Oven-baked Risotto with Lamb “Espetada’s”
Today we are off to Italy and Portugal for our culinary trip. I must say my family and I are enjoying these “journeys” to all the different countries.
I made a dry rub, using some of the more popular flavors and simply just rolled the lamb chops in the rub.
Because I am still going red I wanted to change my risotto a bit by omitting some of the oil, cheese and butter. and I also added only a few slices or chorizo( just enough to impart a lovely smoky flavor to the paella) and the rest was just vegetables. I decide to make an:
Oven-baked risotto with Lamb espetadas. Read more here about espetadas:
2 cups Risotto rice
1 Tbsp oil
1 heaped tsp smoked paprika
1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
about a 5 cm piece chorizo – sliced thinly
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 green pepper – chopped finely
1/2 red pepper – chopped finely
1/2 yellow pepper – chopped finely
1/2 cup white wine
21/2 cups stock – vegetable is fine.
Preheat the ovn to 180C
Heat a cast iron pot and add the oil. Gently saute the onion, garlic, chorizo and smoked paprika until the onion is translucent. Add the peppers and saute for a few more minutes. Now add the rice and make sure that all the grains are coated with the oil. Add the wine and as soon as the wine has been absorbed, add the stock. Cover with a lid or some foil and place in the oven for about 30 minutes. Take the rice out of the oven, add the frozen peas and place back in the oven for another 5 minutes. Finish off with some chopped herbs or your choice! The rice had a lot of Spanish flavors in it, but hey, our minds can take us to any country in the world, right?
For the Espetada
8 lamb chops
2 tbsp fried mixed herbs
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp fine nutmeg
1 tsp fine cinnamon
1/2 tsp fine cloves
Mix the dry ingredients and use as a rub for the lamb cutlets. Trim the chops to remove all fat and if our chop has a small bone at the bottom end, remove and roll up the chop to form a found cutlet.( do not remove the little T-bone at the top) Put 2 chops on a skewer and repeat with the other chops. Heat a big skillet until smoking hot, add some oil and pan-fry the espetadas to your liking. Season with salt and pepper. Traditionally, an espetada is made with beef and it hangs on a skewer above your plate.
The rice was creamy and delicious and quite rich, considering that all the ingredients that would traditionally make a risotto rich, were omitted. I had one lamb cutlet and I had some of the rice, but not the chorizo. Served with some baby green leaves, this was indeed a delicious meal.