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Archive for the ‘Lamb’ Category

Moussaka

A rich, show-stopper version of a favourite dish. We remain torn between the richness of this version by Neil Perry and the fresh elegance of this Moussaka by Tamasin Day-Lewis. We love both.

Wine Suggestion: As this is a rich dish we looked for a similarly rich, but not too heavy wine and liked the Insoglio del Cinghiale, a Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot blend from Bolgheri. It was nice and lifted with dark fruit, blackberries, plums and hints of spice. The key was the medium weight with a youthful freshness, fine rounded tannins and a smooth finish. We suspect a nice earthy and voluptuous red Burgundy would also do very or a top quality Chianti.

Moussaka – serves 4 (generously)

  • 2 large aubergines, cut into 5 mm slices
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus a bit extra for brushing the slices of aubergine
  • 2 small onions, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 500g lamb mince
  • 90g tomato purée
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • a large handful of flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
  • 40g grated Parmesan cheese

FOR THE BÉCHAMEL SAUCE

  • 50g butter
  • 50g flour
  • 500ml warmed milk
  • 80g finely grated parmesan

Salt the aubergine slices on both sides and leave aside for an hour. Rinse the slices under running water and pat dry with kitchen paper. Brush lightly with olive oil and cook in a non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat for a few minutes on each side or until golden. Set the aubergine slices aside and wipe out the pan with some kitchen paper.

Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in the frying pan and cook the onions over a low heat for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to cook until the onions have softened. Add the lamb, then turn up the heat and stir-fry until browned. Season with salt, then add the tomato purée and cook for a couple of minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, the cinnamon stick and the sugar. Bring to the boil, then reduced the heat, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes. Remove the lid and simmer for a few more minutes to thicken slightly if needed. Remove the cinnamon stick and fold through the chopped parsley.

To make the béchamel, melt the butter in a saucepan, add the flour and stir over a low heat for a few minutes or until the mixture is bubbling.Gradually pour in the warm milk, stirring continuously, and cook until the sauce starts to boil and thicken. Stir in the Parmesan and season with salt and freshly grated white pepper if you have it.

Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF.

Layer the lamb and fried aubergine slices two or three times in a large ovenproof dish, starting and finishing with a layer of aubergine if you can manage it. Spread the béchamel over the top and sprinkle with the Parmesan.

Bake for 25-35 minutes or until hot through and golden brown on top. Leave to settle for 5 to 10 minutes before serving with a green salad.

(Original recipe from Neil Perry’s Good Cooking, Murdoch Books, 2016.)

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Shepherds pie

We made this from left-over slow roast lamb that we’d cooked for Sunday lunch. If you haven’t made Shepherd’s pie with cooked roast lamb we highly recommend it. Really comforting and delicious – there’s no better way to treat your leftovers!

Wine Suggestion: we opened a Domaine de Boède La Pavillon which is made by Chateau de la Negly close to Narbonne in the Languedoc. This wine may be just an IGP (the old Vin de Pays) but you can tell that just as much care has gone into this as the Chateau’s AC wines.  Juicy raspberry and cassis aromas with a touch of black pepper and cinnamon. A  round and generous palate is followed with silky tannins and hints of liquorice. Aim for a juicier style of wine with a medium body.

Shepherd’s Pie – serves 4 to 6

  • 25g butter
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 500g cooked lamb, cut into roughly 1 cm pieces
  • 25g plain flour
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 tbsp chopped chives
  • 700g mashed potato (made with some milk and butter)

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4.

Melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat until foaming, then add the onions and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes or until soft but not browned.

Stir in the flour and cook for a minute, then add the stock and tomato purée, bring to the boil and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the lamb and the chopped chives.

Pour the lamb mixture into an ovenproof dish and cover with the mashed potato.

Bake in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until golden brown and bubbling. Serve with some veg on the side.

(Original recipe from Rachel’s Everyday Kitchen, by Rachel Allen, HarperCollins, 2013.)

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Slow roast lamb with beans

Lamb cooked long and slow is really delicious and lamb shoulder is the perfect cut for feeding lots of people. It’s also much cheaper than lamb leg. We loved the creamy beans flavoured with the lamb juices and onions, perfect for Sunday lunch. We definitely recommend soaking and cooking dried beans for this (and most other) dishes but tinned beans will work fine too. Leftover lamb can be used in a really good Shepherd’s pie.

