Garlic Mustard Pan Roasted Lamb

by Jenn on June 13, 2011

in Dairy Free,Diabetic Friendly,Gluten Free,Meats

Filet of lamb

Why do we need a special occasion to eat tasty food?

My husband and I don’t eat fancy food very often.  We hardly ever go out to eat, and most dinners at home are vegetarian, consisting of pasta, rice or bean dishes or salad, rather uncomplicated and reasonably affordable.  But from time to time, my husband and I come up with random occasions to celebrate just because we want a nice dinner.  A sudden craving, we both turn to each other one day and say, “Hmm do you want to cook something nice tonight?” And we go to the market, pick out a nice cut of meat and proceed to plan for ourselves a “fancy” dinner – we’ll get out the good wine glasses, actually set the table, and sit down like we’re celebrating a fancy anniversary.

This time, we decided it was “because it was finally a beautiful warm sunny day in Switzerland.”  The last time I had cooked lamb was for my birthday last year, and I don’t really know what prompted us to want lamb that day, but being a beautiful almost Summer-like day seemed as good a reason as any :)

Maybe making up a reason for a dinner with a pricey cut of meat (well, pricey for us who still have not fully accustomed ourselves to Swiss meat prices) is just a way of being spontaneous, because an impromptu “date” at home makes us feel young again after many days coming home from work tired and not wanting to do anything other than eat dinner, relax a little and then sleep.  Maybe we’ve just been feeling in a bit of a spontaneous mood lately, like yesterday when we decided to walk the famous vineyard trail through the Lavaux region along the coast of Lake Geneva, conveniently ending in the town of Cully, the location of our favorite gluten free chocolaterie/dessert shop.

Lavaux Vineyards on Lac Léman

After all, with such amazing weather, how could one resist being outside to soak up all that rare sunshine? :)

The Lavaux region is an UNESCO World Heritage site, and to me it seems that the wines of the region are as much a part of the culture in Vaud as fondue.  Swiss wines are very different from the bold complex reds from Italy and France that we usually are drawn towards – my favorite whites and rosés tend to be light, dry and clean tasting, refreshing and well suited to an outdoor Summer meal.  But there’s just something about walking through the ancient terraces of vines, gazing at the Alps across the way that is so invigorating and relaxing at the same time…magical really…

DSC_9560LR2

It was such a treat to wander through so much history and culture and see such beauty at the same time, and it was such a treat for that sun to finally show her face after too many days in a row of ominous clouds and gray skies – and sometimes that’s all it takes for a day to feel like a special occasion.

Maybe you need a reason to cook lamb, maybe you don’t.  For me, seeing the beautiful cuts of meat at the market and feeling the warm sunshine was enough of a reason to celebrate.  I’m beginning to think that we shouldn’t have to wait for the holidays to cook up something fancy – maybe on the holidays we should be cooking easy comfort food to make them a bit less stressful, and leave the pricier homemade meals for those serendipitous times (which seem ever more rare) when we’re relaxed and carefree and just want to celebrate life, happiness and each other.  That seems special occasion enough for me :)

Also submitted to - Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays

{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Ariane June 13, 2011 at 7:59 pm

This looks wonderful. I always end up thinking lamb in the spring, though at least part of that is driving past a couple of sheep farms on my way home from work :-)

Also – not sure how much you are paying, but lamb is $$ here in the states too!

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Jenn June 13, 2011 at 8:26 pm

Thanks Ariane! Yeah I remember lamb being really expensive in the States, and hard to find too…

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Rosa June 13, 2011 at 8:01 pm

I really love the two first clicks! This is one of my favorite regions in Switzerland. So dramatic and scenic.

Your lamb looks wonderful and flavorful!

Cheers,

Rosa

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Jenn June 13, 2011 at 8:41 pm

Thanks Rosa! I love the Lavaux…

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Astrid June 13, 2011 at 10:57 pm

Oh my you make me want to steal a bit of that lamb immediately. :)
Switzerland is a very beautiful country I agree. Pricey too.
I think it is really cute that you and your husband are celebrating a special meal. We all should do this more often :o)

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Jenn June 13, 2011 at 11:20 pm

Thanks so much Astrid!

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Lindsey@Lindselicious June 13, 2011 at 11:19 pm

MMm looks so good! I feel like I am so boring I never cook Lamb, but I love it! LOL inspired to cook it myself! =)

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Jenn June 13, 2011 at 11:21 pm

Thanks! We don’t cook lamb much either, but it’s one of our favorite meats.

