Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Greek Style Lamb Pot Pies

Not too long ago, I discovered that there was an organic meat shop within reasonable distance from our home. This is enough to make me blissfully happy. I am not quite sure why the people I proceeded to inform about this momentous find didn't seem to share my enthusiasm but I try not to dwell on it.

My point is, we can marry our omnivorous lifestyle with our gourmet passions and an environmental ethic. As Voltaire wrote, "This is the best of all possible worlds". There is something about knowing that your meat is local and organic that makes you treat it with special care.

This week I picked up some ground local lamb and have created Greek Style Lamb Pot Pies for the Paper Chef June challenge. My local lamb comes from Cubrae Farms in Dorset. It is pasture-raised in Ontario.

The challenge - create a dish that involves local lamb, English peas, buckwheat and leeks. It is being hosted this week by Tammy of Food on the Food. Tammy was the winner of last month's Paper Chef challenge and I will be kind and not mention how many cooks participated.

Greek Style Lamb Pot Pies
- makes 8

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Place 8 ramekins on a large baking sheet.

2 tbsp olive oil
1 lb ground lamb
4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2 leeks, cleaned and sliced
2 tomatoes, diced
1 red pepper, diced
½ cup peas
½ cup buckwheat groats
½ cup red wine
1 vegetable bouillon cube, crumbled
½ tsp salt
1 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
1 tbsp dried dill
½ cup feta cheese, crumbled
Olive oil for drizzling
Salt and pepper
8 tbsp Parmesan cheese

Mashed Potato Topping
3 cups mashed potatoes
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp dried dill
Season to taste with salt and pepper

In large pan, heat 2 tbsp olive oil on medium/high heat.
Add the lamb, breaking up with wooden spoon.
Add pepper flakes, garlic and salt and pepper.
Cook until fairly browned.
With slotted spoon, remove lamb from pan and put aside.
In same pan, with the juices, add leeks, tomatoes and peppers. Sauté 5 minutes.
Add peas, buckwheat, wine, bouillon cube, ½ tsp salt, parsley, 1 tbsp dill, and a few grinds of black pepper.
Remove from heat, add ½ cup feta.
Toss, fill 8 ramekins 2/3 full, top with thin layer of mashed potatoes.
Drizzle with olive oil and a few grinds of black pepper.
Bake at 375 for 25 minutes.
Remove from oven, top each with 1 tbsp Parmesan cheese and bake for 10 minutes longer.
Remove from oven and let stand at least 10 minutes before serving.

Check out the round-up at the Paper Chef to see what's cooking!