1 Pot Magic: Braised Lamb with Orzo
When my mother gave birth to me, her first baby, at the young age of 24, my maternal grandparents hired a baby nurse to help her and my father navigate the first weeks of caring for a newborn. The nurse was a robust and bossy Greek woman. She taught my mother how to diaper and feed me, helped my nervous father with my first bath, and chastised my parents for letting our family dog “get to know me” by sniffing and licking my days-old cheeks. She also prepared meals for our small family, and she became an indispensable part of my first few weeks, leaving my parents with a newfound confidence about life. Although many details of those weeks have faded from memory, her legacy lives on with a recipe she gave my mother that I still use today.
Braised Lamb with Orzo is one pot dinner. It has 5 simple ingredients that when combined are magical. It is perfect for cold weather and chilly stay-at-home snow days when you want to warm both your kitchen and your heart.
•1 1/2 lbs lamb shoulder, trimmed and cut into 2″ chunks
•1 large can chopped tomatoes undrained and 1 tomato can of water
• 3 TB butter
•3 garlic cloves, minced
•1 pound orzo pasta
•Salt and Pepper
Put all the above, except the orzo, in a two quart dutch oven type pot with tight fitting lid, put the cover on and bake in a 350 oven for two hours.
After two hours remove from oven and use a slotted spoon to remove lamb and set aside.
Place pot over high heat on the stove, add orzo and stir until 1/2 of the liquid has been absorbed by the orzo, about 5 minutes then remove from heat.
Put reserved lamb pieces on top of orzo and put back in the oven uncovered for an additional 45 min -1 hr.
Serve with a salad, tossed with olive oil, lemon juice and feta cheese.