Lamb Pot Stickers with Cool Yoghurt Sauce
Pot stickers have long been a favourite, usually using things that are leftover or easily available. This ground lamb filling opens a variety of options for the spicing. I have gone the Middle Eastern route, with sweet seasonings. (Pot sticker moulds are available at cooking supply stores everywhere for a few dollars. They give the pot stickers a crinkle-edge finish.)
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 large onions, sliced
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 lb. lean ground lamb
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, preferably Tellicherry
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. ground cardamon
1/2 tsp. cayenne
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
2 sweet potatoes, peeled, boiled and mashed
1 package thin wonton wrappers
1 large egg, beaten
1 recipe Cool Yogurt Sauce
1. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat and add the oil and butter. Stir in the onions and cook until they are caramelized and a deep dark colour, about 20 minutes. Add the sugar and cook 10 minutes more, stirring frequently.
2. Meanwhile, heat another pan. Add the lamb and fry over medium-high heat until it begins to brown. Stir in the cloves, salt, pepper, cinnamon, cardamon, cayenne and nutmeg. Stir well to combine the flavours.
3. Using a fork, break the lamb up so it is fine and even in texture, without any clumps of meat. Stir in the browned onions and sweet potato. Mix well to distribute the ingredients evenly. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Let cool.
4. To assemble, lay the wonton wrappers on your work surface. Place a generous tablespoon (15ml) of the filling in the centre of each wrapper. Brush the edges of the wrapper with the egg. Fold the wrapper over and press the edges shut. Repeat until all the filling is used up.
5. Heat a non-stick 10-inch (25cm) pan with 1/2 cup (120ml) water. Add the wontons to the pan and steam them until the water evaporates. Add a small amount of oil and fry the pot stickers for about 1 minute on each side, until they are golden brown. Server with the yogurt sauce.
Cool Yoghurt Sauce:
2 cups Balkan-style yogurt
1/2 lemon, juice only
2 tsp. chopped fresh mint
1 tsp. ground cardamom
1 tsp. sea salt
Mix all the ingredients together.