Jamaican Curry Lamb

As if it isn’t glaringly obvious to everyone around me, I think my boyfriend is pretty awesome. Which means I wanted to cook him an awesome dinner. Not that I haven’t been doing that all these weeks, but I wanted to do something that would be an extra special surprise. I know this is a food blog and not a ‘my boyfriend is awesome’ blog, but given the role he’s played in expanding my culinary horizons over the last year and a half, I figure it’s worth mentioning. I mean, before we were together I never had Indian food. The only purpose for beef was to either be thrown in a taco shell with an equal amount of guacamole, or to be slathered in cheese and mustard and eaten as a cheeseburger – I didn’t even eat steak. I didn’t know how awesome leeks were. The list is quite long, but you get the gist of it. Luke, on the other hand, is the exact opposite of me. He’ll eat anything. Beef tongue, bone marrow, head cheese (!!!) are all fair game in his book, including anything else you can think of. I am sure since we started dating he’s eaten more boneless skinless chicken breast than ever before. He totally catered to my weird, picky food tastes  (plus 10 boyfriend points) and never complained about it, and also slowly started incorporating things he thought I would like to try without being pushy about it.

So, that it why I wanted to make him something special – being that he always sacrificed eating what he REALLY wanted to be to make me happy, I figured it was time I returned the favor. Off to the internet I went to find something to surprise him! After much Googling, StumblingUpon-ing and Food Gawker-ing, the idea of LAMB popped into my head as something he’d be uber happy to eat, and something that with the right recipe I would consider trying for the first time. I know he loves lamb and goat and duck and all those exotic meats (okay, to most people those aren’t exotic and ALL. But to me they most definitely are not the norm.) and also remember him talking about growing up and eating a lot of Trinidadian food, but a Jamaican recipe was the closest I could find. I was on quite the budget this week so I needed to find something where I had most of the staple ingredients, and with how much Indian food I have been cooking I actually had a lot of the stuff.  Score.  At the grocery store of course I had zero idea what kind of lamb cut to get. I don’t even remember what I wound up getting… some sort of boneless leg meat or something of that nature. I got everything I needed and started cooking.

I really wanted to do Jamie Oliver’s recipe in one of the cookbooks I have, but due to my (still) broken oven that wasn’t going to happen. I found a good recipe at Simply Recipes and started getting things ready, shooing my dogs out of the kitchen as they somehow thought the hunk of lamb was for them. Anyway, things went together pretty easy. I didn’t have time to marinate the meat and onions and such overnight, but I left it in the fridge for a few hours, then threw everything together as the recipe instructed. I let it simmer for a few hours, checking on it and stirring every once in a while. By the time my boyfriend came over the house had that fabulous curry smell and he was very interested in what my “surprise” might be.

I was going to wait until it was time for dinner to be served to tell him what it was, but when I said he could close his eyes and smell what was for dinner, after taking a whiff of it he said “It smells like…. lamb?” ARGH! It’s all right – I can’t keep surprises or secrets very long anyway. Ever. Even something small like a surprise dinner. Oh well. I was glad I let him taste it though, because he had some suggestions as far as adding more of this or that, etc.

Finally after adding the potatoes and letting it simmer for another forty minutes or so as I made some rice and heated up some naan, it was time to eat. And for me to try (gulp) lamb.

The dish got rave reviews from a very happy Luke. I probably sat there for 5 minutes staring at a chunk of lamb on my fork, working up the nerve to actually take a bite. It looked just like beef – I don’t know what the big deal was. Finally I tried it. It was weird. It wasn’t BAD per se, just DIFFERENT. It’s hard to explain. I didn’t expect it to taste like beef, but I expected it to have the same texture, which it didn’t. It was less stringy, I suppose. The meal itself was delicious (and yes, I kept thinking it would have been perfect if it was chicken, ha ha) I’m not sure I’m 100% sold on lamb, but at least I cooked AND ate it. If I was going for a dinner that I thought was the best thing ever, this wasn’t a success. But given that I wanted to make a dinner my boyfriend thought was marvelous, I am calling this one a win!

2 Responses to “Jamaican Curry Lamb”
  1. Natalie says:

    Your boyfriend is a lucky man! That looks very good, and yay for trying new things!

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