Nose to tail guide for Spring Lamb
Despite the best efforts of eastern beasts and storms called Eleanor, Spring is starting to arrive. As we exit our comfort food hibernation of casseroles, warming soups and one too many sponge puddings, fresh, green, vibrant ingredients are starting to grace our cooking pots. One staple of this time of year I can’t get enough of is Spring lamb. Perfect for Easter family gatherings with a number of amazing cuts offering a variety textures and opportunities to experiment with different cooking methods.
The classic Sunday roast. A relatively lean and tender cut compared to the shoulder, which loves a long, slow afternoon softening up in the oven. It’s most suited to a traditional roasting style, best friends with flavours like garlic, lemon and rosemary and fantastic roasted on the bone (it makes a spectacular centre piece to any dinner table). This recipe from The Avenue London Cookery School is nice and simple, lets the flavour of the meat speak for itself.
The rack is made of lots of little cutlets, which you can either cook whole or slice into individual chops and have a lot of finger lickin’ fun. One little hack I can recommend for an unusual ingredient that works beautifully with lamb is tinned anchovies….honestly! When cooked like this, they melt away and lose the intense saltiness that can put a lot of people off and give a really subtle richn, umami quality to the meat.
The neck is a slightly unsung cut of the animal, but is perfect for slow-cooking. Ideal if you are making a stew or curry. But as it’s warming up, we are recommending a slightly lighter way to cook it, without losing any of the flavour. Taste Collectiv’s tagine is exactly what the neck needs and is full of fruity North African flavours, the sprinkling of pomegranates at the end cuts through the rich, soft lamb.
Offal isn’t to everyone’s taste, but Paul Conboy’s liver and onions recipe could convince even the most squeamish of diners. It’s an incredibly economical way to get protein and iron into your body. Packed full of smokey, salty bacon, a nice hit of chilli and garlic, with some refreshing goats cheese and fresh parsley to give a little lift at the end.
Not strictly a lamb dish, but a vital ingredient is Pecorino Sardo, a hard sheep’s cheese from Sardinia. This traditional Sardinian recipe comes from A Kent Annos, our experts in all things culinary from the Mediterranean island.
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