Our Head Chef’s Spring Lamb Recipe
24 February 2021 / Food and Drink /
Spring is almost upon us and as Easter has fallen early this year, we’ve called upon our Head Chef, Luke Reeves to share a mouth-watering recipe and some top tips to help you cook a delicious spring lamb.
Where should I buy lamb?
One positive that has come from the pandemic is that the farms that would only supply top restaurants now deliver to your door.
Spring lamb is normally at its best from the end of March to the end of May, but speaking to suppliers and farmers lambing season has come early, which is perfect considering the Easter weekend is also early this year. There are farms up and down the country that produce the finest quality of meat, notably the salt marshes in Wales or lamb from Suffolk or Stonehenge. However I suggest shopping local and supporting small suppliers that are struggling whilst many hotels and restaurants remain closed.
Which part should I cook?
The whole lamb is a fantastic product, however my recipe below is for everyone’s favourite, the lamb rack. The shoulder is easy for beginners as the oven does the work for you, just make sure you buy a great product as spending a little more goes a long way. I also love a good Barnsley chop as it has the best of both worlds – two lamb cutlets with a big bone in the middle to hold the heat and pack your dinner full of flavour.
What about marinades?
With all marinades, remember – the longer the better. If you can give the marinade 12-24 hours on the meat then that is great. If you’re cooking a shoulder, you could ask your butcher to butterfly the cut (removing the bone), then you can marinade with anything. Some options for you are: rosemary, garlic, lemon zest and fennel seed, a homemade chimichurri or for spice lovers, harissa is fantastic with lamb. Other options are finishing your dish with harissa yoghurts, aioli, salsa verde, pumpkin or beetroot hummus.
Roasted lamb rack with mustard and a herb crumb recipe
- 1 lamb rack, French trimmed and chimed
- 500g of day old sourdough or white bloomer
- 300g of fresh herbs – I suggest Rosemary, mint, parsley, thyme, sage and bay leaves
- 50g English mustard
- Maldon sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees.
- Season the lamb heavily with salt and pepper, then sear in a medium heated pan skin side down for at least 8 minutes, moving the lamb around occasionally to let the air get under the fat which gives you a crisp finish.
- Turn your lamb over and sear on all sides.
- Put the lamb on a tray sat on a bunch of rosemary and place in the oven for 12 minutes.
- Cut the crusts off your stale bread, wash and dry your herbs, then in a blender or Nutribullet blend both with a pinch of salt until the crumbs turn bright green. Pour into a tray and leave to one side.
- Take the lamb out of the oven, brush with the English mustard and whilst holding onto the bones of the Lamb rack, roll it mustard side down into your beautifully fresh green bread crumbs. It is very important that you then rest the lamb rack for as long as you cooked it to ensure a tender and succulent finish.
- Serve with a summer salad of peas, watercress, broad beans, mint and goat’s cheese or ricotta. Or if you prefer, classics such as dauphinoise, tender stem broccoli and mint sauce; just remember you have mint in your crumbs and the spring lamb will be seasonally sweet.