Grilled Lamb Shoulder Chop with Strawberry Mint Truffle Sauce (Paleo)

As many of you know, I’ve been working my way through old recipes, giving them an update here and there. A month ago, it was this Moroccan Carrot Salad. Today, it’s this lamb recipe, which was originally published in 2014. Oh how much has changed in three years! We were house sitting for my mom when I made this recipe, her strawberry garden providing much of the inspiration. We’ve since moved three times: into a rental apartment, and then another, and finally, into our own home. I don’t currently have a strawberry patch, but revisiting this recipe has made me seriously consider adding one, despite the fact that strawberry plants are super aggressive —verging on invasive here. So, I used store-bought strawberries, which are at their peak right now. They were so juicy and sweet. If you haven’t tried this one, I know you’re going to love it! The rest of this post is the original post from 2014 (with new images). 

It's a battle. A fight for spring's sweetest bounty and a race against the clock. Has anyone else failed to pick a single strawberry this season? I certainly have. It's not that I haven't tried. On the contrary, I've been eyeballing those berries since they were white flower buds. The problem is, I'm not the only one with a sweet tooth. 

Oh no, its seems that every being wants a share of these berries: the robins living in the tree, the chip monk--or was that a mouse?- and probably my own cat. They all have cheeks full of sweet strawberry pulp. Can you blame them? Strawberries on the vine are pretty much juicy summer in a bite.

Grilled Lamb Shoulder Chop with Strawberry Mint Truffle Sauce

For the first time this summer, I took what I could get. After savoring the second bite of this grilled lamb with strawberry sauce, I understood what the animals in the yard were so excited about. Garden-fresh strawberries are good. Really good. 

This recipe showcases our garden's strawberries and mint (which I have no trouble harvesting--that stuff grows like weeds!). The truffle oil and strawberries play on the sweet earthiness of the lamb while the lemon and mint bring it to life!

Grilled Lamb Shoulder Chop with Strawberry Mint + Truffle (Paleo)

Published Jun 23, 2014 by
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Serves: 2   |    Total Time: 20 minutes


    For the Lamb:
  • 2 Lamb shoulder chops
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder OR 1 garlic clove, minced fine
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper 

  • For the Strawberry Mint Truffle Topping:
  • 1/2 cup fresh ripe strawberries, diced small
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh mint leaves
  • 1/4 of a red onion, minced
  • 1 teaspoon truffle oil (affiliate link!)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Sea salt (to taste)
  • Ground black pepper (to taste)


  1. Turn grill to high. While it heats, prepared the lamb: Season both sides of the lamb with garlic, salt and pepper. Place on grill, and close the lid. Cook for three minutes and flip, cooking for three more minutes (about a minutes less for rare, a minute or two more for well done). Remove from heat and turn off grill. Note: you can also do this in a large skillet. Heat your skillet over medium-high heat and grease with cooking oil. Cook lamb chops for 3 minutes on each side.
  2. Make the topping: Combine diced strawberries, minced red onion, minced mint, truffle oil, olive oil, and lemon juice in a bowl. Stir, and season with salt & pepper to taste.
  3. Serve lamb chops hot with strawberry mint truffle mixture on top.


Instant Pot Lamb & Winter Squash Tagine with Apricots

Lamb & Winter Squash Tagine with Apricots

After circling campus not once, but twice, before finding a parking spot, I jumped out of the car and half walked, half ran to the ATLAS building--one of my favorite buildings on campus when I was a student. It was probably just my favorite because it hosted a tea shop, but today I didn't have time to wait in line for a cuppa. 

The building was exactly the same but I still felt a bit lost, my years away from campus quickly piling up. When I finally found the basement, rows and rows of stackable chairs were already filled with students. A projector blasted light to a screen in the front, which said, "Kimbal Musk: Real Food For Everyone." 

I found a seat in the back--the only place there was room- and pulled Evernote up on my phone. Is this what it feels like to be a journalist? I wondered. 

