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Rack of Lamb with a Mint Crust

by Susan Spaull. It is very easy and is delicious served with new potatoes and green beans. Serves 4.

2 x 7/8 bone racks of lamb, chined
2 slices of bread, crusts removed
1 tbsp French Mustard
2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
30g/1oz softened butter
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF. Remove as much fat from the surface of the lamb as possible and trim 2.5cm/1" of the meat from the pointy ends of the bones.

Process the breadcrumbs in the food processor or liquidiser to make crumbs. Place the breadcrumbs in a bowl and stir together with the mustard, mint and butter to make a paste. Season the surface of the meat with salt and pepper, then spread over the mint mixture. Place the lamb in the refrigerator to set the crust.

Place the lamb crust side up in a roasting tin then roast in the top third of the oven for 20-30 minutes. Cook for the shorter time for a small rack and pink lamb or a longer time for a larger rack or more well done lamb. Let the meat stand for 10 minutes before cutting between the bones into chops.

Lamb Cutlets with Caramelised
Roast Vegetables

by Andrew Nutter. You'll think you're in the Mediterranean with this dish. The flavours and textures must be tasted to be believed and the colours are out of this world!
Serves 4

12 lamb cutlets, trimmed of fat
6-8 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
Bunch of mixed herbs (basil, thyme and rosemary), coarsely chopped

For the roast vegetables:
1 aubergine
1 red pepper, seeded
1 yellow pepper, seeded
12 shallots, peeled and halved
12 new potatoes, half cooked and halved
4 tbsp olive oil
1 courgette, sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 tbsp honey
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 basil leaves, shredded

Place the lamb cutlets in a shallow dish and sprinkle with the olive oil, garlic and herbs.  Turn them in the mixture then cover and leave in a cool place for approximately 2 hours for the flavours to infuse.

Preheat the oven to 220ºC/425ºF/gas mark 7/fan oven 200ºC.
Cut the aubergine, red and yellow peppers into neat, small chip shapes.  Mix them with the shallots, new potatoes and olive oil.
Place them in a roasting tray large enough to take them in a single layer, and put them in the oven to roast for about 15 minutes.

Add the courgette to the vegetables in the roasting tray with the garlic and honey.  Stir to mix in the honey, season generously and return them to the oven for approximately 5 minutes more to give the vegetables time to caramelise.

Remove the cutlets from the marinade and season well.  Heat an empty frying pan over a moderate heat for 2-3 minutes to make sure the cutlets are seared the instant they come into contact with it. Fry them until they are golden brown.

Remove the vegetables from the oven and scatter the shredded basil over them.  Serve alongside the cooked cutlets.

This recipe is by Andrew Nutter, if you tried it and enjoyed it, then why not visit Nutters Restaurant, Edenfield Road, Cheesden, Norden, Tochdale OL12 7TY. Tel. 01706 650167. 

Roasted Lamb Shoulder

by Coralie Dorman

New season lamb shoulder
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp dijon mustard
2 crushed garlic cloves
2-3 tbsp olive oil

Take one new season lamb shoulder and put it on a rack in a roasting tin. Mix together the ginger, soy sauce mustard, garlic and oil. Smear this paste over the lamb and roast at about 300ºF/150ºC/gas mark 2 for about 4-5 hours. By this time you can forget about carving and just fork the meat off.

Braised Lamb Shanks with Winter Couscous Salad

by Hugo Arnold 

4 lamb shanks
olive oil
4 cloves
4 cardamom pods
1 6cm stick cinnamon
2 onions, peeled and finely chopped
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp hot paprika
2 tsp ground cumin
Tomato Puree
3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 litre chicken stock
2 carrots, peeled and very finely diced
2 sticks celery, peeled and very finely diced
2 turnips, peeled and very finely diced
400g cous cous
1 lemon

In a saucepan large enough to hold the shanks, heat four tablespoons of olive oil and brown them all over, set aside. Add the whole spices to the hot oil and after 30 seconds, add the onions and gently sauté for 10 minutes without colouring. Add the paprikas and cumin and cook for a further two minutes. Add the tomato puree, cook for five minutes taking care not to let anything burn (you may need to remove the pan from the heat a little bit) and then add the garlic. Add the tinned tomatoes, stock and the shanks. Gently bring to the boil, lower the heat and simmer for one and a half hours, or until the meat is tender.
Blanch the diced vegetables in salted boiling water until just tender. Combine the couscous with 400ml of boiling water, stir and cover with a tea towel. Leave for five minutes and then fluff up with a fork, at the vegetables, six tablespoons of olive oil and the juice of the lemon. Season with salt and pepper.
When the shanks are cooked, remove and keep warm. Skim off as much fat from the pan as you can using kitchen paper and reduce by one third. Serve the reduced sauce with the shanks and the couscous.

Hugo has written several books, including 'Outdoor Feasts: Of Barbecues and Picnics'.

