In my previous job I traveled far and often, becoming rather adventurous in my food choices - sometimes by choice and sometimes through courteous obligation. I have not always been adventurous about food. I'd been raised on a pretty typical mid-west diet and was none too keen to step outside my comfort zone, at first. The first time I ate lamb I was at a 4H event and I was nervous. I hesitantly took a few small bites of roast lamb smothered in barbecue sauce, it tasted good but it never came across my plate again until I met my husband.
Upon introduction to my husband's family - long time sheep producers - I had the pleasure of eating a wide array of lamb dishes: Lamb and cheese pie (a quiche recipe shown below), barbecued lamb, roasted lamb (oven and full sized spit), lamb chops, a chutney based curry, spaghetti sauce with ground lamb, and a number of others. Each and every dish was delicious, much to the credit of my mother in-law, a very skilled cook.
Lamb has become a staple in my diet, nothing to be feared. I encourage everyone to take a step or two outside their food comfort zone from time to time. If you've not tried lamb, please give it a try. I recommend for most Americans to try American raised lamb first, it's less dramatic to the taste buds than that raised in another country, like Australia or New Zealand (more on why in a later blog).
I am sharing with you all a favorite recipe of ours. It is pretty easy to prepare (especially if you buy the pie crust) and tastes great at any time of day, whether cold or hot. It can also be frozen; I have three in my freezer right now. The recipe is not one of my own invention, I never would have thought to incorporate ground lamb into a quiche dish. This particular version of this recipe is sourced from the following book, copyright 1970.
Single pie crust (its the purchased rolled up package on the right), one pound of ground lamb (or other ground meat), four (or five or six) eggs, shredded cheddar cheese, salt, pepper, milk, and parsley (which is not pictured because recipe photography is harder than I expected).
Prepare a pie plate with a single crust, flute or crimp the edges as you please.
Next, brown one pound of ground lamb, drain drippings.
Beat the eggs slightly. Sometimes I will add an egg or two to the recipes, depending on how many people I'm feeding.
Add the egg, milk (or water), salt, pepper onion and 1 1/2 cup of cheese to the ground lamb, stirring until combined.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pie plate. Sprinkle with parsley.
I highly recommend covering the edges of the pie with foil while it is baking to prevent burning.
Bake at 400 F for 40 minutes or until set (ovens vary, I start checking at 25 minutes when using an unfamiliar oven.
The original recipe
I divert from the original by substituting water for milk to make the dish fluffier and do not sprinkle cheese on top because it typically turns brown and my children will not eat brown cheese.