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EA-The Spicy RD June 13, 2011 at 11:24 pm

I will confess, I am not much of a lamb eater, but your pictures are beautiful, and I’d love to make your recipe with a different meat. Your photos bring back wonderful memories…My husband proposed to me on the shore of Lake Geneva right by Castle de Chillon. On that trip I remember one day wandering around the hillside in Montreaux, admiring the grapevines and getting more than a little lost in the villages. Neither one of us spoke any French, but somehow we managed to find our way back to our hotel :-)

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Jenn June 14, 2011 at 8:41 am

Oh what a romantic proposal!!! I love your story – and getting lost in those little villages I think is part of the experience :)

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torviewtoronto June 14, 2011 at 3:43 am

beautiful presentation lovely pictures

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Jenn June 14, 2011 at 8:00 am

thanks!

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Simone June 14, 2011 at 8:07 am

You live in a really beautiful area Jenn and I’m all in favor of making comfort food at the holidays and do the fancy stuff when we are less stressed for time! This looks delicious!

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Jenn June 14, 2011 at 8:09 am

Thanks Simone! ha yes, I’m all for making comfort food at the holidays – maybe we can start a new trend…

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Móna Wise June 14, 2011 at 8:08 am

You know, we always eat Lamb for Easter here in Ireland. Do you in the US?
I love it and I remember the price of meat en Suisse…ouch!
Lovely recipe Jenn.
Móna xx

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Jenn June 14, 2011 at 8:11 am

Thanks Móna – In the U.S. I remember a lot of ham at Easter… I don’t think I hardly ever ate lamb growing up actually…

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Kulsum at JourneyKitchen June 14, 2011 at 8:12 am

I love spontaneous date nights :-) I think they are best way to celebrate. I love lamb and this looks GOOD. I feel guilty admitting I eat lamb way more often then once a year!

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Jenn June 14, 2011 at 8:15 am

Thanks Kulsum! I agree spontaneous date nights are the best – I just wish we did them more often :)

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InTolerantChef June 14, 2011 at 3:02 pm

We are really lucky that meat over here is very well priced. A great cut of meat for $20kg upwards, and an OK one for about half that. We love lamb steaks- very juicy and lean, and eat lamb a couple of times a week. We are definitely a family of carnivores! A special occaision meat for us would be Wagu Beef from the markets, about $55kg, but sometimes we get thin slices to just cook quickly and have as a steak sandwich with sauce. It would take about 10mins to cook from start to finish and cost about $10, but still cheaper and healthier and much yummier than a takeaway lunch.
Your recipe looks lovely!

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Jenn June 14, 2011 at 7:37 pm

Thanks!! Love your steak sandwich idea, that sounds perfect esp. for this time of year :)

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Jessica June 16, 2011 at 7:46 pm

Came across your blog on foodbuzz & am your newest follower!!!
- Jessica @ http://cajunlicious.com

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Jenn June 18, 2011 at 1:34 am

Thanks !

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Marla June 21, 2011 at 3:44 am

Jenn this lamb looks fabulous!
Cookin’ Canuck and I would love if you linked up this recipe & any 2 other Entrees in this weeks Get Grillin’ event posted on both of our blogs. You just need to link up on one site :) http://su.pr/17fizq

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Jenn June 21, 2011 at 7:22 am

Thanks!!! and thanks so much for the invitation, however this lamb is not grilled at all but pan roasted – it never saw anything other than a stainless steel skillet and did most of its cooking in the oven…so I’m pretty sure it doesn’t qualify… I am also not in the USA so by the stated rules am ineligible….

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Ishay June 22, 2011 at 10:59 pm

I love that you guys plan this together, get in the mood and even set the table! I have heard all about the Swiss prices. Heck, husb had 2 incredibly high traffic fines driving through, the amount we will not divulge here. Now lass, you have to visit us in Cape Town. Good lamb is not cheap but you could eat it a few times a week, or let’s say once a week if you liked. Seriously. Now that doesn’t help, I know but consider that an invitation. Lovely recipe :)

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Jenn June 22, 2011 at 11:48 pm

Thanks Ishay! Ha I won’t ask about the fines :) Would love to visit Cape Town sometime, you are too sweet!!

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Jeanne @ CookSister! June 28, 2011 at 6:04 pm

So true!! Why do we have to wait for a special occasion to serve up something as fabulous a this? Life is short – eat the god stuff while you can! I remember taking a boat trip on lake Geneva and being astonished at the number of vineyards surrounding it – would love to walk that trail some day.

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Jenn June 28, 2011 at 11:55 pm

Thanks Jeanne! Yes I agree, we should enjoy the good stuff when we can for sure :)

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