A complete Middle Eastern Feast with BC Greenhouse!
I love a good BC Greenhouse Growers Association moment! Greenhouse growing farms are a successful sector of agriculture here in BC, with a great selection of beautiful, sustainable Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Bell Peppers, Eggplants & more. Needless to say, when a box shows up at my door, I’m excited!!
Middle Eastern Feast
This past month I was thrilled to invite over fellow Foodies Cassandra Anderton (Good Life Vancouver, Les Dames d’Escoffier), Rebecca Coleman (Cooking by Laptop) and Christine McAvoy (Christine McAvoy Photography) for another glorious day of cooking (and, of course EATING)! There’s nothing quite like spending time with cooks who love food as much as I do, as we inspire each other, discuss recipes and food groups, gatherings, wines, dishwares, our favorite appliances, etc.
We were SO INCREDIBLY INSPIRED with the BC Greenhouse Veggies that we came up with an absolute FEAST!
Are you inspired??! I’ve attached the Recipes for Lamb Ballotine with Vegetable Gravy, and for the Fresh Vegetable Salad below – enjoy!
Lamb Ballotine with Vegetable Gravy
- Sous Vide Optional
- Cooking String/Twine
- Meat Mallot
- 1 Lamb Shoulder – boneless, in 1 piece, flattened in sheet to approx 1/4” thickness
- 6 Pcs Fatty Proscuitto (Duck or Pork)
- 6 Cloves Garlic Confit (Garlic cloves cooked slowly in Olive Oil)
- 2 Lg Sweet Bell Peppers, de-seeded and minced small
- 1 Shallot, minced
- 1 Cup Mushrooms, minced small
- 1/4 Cup Green Olives, minced
- 1 Pinch Sumac, Cumin or AllSpice
- 2 Thyme sprigs
- 1/4 Cup Walnuts, rough chopped Optional
- Rind of 1/2 Lemon, minced (preferably preserved Lemons) Optional
- Fatty Lamb pieces Optional
- 1-3 Cups Chicken stock Optional
- 6 Cloves Garlic Confit
- 2 Tbsp Garlic Confit Oil
- 1 Shallot, diced
- 2 Lg Sweet Bell Peppers, Roasted, de-seeded & diced
- 2 Cups Cherry Tomatoes, sliced in half
- 1 Lemon, rind & juice
- 1 Tsp Thyme (fresh or dried)
- 1 Pinch Paprika
To Make Ballotine Stuffing
- Place 6 Garlic Confit with a spoon of the oil in a med-heat pan.Crush garlic in pan and add small diced veggies and herbs (except walnuts).Cook on med-low until all the moisture has released and cooked off. Season with salt and a pinch of Cumin, Sumac or AllSpice. Add walnuts and lemon rind at the end once it has cooled slightly, so as not to over-soften.
To Make Ballotine
- Lay out Lamb flat on a large piece of plastic wrap.Place prosciutto in a rectangle, slightly closer to one end. Also use extra to cover any holes or gaps in the Lamb.Fill the proscuitto area with spoonfuls of Stuffing and extra pieces of fatty chopped Lamb if you have it.Roll in the ends and extra length of Lamb until it becomes as tight of a roll as possible.Wrap tightly in Plastic wrap and keep in Fridge for one hour to set shape. Remove from Fridge and tie with cooking string end to end, and around, as much as needed to keep Ballotine shape intact during cooking.
- TIP: This recipe is delicious, but takes some effort. Why not make 2 or 3 and freeze some for another meal?TIP: The flatter the Lamb is tenderized to, the easier it will be to roll.TIP: Use as many ties around with string as needed to hold the shape.TIP: To Sous Vide, prepare along with dinner the night before.
To Cook Ballotine
- Once shaped, place your Ballotine in a vacuum seal bag and turn on the Sous Vide at 131dF. Cook for 20-24 hours. Be careful to top up water as needed.Finish off on a hot pan with a high smoke point fat to sear all sides. For stovetop cooking, heat some oil in a casserole pan on high and sear all sides. Reduce heat to low, add a cup of heated Chicken stock (optional), and cook covered for up to 60 mins. Check interior temperature for 131dF. Rest for 10 minutes before cutting the ties and slicing to serve!
- TIP: Beef Tallow has one of the best smoke point for high sears) and sear all sides to brown. Duck fat is also a delicious option.
To Prepare Vegetable Gravy
- Heat Garlic confit cloves and oil on medium. Add Sliced Shallots to cook to translucent. Add chopped Red Peppers and Cherry Tomatoes to cook soft. Remove from heat and purée in a Vitamix or Blender. Return to stovetop on low-medium heat.Add chopped Olives & Lemon Rind to soften slightly. Finish with a splash of Lemon juice & Thyme, and season with Salt and a pinch of Paprika (preferably Smoked Paprika).