Heading out on a summer vacation is my favorite time of the year, adventures abound, the weather is warm and the worries are few. The only worry that might be creeping into your conscious is falling off your normal diet and exercise regimen and returning home with a few extra pounds or diminished exercise performance. Nobody wants to call these souvenirs! However, with a little mindfulness, you can enjoy the extra little indulgences that a well-earned getaway offers, sleeping in late or a slice of the best local pastries “ever,” and still come home looking and feeling great.
Fall weather is here! Fall flavors are here! Fall family togetherness is here! All I want to do through the end of the year is gather my family ‘round the dinner table for a hearty and healthy meal paired with productive, thought-provoking conversation with my three teens. After all, one is leaving the nest next year and the others aren’t far to follow.
Sometimes the dinner chatter is really deep – like the other night my middle son posed the question, “Do you believe that retaliation can ever be justified?” I’m thinking, “oh no” what happened, who did what to whom? The good news is that these three brothers who usually get along so well, still do – the query was actually one asked in school. Apparently, my son was the only kid who vocalized that retaliation, in any form, is not okay. He said, “If everyone gave an eye for an eye, then the whole world would be blind.” So true! Although he paraphrased this wisdom from Ghandi, I still got that warm fuzzy feeling of good parenting — ahhh, I’m doing an awesome job. Then, youngest son – “I will so smash your computer if you take that last dinner roll.”
So, let me just say, there was no retaliation against mom after serving a (gasp) new food to the kids – lamb. My husband and I have both had lamb in the past, served as chops or roasts with the nasty mint jelly – it’s not something I’ve ever thought to make myself. But, American Lamb sent me a big ole boneless shoulder roast and some votes of confidence that I could create something really delicious with this often overlooked meat.
So, I came up with a fall-inspired recipe for Braised Lamb with Cranberry Ginger Glaze and I served it over some insanely mouth watering Caramalized Onion and Kale Sweet Potatoes – I will share this sweet potato recipe later this week (you do not want to miss it)!
So, these are the things I learned from the lamb experiment. The lamb was delicious and braised up just like a beef chuck roast and shreds up really nicely to serve over sweet potatoes, rice, or even in a sandwich – my kids thought it was really great! I also realized you could easily make this recipe in a slow cooker rather than the Dutch oven – just set it on the low setting and slow cook for 8 – 10 hours. Another thing I learned is that fresh cranberries lose their color when you cook them all day. That’s okay — I still needed to reduce the sauce down, just threw in some extra. Bam, there you go – meaty, sweet, tangy, total deliciousness.
Braised Lamb with Cranberry-Ginger Glaze Recipe
- 1 3 – 4 lb. boneless American lamb shoulder roast
- 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground thyme
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large sweet onion, coarsely chopped
- 12 oz bag fresh cranberries (divided)
- 1 cup red wine
- ½ cup cranberry juice
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 3 tablespoons grated fresh ginger (divided)
- ¼ cup honey
- In 6 quart Dutch oven, heat olive oil to medium high.
- In small bowl, mix together pepper, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and thyme. Rub into lamb roast, coating evenly.
- Add lamb shoulder roast to heated pot and sear for approximately 3 – 4 minutes on each side until browned nicely.
- Lower heat and add chopped onions, cranberries, wine, cranberry juice, garlic and 2 tablespoons of fresh ginger. Top with lid and simmer on medium to medium low for approximately 3 hours or until fork tender and easy to shred.
- Remove roast from pot and discard unwanted fat. Pour off approximately ½ of cooking juices and add remaining fresh cranberries, remaining 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger, and honey.
- Simmer this mixture for approximately 15 minutes until cranberries have popped and sauce reduced and thickening.
- Serves 8
The American Lamb Board provided me with product for this post, but all thoughts, comments, opinions and recipe are my own.
Just curious , have YOU ever cooked lamb at home before?
Lean beef trimmed with a festive fat-free sauce, my Sirloin Roast with Spicy-Sweet Pomegranate Reduction Recipe officially ushers in the family’s extra-long holiday weekend of feasting! Tonight I whipped up a delicious dinner thanks to the Chateau Loin sent as a most tasteful Christmas gift by the Texas Beef Council. The Chateau Loin is an exclusive center-cut Sirloin roast not sold at retail, but only to some of the finest restaurants in the world (lucky me). As an alternative, I suggest a Top Sirloin Roast or even a melt-in-your-mouth Tenderloin. More good news; a center-cut sirloin roast is packed with zinc, iron and b vitamins while also boasting less than 6 grams of fat per 3-ounce serving (which falls right in the middle of fat content for a boneless chicken breast (3 grams) and skinless chicken thigh (9.2 grams).
The spicy-sweet pomegranate reduction sublimely sets off the inherent richness of the beef (did I really just say that?). However, a light drizzling of the sauce is all you’ll need. Start the sauce while the beef is roasting, it takes about 30 minutes to reduce – perfect timing! Really, this fancy-schmancy dinner couldn’t be easier, but don’t tell my guests who dropped in today for a surprise visit.
Sirloin Roast with Spicy-Sweet Pomegranate Reduction Recipe
- 1 2lb beef sirloin roast, preferably center cut
- 2 tablespoons ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon Cavender’s Greek Seasoning
- 1 cup Pomegranate Juice
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons dried chopped onion
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Heat oven to 350 F degrees. Season outside of roast with black pepper and Greek seasoning. Place meat in roasting pan with wire rack in bottom and cook for approximately 30 minutes in the oven. For medium doneness, remove when a meat thermometer reaches 135 F degrees in the thickest part of the roast. Remove roast from oven and let rest 5 – 10 minutes before slicing.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine all of the ingredients, whisking to incorporate honey. Bring the mixture to a boil; then reduce the heat and simmer until it reduces in volume by half or less (depending on preference). Serve warm with tenderloin.