Today’s dish is a mouthful, both as a title for a post and as a dish. Inspired by Father’s Day, I decided to prepare my take on a meal often associated with dads – meat and potatoes. Usually this summons up visions of steak, meatloaf, or BBQ ribs, but whenever I am eating meat lamb instantly comes to mind. I realize this makes me unusual as Americans in general do not eat much lamb. In the US, the consumption of lamb in 2007 was only .84 pound (boneless equivalent) per capita according to the USDA. While I don’t eat a lot of meat in general I easily exceed that. And in case you were curious, New Zealanders consume 50 pounds of lamb or mutton per year!
I prepared my lamb in a simple Greek yogurt-based marinade. Infused with grated onion, orange juice, garlic, and fresh mint it makes for incredibly flavorful and tender meat. The marinade makes for a very summery treatment of the meat, especially compared to lamb’s usual partners like cinnamon, dried fruit and red wine, which normally feel more wintery to me.
On the side for my potato, I made ravioli with a creamy center of potato, baby leeks, garlic scapes with mascarpone cheese for added richness. I adored these ravioli. They were so decadent and hearty that they only needed a light toss in melted butter and additional scapes to finish the dish. I especially loved the garlic scapes in this dish because they added subtle garlic and vegetal flavors. In case you are unfamiliar, garlic scapes are the flower stems that garlic plants produce before the bulbs mature. I first tried them last year when I got them in my CSA share. I chickened out a bit and used them in a simple vegetable soup so this year when I spied them at the farmers’ market I was determined to use them often and in more interesting ways, especially after seeing Jessi incorporate them into an incredible looking banger sandwich. Although they only play the role of backup singer in this dish, this is the first of many garlic scape recipes to come and it definitely satisfied my craving.
Adapted from Food Network
-8 ounces honey flavored whole-milk greek yogurt
-1 1/2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
-1 garlic clove, smashed and minced
-1/2 teaspoon sea salt
-1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
-1 teaspoon orange juice
-8 lamb rib chops
Combine lamb marinade in a food storage bag or a sealable container. Add rib chops, massaging marinade into the meat until evenly distributed. Allow the meat to marinate in the refrigerator for four hours. Preheat a grill to medium-high on one side and place a drip pan under the cooler side. Lightly oil the grate. Grill the chops over direct heat until marked, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Move to the cooler side of the grill; cover and cook until the meat reaches 120 for medium-rare, about 15 minutes. Tent with foil and let rest 10 minutes before serving.
Ravioli Filled with Potato, Bacon, Baby Leeks, and Garlic Scapes
Yields approximately 24-36 ravioli, depending on size made
Adapted from Food Network
-3/4 pound potatoes, thoroughly scrubbed
-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
-3/4 cup diced thick-cut bacon, about 5 ounces
-1 1/2 cups finely chopped baby leeks, washed and drained
-2 tablespoons chopped garlic scapes
-1/8 teaspoon sea salt
-1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
-8 ounces mascarpone cheese
-2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
-1 teaspoon sea salt
-2 large eggs
-3 large egg yolks
-Extra flour, for sprinkling
Cook the whole, unpeeled potatoes in a pot of unsalted water to cover at a steady boil for 20 minutes or longer until just cooked through. You don’t want them to crack or get mushy on the outside. Let them cool briefly, then peel and slice them into rounds, 1/4-inch thick.
Heat the oil and the bacon pieces in a skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 3 or 4 minutes until the bacon is sizzling and has rendered much of its fat. Stir in the baby leeks and garlic scapes and cook another 3 minutes or so until the leeks have softened. Spread the potato slices in the pan, season with salt and pepper and toss with the bacon and leeks.
Cook for 8 minutes or more over medium-high heat, breaking up the potatoes into chunks. Spread and press the filling flat in the pan and let caramelize for a couple of minutes. Turn the pieces, press and fry, then repeat. When the filling is thoroughly cooked and has started to color, scrape it into a mixing bowl. Cool briefly then crush the potatoes some more with a fork (I like to have little chunks left) and mascarpone. Set aside to fully cool.
To make the pasta, place 2 cups of flour in a food processor. Add the eggs and yolks pulsing until the mixture forms a dough and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. If necessary, add up to 1/2 cup of the remaining flour. Let rest for at least 30 minutes in a covered bowl.
Divide the dough into two pieces. Roll each piece out and put the dough through a pasta machine, folding into halves each time and then reinserting 15 to 20 times, to knead it. Continue until the pasta is paper-thin.
Assemble ravioli according to the directions of your ravioli maker/press. Or to prepare by hand, scoop up a heaping tablespoon (or teaspoon and a half for smaller ravioli) of potato filling, shape it round and set it on a sheet of fresh pasta. Cover with a second sheet of pasta pressing gently around the outside of the filling to seal and cut with a knife or ravioli stamp.
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook pasta until al dente, about 5 minutes.