When Kimbal emerged on stage there was applause, and he started into his presentation quickly. First, a quick background on his life, then a slide for each of his new ventures, all aiming towards to same goal: make the production of real food (i.e., not industrial food) scalable, so that everyone can be healthier, farmers are supported, and our food is good

I jotted down just about everything I heard, as is my note-writing style. Over the last year I have started writing a monthly food trend report at work, which is sent to our clients or whoever else signs up (if you're interested, you could sign up here). 

An hour later I was back on the street. My mind circled on what Kimbal said, the questions students asked, and questions I wished I had time to ask. I thought to myself, If I were a journalist, what would be the lead story here? As a marketer, just pretending to be a journalist for the morning, I was coming up short. I dove head-first into other work hoping an answer would just come to me.  

Instant Pot Lamb & Winter Squash Tagine with Apricots
Instant Pot Lamb & Winter Squash Tagine with Apricots

Of Kimbal's three projects, the one I am most familiar with is The Kitchen restaurants. When I was a kid, and my dad didn't feel like cooking dinner, we went out. The Kitchen was one of our hot spots, at least until it became impossible to get a table after 5pm. One of the first menus had the best butternut squash soup I've ever had, now glorified in my memory with impossible flavors.

However, it was his third project that inspired me the most: Square Roots is a plan for urban farming. (I know, I know, I skipped his second... but I was just trying to get to the recipe already! His second project is called Learning Gardens). While I have no background in farming, I have a romantic vision of what it means to grow your own food. That vision is squashed each time the seasons change--here in Colorado I can't expect to grow much past October. (This very morning, I went to water the few plants that survived our recent snow storm, only to find our hose was frozen through. So much for that plan). However, with a blog name like Foraged Dish, you can imagine that eating real food, that can be picked with your very own hands, lies near and dear to my heart. There's something spectacular about nurturing growth. Home grown, or locally grown food always tastes better to me. If nothing else, it's an emotional connection to the food, that triggers something in my brain, fooling me into thinking it's better tasting. 

While I'm still not sure what "lead story" a seasoned journalist would've found, I left inspired to do even more of my own urban homesteading. Something possessed me to download four books about building chicken coops yesterday, and two about backyard farming. The minute I planted the garden this spring, there was a sense it wasn't big enough. Next year, I told myself. Next year. 

This tagine is everything you want in a stew on a cold winter day. It is sweet from the squash, and spicy from the blend of spices. Both flavors pair perfectly with lamb. And it's easy to find local lamb, at least in these parts! Head to your farmers market, or ask your grocer if their lamb is local. You can use almost any type of winter squash (I would skip spaghetti squash, but butternut, kabocha, and pumpkin would all work well), so use something from a fall farm stand or better yet, something you grew this summer. The chickpeas are optional (obviously including them would make this dish not Paleo compliant), but I find they add something that would be missing otherwise. Then again, I'm just a sucker for chickpeas.

Instant Pot Lamb & Winter Squash Tagine with Apricots

Instant Pot Lamb & Winter Squash Tagine with Apricots

Published November 9, 2017 by
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Serves: 6   |    Total Time: 50 minutes


  • 1 pound cubed lamb shoulder
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 inches fresh ginger
  • 1/2 pound or medium-sized winter squash (I used Red Kuri, but kabocha, or butternut would all work well)
  • 1 tablespoon ras el hanout (buy it, or make your own - I used half of this recipe)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2-3 cups beef stock
  • 3/4 cup dried apricots
  • 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • Optional: 1 14-ounce can chickpeas (For Paleo, skip these)
  • For serving: A few leaves of cilantro
  • For serving: Cooked cauliflower rice, rice, quinoa or couscous


