinach. Garam masala is a combination of spices, also called the “magic spice.” If you can’t get garam masala, here is a recipe for it.
Here’s how it turned out:
- 1 kg (2.2 lbs) boneless leg of lamb, cubed
- 4 Tbsp. of coconut oil
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp. grated or crushed fresh ginger
- 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 Tbsp. ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp. ground red pepper
- 1 Tbsp. paprika
- 1 can 400 g (15 oz.) chopped tomatoes
- 2 Tbsp. tomato puree
- Coarse salt to taste
- 500 g (ca. 1 lb.) packed chopped cooked spinach, fresh or frozen (thawed)
- 2 teaspoons garam masala, homemade or store-bought
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves
- Heat a heavy non-stick saute pan over high heat. Add the lamb, lightly salted, and 2 tablespoons of oil. Sear the meat, turning and tossing, until nicely browned all over. Transfer meat to slow cooker (or to a plate).
- Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and the onion to the pan and cook, stirring often, until the onions are browned, about 15 minutes.
- Stir in the ginger, garlic, cumin, coriander, red pepper, paprika, and turmeric and cook for 3 minutes. Transfer to slow cooker (or leave in deep saute pan, if cooking conventionally).
- Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, and salt to the slow cooker, and enough water to fully cover the meat. (If using conventional pan, add meat back.)
- Set slow cooker to low for 3 1/2 hours or until the meat is cooked and very tender. (If cooking conventionally, raise heat to boil then simmer for 1-1/2 hours or until meat is cooked and very tender.)
- Add the spinach and garam masala and cook for another 30-45 minutes. (If cooking conventionally, raise heat, then lower to simmer for 15 minutes).
- Serve with cauliflower rice sprinkled with cilantro.
- My recipe for cauliflower rice can be found here http://www.eclectic-domestic.com/how-to-make-cauliflower-rice/