So you’ve had a giant lamb roast, and now you’re stuck with tons of leftover lamb. There are heaps of options for making good use of the last of your lamb. From sandwiches to soups and stews, all it takes is a little creativity to hide the fact that you’ll be serving your family the same thing for twenty days in a row. From Indian Rogan Josh to middle eastern tagines, let your day-old lamb make new culinary miracles.
Lamb Curry—This simple curry is a great way to use up leftover lamb. Sauté a chopped onion with chopped carrots, diced potatoes and half a cup of chickpeas. Pour in a can of coconut milk and boil gently until the potatoes are cooked. Add half a can of diced tomatoes (use fresh if you have them), two teaspoons of curry powder along with some garam marsala, cumin, fresh ginger, turmeric and grated garlic. Add your leftover lamb and cook just long enough to warm it through. Serve over rice with chopped coriander.
Lamb Biryani—In a greased skillet, fry a diced onion and chopped carrots until softened. Take two cups of cooked rice, one cup of leftover lamb pieces (bite size) and some frozen peas; add it to the skillet with decent knob of ginger (grated) and two minced garlic cloves. Toss with two teaspoons of curry powder and dried chilies, if you like it spicy. It should have the consistency of Chinese fried rice. If the mix is getting a bit dry, loosen with a splash of chicken, lamb or beef stock.
Lamb Tagine–Nothing beats a classic lamb tagine that’s been properly slow cooked, but you can take a shortcut to have a speedy weekday dinner with leftover lamb. Though definitely not traditional, the best way to avoid drying out the leftover lamb is to cook this tagine approximation on the stove top. Take an assortment of vegetables like carrots, onions, zucchini, potatoes, and cauliflower and sauté them until fairly soft. Add a generous spice mixture of cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, cumin, garlic and a dash of curry or chili powder. Add half a cup of chicken or beef stock, the juice of half a lemon, and the cubes of leftover lamb, as well as large handful of pitted prunes. (You can substitute dried apricots, dates or even raisins in a pinch.) Allow to stew gently, covered, until the prunes have released some sweetness into the stock—about 6 minutes. Top with a generous drizzle of high-quality olive oil and serve over couscous (or quinoa if you’re trying gluten-free.)
Lamb Souvlaki–Marinate your leftover lamb in a rich combination of minced garlic, lemon juice, salt and olive oil. Place the lamb pieces on a skewer and broil or bbq just enough to color the outside. If the lamb becomes too dry as a result of the second cooking, serve with a generous helping of tzatziki.
Lamb in Pastry–Take two medium-sized potatoes (diced) and sauté with half a chopped onion until soft. Add one and half cups of diced lamb, two tablespoons of tomato paste and a generous pinch of oregano and mint. Place the filling inside a pre-fab pastry dough and bake according to the package instructions (approximately twenty minutes in a hot oven.)
Stuffed Tomatoes–Take your leftover lamb and combine it with equal parts cooked rice. Season the mix with cinnamon, mint and garlic and bake inside a hollowed out tomato that you’ve seasoned with salt and pepper. Top with parmesan cheese and bake at 350 degrees until the cheese is melted and the center is warm.
Approximate Shepard’s Pie–Make your best recipe for mashed potatoes. In mine, I use either mustard or horseradish to give a gentle spice to them. For the meat filling, finely chop two carrots, one large onion, three celery stalks, four large mushrooms and sauté until soft. Add two tablespoons of tomato paste, half a cup of red wine, and half a cup of beef or chicken stock. Add your leftover lamb, two teaspoons of thyme or rosemary and few frozen peas. Pour into a dish suitable for baking and top with your mashed potatoes. Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes at 400 degrees or until the potatoes are lightly toasted on top.
Try these flavor combos for an amazing gourmet sandwich with your leftover lamb. These are best served on homemade artisan bread, if you’re so inclined.
- Lamb + Feta + Tomato + Mint
- Lamb + Dried Fig + Tomato + Lemon/Garlic Mayo
- Lamb + Pickled Onions + Bacon + Arugula
- Lamb + Roasted Red Peppers + Iceberg Lettuce
- Lamb + Kalamata Olives + Havarti + Tomato
Lamb Rissoles–Mince your lamb and add half a teaspoon of minced garlic, cumin, breadcrumbs, lemon zest, and a raw egg to bind the mixture. Brown the rissoles in a frying pan, then transfer to the oven for eight minutes at 400 degrees or until the egg is cooked. Serve with a fresh tomato salsa or salad.
Lamb Bolognaise–You can sub leftover lamb in your traditional bolognaise–just cook down your vegetables and sauce first and then add the lamb towards the end. Serve over pappardelle with black olives and parmesan.
Lamb Stroganoff–Slice three large onions into rings and brown them until very soft then incorporate two cups of sliced mushrooms and cook down. Season with a generous spoonful of sweet paprika and add your leftover lamb and a cup of full-fat sour cream. Add the zest of one lemon and thin the sauce with red wine or brandy if necessary. Let the alcohol cook away then garnish with dill pickles and serve over rice or noodles.
Mulligatawny is traditionally made with chicken, but this rich curry and rice soup can easily sub lamb for a hearty midweek meal. Take carrots, onions, celery and brown them a bit before adding chicken stock, curry and cooked rice. Toss in your leftover lamb and half a cup of coconut milk or cream. Garnish with chopped apples and freshly ground black pepper.
Lamb and barley soup is a classic combo and a great way to get your kids to eat winter vegetables like turnips and rutabagas. Traditionally made with lamb stock, beef and chicken stocks give it a more subtle flavor profile. Rinse your pearl barley before boiling it in stock. Once the barley is halfway cooked, you can add your winter veg. Toss in your lamb at the last moment—just to warm through—and garnish with fresh rosemary and thyme blitzed with some olive oil.
Lamb is extremely versatile, so it’s fairly easy to whip up some gobble-worthy leftovers. Still, if you’re feeling uninspired in the kitchen lately, check out these fantastic courses, on Healthy Eating, Italian Cooking, Everyday Gourmet or Vegetarian Indian to get your kitchen mojo back on track.