It’s Spring! No really, it really is. Mind you sitting here right now in conditions that can only be described as ‘shite’, I’m wondering whether spring has already given up, summer won’t bother (again) and we’ll just go straight into autumn.
Nevertheless, in a desperate attempt to remain optimistic I decided to do something seasonal – lamb! However I wasn’t really in the mood for a big plate of meat and vegetables so I decided to do a taster plate.
Little samplers of lamb served with various sauce/condiment creations. I started with a leg of lamb and a lamb fillet and took it from there…
Slow-Cooked Leg of Lamb with a Madeira Sauce
Marinated Lamb fillet on a bed of mashed butter beans
Marinated Lamb fillet on a bed of onion puree
For the Leg of Lamb you will need
- 1 leg of lamb (duh!)
- 1 big carrot
- 2 sticks celery
- 1 onion
- Big bunch parsley
- Bouquet garni
- 1 parsnip
- 2 tbsp honey
- ½ bottle white wine
- ½ pint vegetable stock
- a good glug of madeira wine (and I do mean good)
First brown the lamb, whole, in a casserole in some oil for about 10 mins, turning regularly. Remove from the pot and set aside.
Add the chopped veg and herbs to the pan and fry for 10 mins until they start to soften.
Return the meat to the pan and add the honey and wine and stock.
Bring to the boil then put in the oven at 150 centigrade for about 2 to 2 ½ hours
Remove from the oven. The meat will fall off the bone – take the meat out carefully so that it doesn’t break up too much and set aside, leaving the bone in the pot with the vegetables.
Add some more wine and stock and leave to simmer.
After twenty minutes, remove the bones and strain the pot contents through a sieve. Return the liquid to a clean pan.
Add half a bottle of madeira wine and simmer until the sauce thickens to a consistency of your liking. Ten minutes before the sauce is ready and you want to serve, add the lamb back in and warm though as the sauce thickens.
For the Lamb fillet served with butter bean mash and onion puree you will need:
- 1 lamb neck fillet
- 1 tbsp English mustard
- ½ glass madeira wine (or port, or sherry)
- ½ pint of chicken stock
For the onion puree
- 2 white onions
- Knob butter
- 1 tsp sugar
- Pinch of salt
For the butter bean mash
- 1 tin butter beans
- splash of milk
- small knob of butter
- salt and pepper
Slice the lamb into chunks and place in a container. Mix in the stock, wine and mustard, cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for an hour.
Chop up the onion and gently fry for 10 mins in the butter, sugar and salt.
Once softened whizz with a hand blender. Heat up the beans, drain off the liquid and then whizz or mash with the milk, butter and seasoning.
Get a large saucepan and heat up with a bit of oil until its smoking. Fry the lamb quickly, turning (about 4 mins for medium rare lamb).
To serve place a piece of the lamb leg meat in one corner of a large plate. Drizzle some of the sauce over it.
Place a spoonful of onion puree on the plate and top with a piece of lamb fillet. Place a dollop of butter beans in the other corner and top with another lump of lamb fillet.
Finally garnish with redcurrant jelly and mint leaves. Or anything else that takes your fancy.
What was best? Well I do like a nice bit of fillet – especially rare like this version:
So Lamb Sampler – a way to eat lamb without bothering with vegetables…