The day when the orange and lamb became friends
I like trying out new and interesting recipes. I think it’s a great way to expand your culinary knowledge and repertoire, and sometimes you discover things you would never have thought up on your own unless you ventured outside what you would consider as your norm. It had been a hot summer’s day and I was looking for something new and interesting to make for dinner one night that was easy to make and didn’t require me to slave away over a hot stove. That’s when I discovered a yummy looking recipe for lamb cutlets that used the zest and juice of an orange. I’ve used orange juice for sweet dishes before, but I don’t think I’ve ever used orange in a savoury dish. The recipe stated that the preparation and cooking time was only 30 minutes, so how could I not give it a go? A white bean salad accompanied the lamb, and at first glance at the recipe, I wasn’t too sure about it. A bean salad can be a great accompaniment if it is packed with flavour that compliments what you are serving with it, otherwise it can be a bit boring and bring down the flavour of the entire meal. In the end, I was pleasantly surprised at how tasty the bean salad was and how well it went with the lamb. This recipe turned out to be worth the effort (not that there was much effort expended) and I now know that oranges go very well with lamb! Culinary knowledge and repertoire successfully expanded! The original recipe makes enough to serve 4, but I halved the number of lamb cutlets and ingredients for the white bean salad to serve 2.
Orange & chilli lamb with white bean salad
6 lamb cutlets
1 fresh long chilli, finely chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1 orange, zested and juiced
1 tbs balsamic vinegar
1 tbs olive oil
½ small red onion, finely chopped
40g (¼ cup) dried sultanas (I used a box of Sunbeam’s ‘Snack that Go’ sultanas)
1 garlic clove, crushed
65g (¼ cup) drained roasted red capsicum, finely chopped
20g (about 10) pitted kalamata olives, halved
400g can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
½ cup fresh continental parsley leaves, roughly chopped
Combine the chilli, cumin, orange zest and half the orange juice in a glass dish. Chuck in the lamb cutlets and turn to coat in the marinade. Set aside for about 10 minutes whilst you make the white bean salad. Combine the balsamic vinegar and the rest of the orange juice in a small bowl, and set aside for the time being.
To make the salad, heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Cook the onion, stirring, for a few minutes until soft. Chuck in the sultanas and garlic and stir in for another couple of minutes until aromatic. Chuck in the capsicum and olives and stir in for another couple of minutes, then add in the beans and stir through for a few more minutes until warmed through. Transfer the bean salad to a bowl, stir in the parsley, season with a little salt and pop some foil over the top to keep warm.
To cook the lamb, drain the marinade and season with a little salt and pepper. Heat the same frying pan used for the bean salad over medium-high heat. Cook the lamb, for about 2 minutes on each side (for medium) or until cooked to your liking. Add the vinegar and orange juice mixture and simmer for 1 minute or until the mixture has reduced. Turn the cutlets to coat with the vinegar mixture.
To serve, evenly divide the bean salad between the plates, then top with the lamb and the rest of the pan juices. A quick and tasty dinner!
Note: I have made some amendments to the original recipe. If you would like to see the original recipe, click here.