Greek style Herdwick lamb with orzo

My first recipe of the year from the Farmison meat box uses some diced Herdwick lamb. When you first visit the Farmison website it is evident that this is a company built on passion for animals – both quality sourcing and welfare. I particularly liked this glossary here explaining the stories behind each breed. A Herdwick lamb is a little grey sheep from Cumbria, shy of personality, introduced by Norse invaders and apparently put on weight slowly by eating only naturally foraged food, resulting in a subtle and delicate flavour. They sound positively adorable.

As there was only 330g of diced lamb in my Meat Box for One, I decided to go for a stewing recipe bulked by vegetables and carbs. Inspired by my friend Frugal Feeding, a Greek lamb with orzo sounded perfect. I had never cooked orzo, but I love the idea of a food based tromp l’oeil (if you can call it that) – i.e. pasta that looks like rice. Hmm, can you think of any others?

You will need:

  • About 350g diced lamb
  • 1 onion
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 sliced clove of garlic
  • 1 stick of cinammon
  • Tin of tomatoes
  • 3-4 tinned anchovy fillets
  • 300ml lamb stock
  • Spare glass of red wine, if you have one
  • 200g orzo
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh parsley
  • Feta cheese, crumbled

Fry the onion and garlic until fragrant and translucent, next adding the diced lamb and sealing the meat. Remove the meat from the pan, and add your cinnamon and anchovies for a few minutes. God I love anchovies with lamb! Return the meat to the pan with the tin of tomatoes, stock and spare glass of red wine, bringing it all to the boil. Don’t worry if it looks quite watery at this point.

Simmer on the hob for at least two hours, at which point the lamb should have broken down to yield to the touch of a fork. Add the orzo to the stew and simmer for a further 15-20 minutes. The orzo will absorb the liquids to create the perfect rich, but not overindulgent one pot dish. Finally, crumble a little feta cheese and toss some shredded parsley over the top of the stew.

I served the lamb stew with a warm courgette salad – thinly sliced courgettes, sauteed in butter and tossed with toasted almonds, grated parmesan and a squeeze of lemon. The result was simply delightful – I love the playful conversation between the sweetness of cinnamon and lamb, and the richness of the tomato and anchovy. It’s a shame this only fed two as I could have eaten it for days!

Find out about Farmison lamb

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6 thoughts on “Greek style Herdwick lamb with orzo

  1. Haha – I hadn’t seen that you had linked me and was about to come in here all – I did this a while ago and it was AMAZING. I mean, it still is amazing, but I’m glad I was the inspiration! Cheers 😀

  2. Hi, I am a freelance journalist and I have been commissioned by http://www.allaboutyou.com to compile a selection of orzo pasta recipes from UK bloggers. Would you be interested in having this recipe featured? I would need a high res image to accompany the recipe and we would credit you and link back to your blog. If you could let me know by Weds 30th May that would be great.
    Thanks so much, Natalie.

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