Churro Lamb with Spicy Salsa and Navajo Flatbreads

Wow, work has been crazy! So much going on, and so much to do! I guess work has taken up any, and all brain power as I have written this post about 5 times and I keep going back, deleting it and then stare blankly at the screen only to delete the next thing I type. I am annoying myself!

So what I do want to say is, this meal delicious! It’s from Jamie’s America, from one of my favourite states in the US, Arizona. Arizona was fascinating for me, growing up on the lush east coast of Australia, it was quite a thrill to see the southern half of the state with no green parks, front yards with no lawns and cactus lined streets, then as you head north, you get mountain ranges and extensive forests. And then you have the Grand Canyon. What an incredible place.

I also love the rich American Indian and Mexican history of Arizona which is reflected in the style and architecture of the state. This dish has been inspired by the Navajo people of Arizona and is perfect for this time of year, although it has a roast feel the flat bread and spicy refreshing salsa really liven it up.

Serves 4

Jamie’s America

1 small/half leg of lamb
1 can cannellini beans
Pinch of paprika
1/4 cup chicken stock

10 juniper berries
2 stems of shallots
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 bunch of mint
Salt and pepper

1 large medium red chilli
1/2 green capsicum
1/2 bunch of mint
2 stems of shallots
2 ripe tomatoes
Salt and pepper
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1 tbs sumac

300g flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbs baking powder
3 tbs olive oil

To make your lamb marinade, combine all ingredients in a mortar and pestle or a food processor and beat or whaz until a smooth paste. Lay the lamb in a baking tray and stab some holes in the lamb with a small knife. Stick your fingers right in these holes to make them bigger. Rub the meat thick with the marinade, getting it right into those holes. Cover lamb and marinate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Take your lamb out of the fridge and let it come up to room temperature. Preheat your over or webber to high, put the lamb in and reduce heat to 200°C and cook for 1 to 1.5 hours depending on your piece of lamb. Ours was 1.5kgs and 1.5 hours was perfect.

For the beans, place a slightly drained can of beans in a saucepan with the stock, paprika and a bit of salt and pepper. Cook over a medium heat for a few minutes and then turn off, cover and keep warm.

While your meat is cooking, add your chilli and your capsicum to the oven or if in a webber, on the grill over the flame. Cook until soft and charred. Once cooked place in a plastic bag to sweat and skins to loosen, then peel.

Once the meat is done, remove from the over, cover with foil and leave to rest for at least 15 to 20 minutes.

To make the salsa, finely chop all ingredients and combine in a bowl. If you like it chunky you can leave it like this but I like my salsa slightly more saucy and combined, so if you want, you can do the ‘part whaz’. For this dish I would leave it fairly chunky so i would take 1/4 of the salsa mix, process in a food processor and add it back to the salsa. Season with salt and pepper and leave to sit in the fridge until required.

To make the bread, mix the flour, salt and baking powder in a large bowl using a fork. Make a well in the centre then pour in the oil and about 75ml of water. Use the fork to gradually bring the flour from the edge of the bowl. Once it starts to come together, wet your hands and use them to really bring it together into a ball of dough. Dust your hands and a clean bench with flour and knead the dough until smooth and elastic. This will take about 5 to 10 minutes. Place dough back in the bowl, cover and leave to relax.

Divide your dough into 6, roughly equal sized balls, squeeze each ball between the palms of your hands to flatten slightly. Then, dusting with a little flour as you go, pat and slap the dough between one palm and the other. Turn and twist the dough as you go and keep slapping from hand to hand. Each flat bread should be about 1cm thick.

I cooked my flat breads on the BBQ grill plate over the flame for about 1 minute on each side, however you can do them on a medium hot fry pan or griddle pan. Once cooked keep them warm in a basket cover with a tea towel.

Carve up your lamb and serve on a bed of beans, with a spoon of salsa and the warm flat breads.


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