The day after we returned from our Wisconsin vacation, I was a little at loose ends when it came to cooking. Our refrigerator was almost completely empty; its condiments an eerie throwback to when we were poor college kids. Since it was Sunday, I went over to the farmers’ market, hoping to be inspired.
Honestly, I still felt lost staring at the bins of fresh veggies, but I grabbed some tiny eggplants, zucchini, and tomatoes, thinking that at the very least I’d be able to make ratatouille again.
That idea got pushed aside when I saw that lamb stew meat was available (truthfully, I was hoping for the lamb cheeks that were advertised on the board, but they weren’t actually in stock). After grabbing some fresh figs at the co-op, it was on.
You know those things that hang around your house, beautiful but mostly unused? In my house, that would be the Le Creuset cast-iron skillet my husband bought for me last year. I adore it, but have only used it about 5 times. If that. One of my goals in cooking is to use everything I have more, from my stocks of jam to spices to kitchenware. Turns out the skillet was perfect for creating this dish – I’ll have to get the stepladder and pull it down more often.
This dish is a bit sweet, but if you don’t have small children sharing dinner, throw a few dashes of chile pepper in. Serve it over couscous or rice, if you like.
Lamb, Eggplant, and Fig Skillet
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound lamb stew meat
- 1-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup diced onion
- 1/2 pound eggplant , diced
- 1/2 pound fresh black mission figs , quartered
- 1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Brown lamb on all sides, then remove to a plate and keep warm.
- Deglaze the pan with balsamic vinegar, scraping up any stuck bits. Add the onions and eggplant, and saute for about five minutes. Add the figs and tomatoes, then return meat to the pan.
- Mix the spices together in a small bowl and stir evenly into the vegetables and meat. Cook another 10 minutes, until liquid starts to evaporate a bit. Finish with lemon juice and serve.
More lamb recipes you might like:
Braised Lamb Shanks with Tomatoes and White Beans – Three Many Cooks
Lamb and Potato Pierogies – Stetted
Lamb Bolognese – A Cozy Kitchen
Moroccan Lamb Stew – The Noshery
Sumac Lamb Chops with Pomegranate Relish – Stetted
For more tasty inspiration, check out my Recipes from Stetted board on Pinterest!
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