Meals in under 30 minutes are essential in a home with working parents and young children. I don’t think anyone has the time available, these days, to cook for longer than this – life is just too busy! I call the hours between 4pm and 6pm “crazy-time” in our home because it’s when everyone is getting home from work and school and it is at least 5 hours after lunch time so everyone is really hungry (and cranky!) I aim to find meals that I can prepare the night before, that involve very few ingredients and that take minimal thought to cook and plate (Mamma needs time to relax too!)
This meal covers all of those important credentials of mine. Everything can be prepared the night before and it is really easy to prep and cook. The potatoes and zucchini are steamed the night before and you will marinate the lamb at the same time. When you come home the next day, simply heat up your grill pan and while you’re waiting for your pan to get nice and hot, assemble the vegetable skewers.
Grill the vegetable skewers first and then the lamb. Toss up a quick green salad and you have a ridiculously easy and fantastic, well-balanced meal that the whole family will love! My four-year-old eats these lamb lollipops with his hands – true story! He helped me put together the skewers too – it’s a great way to teach pre-schoolers the skill of pattern 😉
I featured Ontario Lamb for this recipe because I truly believe that lamb is not being used enough these days. My lamb marinade can be used for any cut of lamb so please feel free to pick up whichever cut you prefer (i.e. lamb chops). When we are thinking of proteins, chicken and beef are likely the first to pop into our heads. Lamb is a great alternative for dinner and it is just as simple to prepare as chicken or beef. You can find this recipe along with other great lamb recipes on the Ontario Lamb website.
Here are some tips for cooking lamb on a grill pan:
- The meat should be patted with paper towel in order to remove excess moisture, which helps the meat brown more quickly.
- Preheat the skillet on the stove before adding the oil. Preheat to medium-high heat.
- Pour 1 or 2 tablespoons of oil into the heated skillet.
- The oil should sizzle when the meat hits the pan. If it doesn’t sizzle, the pan and oil are not hot enough.
- The meat should be grilled uncovered and if several pieces are cooked at one time, the pieces should not touch. Do not crowd the pan.
- Cook the first side until golden brown in color and grill lines are formed, which requires approximately 2-3 minutes. Using tongs, carefully turn the meat over and finish cooking on the second side, again for approximately 2-3 minutes. Never use a fork to turn the meat because piercing the meat with a fork may allow juices to escape. The meat should be turned only once.
- When the cooking is finished, the meat can be removed from the pan and served immediately.
I hope that you find these tips useful! Do yourself a favour and add Ontario Lamb to your dinner plan for the week. Trust me, you will not be sorry!
- Lamb Marinade:
- 3 cloves Garlic, sliced
- 2 sprigs pf fresh rosemary
- ½ cup white wine
- ¼ cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
- Salt + pepper
- 10 lamb lollipops
- 1 small Zucchini
- ½ pound mini potatoes
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- skewers, that have been soaked overnight
- Prepare your skewer components: Wash and cut your zucchini into ¾ inch thick rounds. In a saucepan, steam potatoes and zucchini until tender.
- Toss Zucchini in olive oil, salt and pepper. Once the potatoes are cool, lightly smash them using the palm of your hand and season with thyme, salt and pepper. Wash tomatoes and also season with olive oil, salt and pepper. Store the tomatoes, potatoes and zucchini in separate containers in the refrigerator.
- Marinate the lamb: put the lamb into a large resealable plastic bag and add olive oil, garlic, wine and rosemary. Seal the bag and using your hands, make sure the marinade coats all of the lamb pieces. Let the meat marinate overnight in the refrigerator (or for at least 4 hours).
- Heat your grill pan to medium/high heat.
- Meanwhile, assemble your skewers: Put a skewer through the centre of a potato, followed by a tomato and a zucchini. Repeat until all of the vegetables are used up.
- Grill each skewer for about 3 minutes on each side or until nice grill marks form.
- Next, grill the lamb for about 2-3 minutes per side (lamb should be served medium, with a pink centre). Finish with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
- Serve lamb hot with vegetable skewers and a freshly tossed green salad. Squeeze some lemon on the lamb just before eating.
*On rare occasions I do sponsored posts when I feel the quality of the product is above average and lines up with the message that I try to share through my blog. This post has been generously sponsored by the Ontario Sheep Marketing Agency and I have been compensated monetarily, however, all views are my own.