  1. Heat coconut oil in the bottom of your Instant Pot on the sauté setting. Dice onion, and add to the pot. Sauté until transparent.
  2. Add cubed lamb to pot, browning on all sides. Mince garlic and ginger, and add to pot. Stir.
  3. Cube the squash: first, cube the squash in half, and remove the seeds. (you can choose if you would like to remove the skin. I leave it on for kabocha and red kuri squash, as it gets quite soft). Dice into 1-inch cubes. Add to the pot, along with the ras el hanout, black pepper, salt, stock, dried apricots, canned tomatoes, and chickpeas, if using. Stir everything until incorporated. Then, secure the lid on the Instant Pot and set to “Stew” setting for 20 minutes.
  4. Once 20 minutes is up, release pressure. Serve over cauliflower rice/rice/quinoa/couscous, and top with a few cilantro leaves. Serve hot.

Instant Pot Lamb & Winter Squash Tagine with Apricots & Chickpeas

Hazelnut Cumin Orange Crusted Rack of Lamb (Paleo)

I went through a phase of not eating lamb. I was ten or eleven years old, and had spent the summer chasing my Grandmother's lambs around the farm. The still had tails. They always seemed happy. I named them all. My appetite for anything lamb was spoiled for years. 

Thank goodness that phase is over--these hazelnut crusted lamb ribs aren't just elegant and rustic; they're rich, tender and marbled, and good in that way that only meat on the bone can be. Meat on the bone is just extra somehow, with more flavor than boneless cuts. 

Racks of lamb are particularly good because they are simply stunning. They stand up of their own, casting long shadows on the table and calling for a bite. And since we eat with our eyes, they steal the show in every way possible. Toasted hazelnuts provide a crunch crust to this rack of lamb, and fresh orange zest keep it bright tasting. 

Since this rack was a bit "blue" when I sliced it, I laid each rib individually on the cooking pan, and returned them to the oven under the broiler. After no more than a minute, they were sizzling on the outside. 

While racks of lamb are usually a Christmas or Easter dish, this pairing of hazelnut, orange and cumin makes it feel like a perfect dish for the new year: winter citrus, warm nuts, a cumin zest. Served with garlic roasted carrots and rosemary garlic cauliflower mashers, this makes a filling meal perfect for entertaining or just eating on a night in! 

Hazelnut Cumin Orange Crusted Rack of Lamb

1 pound rack of lamb

3 tablespoons coconut oil, at room temperature

1 tablespoon avocado oil

1/4 cup hazelnuts

5 garlic cloves

zest of 3 oranges

1 tablespoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper


1. Pre heat the oven to 450°F. Remove the silverskin from the lamb (the thin layer of white over the bone side of the meat). Trim off extra fat. 

2. In a food processor, combine the garlic, hazelnuts, orange zest, salt, pepper, cumin, and avocado oil. Pulse until a course meal forms. 

3. Use your hands to rub the rack of lamb with the coconut oil. Press the hazelnut mixture onto the meat in an even layer. 

4. Lay the lamb meat-side down on a cooking pan. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until a meat themometer inserted into the middle reads 145°F for medium-rare, or 170°F for well done. 

5. Remove the meat from the oven, and allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving. 


Garlic Roasted Carrots:

5 large carrots

2 cloves garlic

Salt & pepper to taste

1 tablespoon avocado oil


1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. 

2. Mince the garlic. Chop the carrots into evenly sized pieces. Toss the carrots and garlic with the oil, salt, and pepper. Spread into an even layer in a baking dish.

3. Cook for 30-40 minutes, until carrots are tender all the way through and golden on the edges.


Rosemary Garlic Cauliflower Mashers

1 pound cauliflower florets

1 teaspoon garlic, minced and sautéed until golden

1 teaspoon coconut oil

2 tablespoons coconut milk

1 teaspoon rosemary

Salt & pepper to taste


1. Steam the cauliflower until tender. 

2. Add cooked cauliflower, garlic, oil, milk, and rosemary to a blender. Puree until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.

3. Serve warm.