Wine Suggestion: cool climate Syrah is our pick and a very good example is the André Perret Saint Joseph which was fresh and lively with really juicy cherry and raspberry fruit and racy,  velvety spices. We tasted the 2015 which was joyfully youthful and should have years ahead of it. We may buy a few more bottles of this to put away for future lamb dishes.

Slow-roasted lamb with beans – serves 8 to 12

  • 50ml olive oil
  • 500g onions, peeled and sliced
  • 2kg shoulder of lamb, boned, rolled and tied
  • 6 sprigs of thyme and 2 tbsp chopped thyme leaves
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 x tins of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed or 250g dried cannellini beans – soaked and cooked (soak the dried beans in lots of cold water overnight. Drain and put in a large saucepan of fresh water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 45 minutes – 1 hour or until tender. Drain in a colander and allow to cool).
  • 200ml cream

Preheat the oven to 110 C/225 F/Gas ¼.

Put a large casserole dish on a low heat and heat 3 tbsp of the olive oil. Add the onions and season with salt and pepper, then cook very gently until soft and caramelised.

Meanwhile, put a large frying pan on a high heat and add the remaining oil. Season the lamb really well with salt and black pepper, then cook for 10 minutes, turning now and then, until the well-browned.

Put the lamb on top of the caramelised onions, add the thyme sprigs and garlic, cover with a lid and cook in the oven for about 6 hours or until very tender.

Remove the lamb to a warm plate and keep warm wrapped in some foil.

Drain the onions, thyme and garlic in a sieve set over a bowl. Leave the liquid to sit until the fat rises to the surface, then spoon it off (we have a separating jug which makes this job very easy!).

Discard the thyme sprigs and return the onions and garlic to the casserole dish. Stir in the beans, cream and chopped thyme and simmer for about 5 minutes. Season again with salt and pepper to taste.

Carve the lamb into thick slices and serve with the beans and some green veg.

(Original recipe from Rachel’s Everyday Kitchen, HarperCollins, 2013.)

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Three hour shoulder of lamb

A delicious summer roast with meltingly tender lamb and so simple to prepare. Serve with a fresh mint sauce and some steamed new potatoes.

Wine Suggestion: We tried two wines with great success: the Rustenberg Chardonnay from South Africa, and the Chateau du Hureau “Fevettes” Saumur-Champigny. Both had the needed structure, or bones, to stand up to the rich lamb, but also played a delightful fresh mid-weight tune with the summer veg.

Three hour shoulder of lamb – serves 4

  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp oregano, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 shoulder of lamb, boned and tied, approx 1½ kg
  • 400g pearl onions or shallots
  • 250ml lamb stock
  • 100g fresh/frozen peas
  • 100g fresh/frozen broad beans
  • 2 Little Gem lettuces, cut into quarters
  • juice 1 lemon
  • small handful mint or coriander, roughly chopped

Preheat your oven to 140C/120C fan/gas 1.

Mix the garlic, oregano and olive oil with some salt and pepper. Make cuts all over the the lamb with a sharp knife and rub the mixture into the meat. Put into a deep casserole dish with the onions and pour over the stock, cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook 3 hrs.

Remove the lamb from the pot and stir through the peas and broad beans. Sit the lamb back on top of the vegetables and return to the oven. Increase temperature to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and roast, uncovered, for another 20-30 mins until the lamb is browned, adding the lettuce for the final 5 mins. Allow to rest for 20 mins, then add the lemon juice and mint to the cooking juices. Carve into thick slices and lay them back on top of the veg to serve.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

 

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Lamb shoulder kebabs

These lamb kebabs from The Saffron Tales by Yasmin Khan are fabulous cooked over hot coals. Ask your butcher for lamb neck, it’s cheap and really tasty. Good served with saffron rice, herby salad and yoghurt with cucumber and mint. They were also good stuffed into some warm flatbreads with a radish and broad bean salad (see pic below).

Wine Suggestion: We chose the Poggio ai Ginepri which is a Cabernet, Syrah & Merlot blend from Bolgheri in Tuscany. The classic Bordeaux blend with the infusion of Syrah creates a balance of power and juiciness that works with the BBQ smokiness and the moist lamb with a good earthy spice that compliments the herbs and spices in the marinade.

