Archive for category: South American Recipes

Dog food … or delicious?

Braised Lamb in Coconut MilkFilled with excitement over how very delicious this Lamb Braised in Coconut Milk turned out, I shared my photo with a friend.

“That looks like dog food,” she said.


But don’t let appearances — and my poor photography skills — deter you. This was de-lish! The sauce was mild, yet flavorful, infused by the lamb and a hint of sweetness and coconut. Trying to be healthy, I swapped the white rice with sweet brown rice.  And since I like sweet peppers, I used those instead of bell peppers. Additionally, I added chipotle pepper spice for a dash of smokiness.

But you know what made it one of the best lamb dishes ever? Cooking it for two hours. I only used one pound of lamb and thought I could cook it in less time. Wrong. It was so not tender. I remembered what my Dad said, regarding cooking meat at low heat for hours. He was right. That made the lamb meltingly, no-knife-needed tender!

So here’s the recipe as it appears in The South American Table by Maria Baez Kijac, without my changes mentioned above. What do you think? Is this yummy or what?

Carne de Borrego en Coco (Lamb Braised in Coconut Milk)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon canola oil

2 pounds boneless leg of lamb, trimmed of fat and gristle and cut into 1-inch pieces

1 medium-size onion, minced (about 1 cup)

1/2 cup seeded and chopped green bell pepper

1/2 cup seeded and chopped red bell pepper

1/2 cup finely chopped celery

6 large cloves garlic, mashed into a paste with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves

2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro leaves

Pinch of cayenne pepper

Pinch of ground allspice

1 tablespoon firmly packed dark brown sugar

2 cups hot water

1 cup well-stirred canned unsweetened coconut milk

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. In a heavy 6-quart casserole, heat the butter and oil together over medium heat until the butter melts. Add the lamb and brown on all sides. Add the onion, bell peppers, celery, garlic paste, parsley, cilantro, cayenne, allspice, and brown sugar and cook, stirring a few times, until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add the water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the meat is tender, about 1-1/2 hours. If the mixture gets too dry, add more hot water.

2. Stir in the coconut milk, season with salt and black pepper to taste, and cook for 5 minutes. Serve hot.

TO SERVE: Serve with rice and green beans.