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Roasted Spring Lamb in Green Curry with Baby Golden Beets


Green Curry Paste

¼ cup coriander seeds

2 teaspoons cumin seeds

2 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds

2 teaspoons ground black pepper

1 bunch cilantro, leaves and stems

1 teaspoon kosher salt

4 ounces lemongrass, thinly sliced

4 ounces galangal, sliced thin against grain

2½ tablespoons lime zest

2 Thai chilies

12 cloves garlic

12 ounces shallots, sliced against grain

3 tablespoons shrimp paste

Slow Roasted Lamb

2 pounds lamb shoulder, bone-in

1 cup Green Curry Paste (recipe follows)

Green Curry Sauce

1 cup coconut oil

1 onion, minced 6 cloves garlic, minced

½ cup ginger, minced

½ stalk lemongrass, bruised 3 lime leaves, bruised

2 cups Green Curry Paste (see recipe)

¼ cup shrimp paste

1½ quarts coconut milk

¼ cup fish sauce

1 cup chopped cilantro, leaves and stems

1 tablespoon Sichuan pepper, toasted and ground

1 tablespoon cumin and coriander seeds, toasted and ground together

Golden Beet Pickles

2 cups seasoned rice wine vinegar

2 cups sugar

2 cups water

1 tablespoon ginger, minced

½ teaspoon crushed red pepper

½ teaspoon crushed coriander

Golden Beet Pickles

1 medium golden beet, peeled and sliced ⅛-inch thick

6 lunch box peppers, shaved ⅛-inch thick*

*If you cannot find this sweet orange pepper, you can substitute any small/medium-sized sweet orange, red, or yellow pepper.

Thai Trail Mix

½ cup toasted cashews, lightly crushed

½ cup banana chips, lightly crushed

¼ cup crispy fried shallots*

1 teaspoon nigella seed

1 tablespoon cumin and coriander seeds, toasted and ground together.

*These are dehydrated, fried shallot rings that are used in Vietnamese cooking for all sorts of things. You can make your own, or purchase at Asian markets.

To Assemble and Serve

6 baby golden beets (with tops)

Canola oil


Slow Roasted Lamb, picked from the bone and large diced (recipe follows)

2 quarts prepared Green Curry Sauce (recipe follows)

1 teaspoon lime juice

1 pint prepared Golden Beet Pickles (recipe follows)

1 cup Thai Trail Mix (recipe follows)

1 cup cilantro leaves, picked from stem

6 servings aromatic rice


 Green Curry Paste

[media size="medium" align="right"] Curry-and-Rice [/media]
  1. Toast coriander, cumin, and mustard seeds in sauté pan until fragrant and coriander becomes a few shades darker. Cool slightly and then pound with pepper into fine dust. Set aside.
  2. In food processor, grind cilantro and salt into soft, fibrous paste. One at a time, add lemongrass, galangal, lime zest, chilies, garlic, and shallots. Paste should be smooth before adding next ingredient. Finally, incorporate shrimp paste and reserved crushed seeds.

Slow Roasted Lamb

  1. Preheat oven to 210 degrees. 
  2. Rub lamb shoulder with Green Curry Paste and wrap in foil. 
  3. Place wrapped shoulder on sheet pan and slow roast for 7 hours, or until tender enough to fall off bone. Once done, cool in foil and reserve whole until ready to use (refrigerate if necessary).

Green Curry Sauce

  1. Heat nonreactive pot over medium-high heat. Add coconut oil and onion to pot and sweat 3 minutes. 
  2. Add garlic, ginger, lemongrass, lime leaves, and Green Curry Paste. Sweat an additional 3 minutes. Add shrimp paste and cook 3 minutes more. 
  3. Add coconut milk and fish sauce to pot, bring to simmer, then turn off heat immediately—do not boil. 
  4. Add cilantro, Sichuan pepper, and cumin and coriander. Steep 1 hour before serving, or cool and steep overnight. 

Golden Beet Pickles

  1. Combine vinegar, sugar, water, ginger, red pepper, and coriander in medium saucepan and cook over medium heat.
  2. Mix together beets and peppers and place in heat-safe container. 
  3. Once pickling liquid comes to a boil, pour over beets and peppers. Cover container tightly and let cool.

Thai Trail Mix

Combine all ingredients.

To Assemble and Serve

  1. Preheat oven 375 degrees.
  2. Remove leaves and stems from baby beets, rinse, and set aside, reserving all.
  3. Rub baby beets with oil and salt, wrap in foil, and roast for 30 minutes or until fork tender. Once cooked, remove beets from oven and cool slightly. While still warm, use damp paper towel to rub skins from beets. 
  4. Slice cooked beets into quarters and warm together with picked lamb meat and beet tops in Green Curry Sauce. Once heated through, finish curry with lime juice and serve in deep bowls or small pots, topped with the Beet Pickles, Thai Trail Mix, and picked cilantro leaves. Serve with warm rice.

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