March 30, 2008
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Lamb, Pasilla, Honey

Last week, I roasted a whole leg of lamb. It was on sale at the store, I needed to cook something, and I wanted leftovers. It was good. So were the leftovers. But there was still a lot of lamb left over, and my steady lunch slate of roast lamb sandwiches is not making inroads.

So, I took the remaining 1,5 lb. of meat and chopped it into bite-size chunks and put those in a large sautée pan with just a little oil. While they gradually heated, I roasted 6 cloves of garlic in a hot dry skillet for 15 minutes, and toasted four largish dried pasillas (stemmed and seeded) for maybe 20 seconds a side in the same pan. The pasillas went into some water for a 30-minute soak, and the garlic cooled and waited to be peeled.

Then, I threw the peppers, the garlic, and about 1/2c of the soaking liquid into the blender with some pepper and cumin seed. Much whirling, then straining. The sauce goes onto the lamb. I wanted 2c of stock to add to the lamb at this point, but (shame!) I'm out of stock. "Water will do!" says Michael Ruhlman. So water it was, and it did fine. Also throw in a peeled, cubed sweet potato. Simmer for about 40 minutes.

If you were starting from raw lamb pieces, I'd just brown them well before adding the sauce, and simmer an extra 30 minutes or so before adding the sweet potato.

Then, add some honey. About 1/4c, maybe a bit more. Mix well. You want it to be sweet, but just barely sweet. Give it another stir, toss in some fresh cilantro, and make tacos with the lamb, some home-made guacamole (since a container of guacamole at the museum of fruits and vegetables was $11!), some sour cream, and some raw onion. Very nice with a Magic Hat #9!

It's an interesting dish (adapted from Bayless): distant memories of the Alhambra with a strong Indian accent.