Dr Asaf’s Juicy Lamb Kebabs – serves 4

  • 4 tbsp natural yoghurt
  • 1 small onion, finely grated
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ¾ tsp sumac, plus extra to garnish
  • a generous pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1¼ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 800g lamb neck fillet, cut into 2.5 cubes
  • 4 tomatoes, halved

Mix the yoghurt, onion, garlic, oregano, oil, sumac, salt and pepper together in a large bowl. Stir in the lamb pieces until well coated then cover with cling film and leave to marinade in the fridge for 2-3 hours. Don’t skip this as it will make the meat nice and tender.

Preheat the barbecue. Thread the lamb onto metal or wooden skewers (wooden ones need to be soaked for about 20 minutes before using). Cook the lamb kebabs and the tomato halves on the barbecue for 5-7 minutes or until cooked through.

Rest the meat for a few minutes and sprinkle with some more sumac before serving.

(Original recipe from The Saffron Tales by Yasmin Khan, Bloomsbury, 2016.)

Lamb kebabs with radish salad

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Pomegranate & slow cooked lamb couscous

This makes such a lovely weekend dish and looks really attractive served on a large platter in the middle of the table. It requires a few hours in the oven but is hardly any work at all and uses just a few ingredients.

Wine Suggestion: this dish cries out for a Moorish influenced wine and nothing quite achieves this more than a Spanish Tempranillo. Our choice of the evening was the Carmelo Rodero Ribera del Duero Crianza which is juicy, powerful and also manages to achieve a perfumed elegance with exotic eastern spice hints.

Pomegranate & slow cooked lamb couscous – serves 6

  • 2kg lamb shoulder (or get your butcher to give you a forequarter if the lambs are small)
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses, plus extra to serve
  • 300g couscous
  • butter
  • 1 tsp harissa
  • a small bunch of mint, leaves roughly chopped
  • seeds from 1 pomegranate

Heat the oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5.

Put the lamb into a roasting tin with the fatty side facing up. Scatter the onion around the lamb. Score the lamb with a sharp knife and rub in the pomegranate molasses with your hands. Season well. Add 2 mugs of water to the tin, then cover with foil and roast for 4 hours. Rest for 15 minutes before pulling chunks of the lamb off the bone with 2 forks.

While the lamb is resting, put the couscous into a large bowl with a large knob of butter, the harissa and seasoning, then add enough boiling water to just cover. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave for 5 minutes before fluffing the grains gently with a fork. Put the couscous onto a platter and arrange the shredded lamb on top. Pour off any fat from the roasting tin and pour the juices over the lamb and couscous plus a little more molasses. Scatter with the mint and pomegranate seeds.

(Original recipe by Lulu Grimes IN: BBC Olive Magazine, February 2014.)

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Howrah Express

Brown food is just not photogenic but this really is a delicious lamb curry. Lamb neck is one of our favourite cuts; cheap and meltingly tender when cooked slowly.

Wine Suggestion: We’ve yet to find a wine that we think works with the intense flavours in this dish. Try an Indian beer such as Singah.

Cinnamon Lamb Curry – serves 8

  • 4 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 8 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 x 400g tin of plum tomatoes
  • 1½ tsp garam masala
  • 1¼ tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1½ tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 1.2kg lamb neck fillet, chopped into chunks
  • 150ml full-fat yoghurt, whisked

Heat the oil in a large, heavy casserole dish over a medium heat. Add the onions when the oil is hot and fry until golden, about 8-10 minutes, then add the garlic and stir-fry for another couple of minutes.

Pour the tinned tomatoes into a bowl and crush a little with your hands before adding to the casserole. Cook for about 6 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.

Add the garam masala, chilli powder, cumin, cinnamon and salt, and mix. Add the lamb and cook until sealed all over. Add the yoghurt one spoon at a time while slowly stirring (to prevent splitting) and then add 200ml of warm water – you want it to just cover the lamb.

Bring the mixture to the boil, then cover and turn the heat to low. Simmer for 1½ hours or until the lamb is soft and falling apart. Take the lid off the pan and reduce the sauce to a consistency you like, then remove from the heat. Season to taste and serve with naan breads or steamed rice.

(Original recipe from Made in India by Meera Sodha, Penguin, 2014.)

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