1 lemongrass stalk
4 garlic cloves
1/2 bunch cilantro, stem and leaves seperated
1 shallot, chopped
2-4 thai chilies
1/2 cup salted, roasted peanuts
3 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 1/2 tsp demerara sugar
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 lb ground lamb
Cooked white rice, and garnishes like cucumber, lime or mint
Remove outer layers from lemongrass and cut into large pieces from the bulb end and slice the rest. Save the top portion for other uses. Process lemongrass, garlic in a food processor until finely chopped, then add the cilantro stems, shallot, 1-2 chiles. Pulse untily finely chopped. Transfer to a bowl, then add the peanuts and pulse until finely ground.
Whisk together lime juice, fish sauce and sugar and set aside as well.
Heat oil in a large cast iron skillet on high heat. Add lamb and flatten to a single layer and cook without moving until browned and crispy on the edges. Break up the meat and cool until completely cooked through. Transfer to a bowl with a slotted spoon to drain the fat.
Pour off all but 3 tbsp fat and reheat skillet on medium heat. Add the lemongrass paste until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the lime dressing and peanuts, then return the lamb. Toss until meat is coated and remove from heat. Check seasonings and add more fish sauce if desired.
Serve with rice, and desired garnishes.