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Leftover Lamb Transforms Into Tasty Pilaf

Leftovers don’t need to be plain. In fact, leftovers can easily transform into a dish that is not only tasty, but completely different from the original dish.

According to the BBC Good Food blog, lamb leftovers can be a bit trickier than cooked beef or chicken. The high fat content in lamb which makes it tasty when hot can taste ‘a bit greasy’ when cold.

Go ahead and continue lavishing mustard on your cold lamb sandwiches served with greens on a hoagie, or one of our favs, cold, sliced lamb with a tossed green salad as a side. But, if you would prefer your leftover lamb heated, we’ve got a couple of suggestions.

The great chef Antonio Carluccio always preferred frying pieces of cooked lamb with garlic, a handful of green herbs (mint, parsley or cilantro) and a good squeeze of lemon juice. You probably don’t need to add any oil – just fry the lamb until crispy at the edges.

If you want to try something slightly more involved, leftover lamb makes a wonderful pilaf. The fat melts into the rice which, sweetened with raisins, creates a rich, satisfying dish.

This recipe that we chose, again from the BBC Good Food blog, is not only easy to make but doubles as a lunch for the next day.


Spiced Lamb Pilaf*

Serves: 6

Suggested Pairing: Sauvignon Blanc


  • 2T vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves
  • 8 cardamom pods, crushed
  • 2t turmeric
  • 1 large cinnamon stick
  • 4C of stock – lamb if available, but vegetable will do
  • 2 1/2 C basmati rice
  • 2 1/2 C leftover lamb, shredded
  • 1/2 C raisins
  • 3 tomatoes, seeded and roughly chopped
  • small bunches of parsley & cilantro roughly chopped
  • 1/4C slivered almonds, toasted
  • 3/4 C plain yogurt


Heat oil in a large pan. Add onion and cook until soft and translucent. Add garlic and spices, and stir for 2 mins, until aromatic.

Add rice and shredded lamb to the pan. Stir well to coat the grains in oil and spices, then pour in the stock. Bring to a boil, cover and lower heat. Cook for 12 mins or until the rice is tender and the stock absorbed.

Once the rice is ready, remove from the heat and add raisins, tomatoes and herbs, mixing well. Season to taste and serve topped with more herbs, almonds and a dollop of plain yogurt.

*Recipe from Good Food magazine, March 2015

Valensbrae Sheep Farm offers farm-gate sales of pasture raised, grass fed lamb. Frozen lamb will be available fall 2019 and sold by the individual cut or by whole or half lamb. Now accepting pre-orders.
A family-run operation, led by Ted Stark, Valensbrae Sheep Farm is home to Dorset & Shetland sheep, pot-bellied pigs, Red Sexlinks layers, honey bees and two llamas, Ben & Jerry.

1527 Regional Road 97 | Puslinch | 905-659-7253 | [email protected]