We are approaching Semana Santa (Easter) and as you may already know, Catholics do not eat meat during this Holy Week. Nevertheless, we know lamb is a popular dish elsewhere during this festive season and here are a few Spanish recipes on how to cook some exquisite flavorsome lamb.
A very typical way of preparing lamb in Spain is chuletitas de cordero (lamb cutlets/legs). Chops come from the first eight ribs of lamb, known as the rack of lamb. Small and juicy, lamb cutlets, when fried to perfection, are so delicious you will end up liking your fingers clean. Another recipe which is undeniably good is cordero al horno (lamb roast), in it’s wine gravy and spices.
There are various cuts of lamb that Spaniards cook, they include everything from the head, neck down to the shoulders and trotters (feet). It’s a popular meat because it’s softer than sheep and beef.
Chuletitas de cordero al ajo cabañil (cutlets in a garlic sauce)
Note. this recipe serves 4 people, it’s a very quick simple but delicious dish.
800 gr of lamb cutlets (‘chuletitas’ in Spanish)
6 garlic cloves (‘dientes de ajo’ in Spanish)
1 table spoon of cumin (‘comino’ in Spanish)
1 cup of vinegar
2 cups of water
Salt and pepper
1 table spoon of olive oil
1) Crush cumin in a mortar, add the garlic, a pinch of pepper and a few grains of salt. When well mashed, add the vinegar and water, mix well and set aside.
2) In a hot pan with a sprinkle of olive oil, fry the chops on both sides (3-4 minutes each side).
3) When all your chops are fried, put them together in the pan and pour the contents of the mortar (your sauce).
4) In the hot pan (now at your highest heat), fry your chuletitas in the sauce, giving them that last kick of heat.
5) You are ready to serve your hot chuletitas, enjoy!
Now, a recipe for Cordero al horno (roast suckling lamb)
Note. this recipe serves 6 people
Leg and rib of 1 suckling lamb (‘una pierna y costillas de cordero’)
Salt and pepper
2 bunches of fresh parsley, chopped (‘peregil’ in Spanish)
8 cloves of garlic
2 springs of thyme (‘tomillo’ in Spanish)
100 gr of pork/meat stock (‘caldo de carne/cerdo’ in Spanish)
250 ml of white wine
1) Wash the leg and the rib and pat them dry with kitchen paper. Sprinkle them with salt and pepper and place them in a large roasting pan.
2) In a bowl, mix you parsley and garlic together, and them sprinkle it over your lamb. Add the thyme and drizzle the pork drippings over the top of your lamb.
3) Place in a preheated oven at 220ºC and leave to cook for about 30 minutes.
4) After the 30 minutes, take your large pan out of the oven. Turn the meat over and pour your white wine over your lamb.
5) Reduce the oven temperature to 175ºC and roast the lamb for another hour. During this hour (perhaps every 20 minutes) we suggest you test your meat for moistness in the middle and crispiness on the outside.)
7) Take your meat out of the oven and you are ready to serve it on a nice platter of your choice. When you have placed your lamb on a serving plate, pour the delicious leftover juices in the pan over your leg and rib of lamb. Enjoy!