Ever since I made pasta with lamb and tomato ragu, I haven't been able to stop singing the praises of ground lamb. If you love ordering lamb at restaurants but have never made it at home, ground lamb is the perfect starting point, since it requires no special handling.
Prepare the quick, from-scratch recipe for wheat pitas below or, in a pinch, use store bought pitas or tortillas. The textural contrast of the grainy bread with Greek yogurt and ground meat is incredibly satisfying. For the fun, hands-on recipe, read on.
Whole-wheat flatbread dough (see ingredients below)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 pounds ground lamb
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Coarse salt and ground pepper
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 large white onion, thinly sliced lengthwise
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest (from 1 large lemon)
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
1 3/4 cups Greek (2%) or regular yogurt
1 cup fresh mint leaves, torn
- Whole-wheat flatbread dough: In a large bowl, combine 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 cup whole-wheat flour, 1/4 cup olive oil, and 2 teaspoons coarse salt. Mix in 3/4 cup water, adding more water if necessary to form a stiff dough. Turn dough out onto a work surface and knead 5 minutes. Place dough in a bowl and cover with a damp cloth; let rest 30 minutes. Divide dough into 8 balls, then roll out to 7-inch rounds. Keep covered with a damp cloth until ready to cook.
- While the flatbread dough rests, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium-high. Cook lamb, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until browned, 7 minutes. Stir in cumin, coriander, cayenne, and 2 teaspoons salt and cook 1 minute. Place lamb in a bowl and cover loosely with foil.
- Return skillet to medium heat and add 1 tablespoon oil. Add garlic and onion and cook until soft and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add lemon juice, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; cook until liquid evaporates, 1 minute. Add to bowl with lamb mixture and stir in pine nuts.
- Clean skillet and return to heat; wipe with a lightly oiled paper towel. Cook flatbreads, one at a time, until puffy and dark brown in spots, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Combine yogurt, lemon zest, and 3/4 teaspoon salt; spread half the yogurt sauce on flatbreads. Top with lamb mixture and mint; serve with remaining yogurt sauce.
- Main Dishes, Lamb
- Mediterranean/Middle Eastern