The Cooking Chronicles: Meat-ful Recipes

I really like the current trend of “meatless Mondays” – though Mack and I don’t subscribe to a specific day of the week substitution of meat, I think the campaign does help raise awareness of the health and planetary benefits of reducing our collective meat intake.

Of course, our current cooking rotation does include a fair amount of meat. I know a part of it has to do with recipes that appeal to us because they’re what we’re used to, but I’m hoping we’ll continue to expand our vegetarian repertoire. If Ellen can do it, we can too! Anyway, here are a few meat-ful recipes in the meantime!

Potato-topped Lamb Pies

Donna Hay’s potato-topped lamb pies from No Time to Cook is a variation on shepherd’s pie, featuring a scalloped crust instead of a mashed one. I had picked up a package of ground lamb from the Italian Bakery one day, knowing I wouldn’t be able to get to the farmers’ market that weekend (they now sell lamb and veal, among other proteins in their freezer section).

It wasn’t a difficult recipe to pull together, and from it, we were able to make a nine inch pie, and two individual ramekin pies.

Potato-topped Lamb Pies

Potato-topped lamb pies

Although the potato topping didn’t get as crispy as we would have liked, we were more off-put by how fatty the meat ended up being. I probably should have drained the fat, but I really wasn’t expecting it.

Potato-topped Lamb Pies

Pie filling

More than anything, Mack was reminded that he again doesn’t really care for lamb. I’m not giving up on lamb though – we’ll just have to find a different recipe to try!

Turkey Meatball Subs

I don’t know why I was so excited to make meatball subs, using Mario Batali’s recipe for turkey meatballs, but I was. We used ground turkey from Greens, Eggs and Ham, and pork sausages and prosciutto from the Italian Centre as proteins.

After assembling the meatballs, we had to let them rest in the fridge for an hour.

Turkey Meatballs

During that time, I made a basic tomato sauce.

Turkey Meatballs

Then, came browning of the meatballs.

Turkey Meatballs

Next, I baked them with some of the sauce and wine.

Lastly came assembly of the sandwiches, topped with provolone, then broiled. This is where we made the mistake – the bread ended up scorched from being placed too close to the element in the oven.

Turkey Meatballs

Don’t cry over burnt bread

I will admit to being upset, partly because of my anticipation for the finished product, but also because of the lengthy process involved. We cut off the burnt ends, and while both Mack and I did enjoy the sandwiches, it ultimately didn’t seem worth the effort.

Turkey Meatballs

The saving grace was the amount of leftovers we had, which made subsequent meals quick and easy – meatballs served with a side salad, or tossed with pasta and the remaining cups of tomato sauce (which, I should mention, is something I will make again – I loved the texture of the sauce, emboldened with sautéed onions and grated carrots).

Hopefully the vegetarian recipes I’ve bookmarked will go better than these two did!

5 thoughts on “The Cooking Chronicles: Meat-ful Recipes

  1. The meatballs look fabulous, Sharon! I love meatballs with a classic basil tomato sauce. Mmmm…

  2. Your meatball sandwich looks a lot like a great one I had in Portland at a place featured by Guy Fieri except it was a beef meatball sub but still served with tomato sauce and something like melted provolone. Your sandwich looks very good.

  3. Lea – thanks! And you’ve got me thinking about a basil sauce (I have a basil plant sitting in front of me :).

    Jim – thanks also! I’d definitely like to try making a beef meatball sub next go around (especially now that we know how far the bread should be placed from the broiler, heh).

  4. The trick with lamb is usually in the cooking. A friend of mine thought, for years, that he didn’t like lamb. It turns out that he just didn’t like the crappy way that it was prepared in the one Greek place in his hometown.

    I realize that this makes it sounds like you’re a bad cook, but that’s not my intention. My point is just that maybe Mack hasn’t tried the “right” lamb dish yet.

  5. Adam – I agree with you. I thought I had nailed it with a lamb stew recipe, cooked with Indian spices. Mack enjoyed it the first night, but hesitated to consume the leftovers. I will try a similar dish again, but probably not until the weather cools down again :).

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