Lamb Steaks with Chilli, Orange and Redcurrants

by Polly Tyrer.
A deliciously quick recipe for flash fried lamb steaks.  Serve with a butter bean mash and some crisply fried onions.
Serves 4

4 x leg of lamb steaks about 1cm/½" thick
Grated zest and juice of 2 oranges
1 tbsp olive oil plus extra for frying
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 fresh red chilli, deseeded and chopped
A handful of coriander, chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper
150mls/¼ pint chicken stock
1 tbsp redcurrant jelly
2 tbsp fresh or frozen redcurrants

Trim any excess fat from the lamb steak.  Mix together the orange zest and juice, olive oil, vinegar, chilli and coriander.  Pour over the lamb steaks, cover and leave to marinade for several hours or overnight.

Drain the meat, reserving the marinade.  Season the meat with salt and pepper.  Mix the marinade with the chicken stock.
Brush a film of oil over a heavy based frying pan or griddle.  Heat until almost smoking.  Fry the meat briskly on both sides until dark brown.  When cooked the meat should give a little when pressed in the middle with the fingertips. Transfer to a dish and keep warm.

Pour the stock and marinade into the frying pan.  Allow to sizzle up, stirring all the time to remove any sticky sediment from the bottom of the pan.  Boil until reduced by half.  Add the redcurrant jelly and continue to boil until shiny and syrupy.

Check for seasoning. Serve the lamb steaks on individual plates with a little sauce poured over. Decorate with redcurrants.

Polly Tyrer has written books including 'Just Another Bite', and more recently 'Leith's Vegetarian Bible'.

Lamb & Apricot Pie

by The Earl of Bradford.
This is a speciality from Porters English Restaurant, as originally invented over 23 years ago, and now seen on menus all over Britain as a traditional English pie!
Serves 4/6

3lbs diced lamb
2fl oz vegetable oil
1½ lbs diced onions
4oz plain flour
3 dessert spoons tomato puree
½ pt lamb stock
500gm tin apricot halves
2 dessert spoon mint sauce
Pinch of salt & pepper

Pour the oil into a large pan and place on a high heat. Fry the diced lamb until the meat is sealed. Reduce the heat and add the onions, salt and pepper.  Cook until the onions have become transparent. Add the flour and tomato puree; allow to cook for four to five minutes.

Add the stock and bring to simmering point, cook until the meat is tender.  The longer the better. Drain and add the apricots and mint sauce, adjust seasoning as required.

Transfer to a pie dish and cover with either short crust or puff pasty, trimming off any excess and pinching the edges so that it adheres to the dish.  Lightly brush with egg wash.

Make half a dozen or so small incisions in the pastry and place in a moderate oven, 180ºC, and cook until golden brown.
Serve with seasonal vegetables.

Balsamic Lamb Steaks with Pickled Cucumber & Humus

By Alastair Hendy 
Serves 4

8 lamb chops, or 4 thick lamb leg steaks
Sea salt and black pepper
2 cloves garlic, sliced
4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp caster sugar
1 cucumber
4 tbsp white wine vinegar
Handful fresh dill, roughly chopped
1 small tub humus
1 good loaf of bread, thickly sliced

Toss the lamb chops/steaks in a container with the salt, pepper and the garlic. Mix the balsamic vinegar with 1tbsp of the sugar and pour over the chops/steaks and leave to bathe for 2 hours or refrigerated overnight. An hour before cooking, slice the cucumber in half lengthways, then shred each half on the diagonal into strips. Mix the remaining sugar with the white wine vinegar and the dill, pour over the cucumber and leave to marinate.

When ready to eat remove the lamb from its marinade and grill for about 3-4 minutes on each side or until done to how you like it. 

When cooked, slice each chop or steak on the diagonal into chunks and drain the cucumber of its marinade. Toast some bread, or warm a pitta or tortilla and use to sandwich a mixed stack of caramelised lamb and pickled cucumber and stick the lot together with a good slather of humus. Season again and eat.

From Alastair Hendy's popular 'Cooking for Friends: Stylish Recipes'.

North Indian Koftas

by Roopa Gulati 
Serves 6

½kg minced lamb
1 egg
3 tbsp chopped coriander
1 medium onion
1" root ginger
1 green chilli
½tsp cinnamon powder
6 tbsp vegetable oil

2 cardamoms
4 cloves
1" cinnamon stick
2 medium onions
1" root ginger
1tsp turmeric powder
250g tomatoes

First make the kofta mixture - peel and roughly chop onion and ginger, split and remove seeds from green chilli and place all ingredients for the koftas along with the salt in a food processor.  Blitz for two minutes to blend the ingredients.
For the sauce - finely chop onions, grate the ginger, and peel, de-seed and chop tomatoes. Set aside.

Shape the meat mixture into small balls, about the size of a walnut and shallow fry in hot oil until coloured but not cooked through.  Remove koftas from pan, turn the heat down low, and make the sauce in the same pan.

Toss whole spices into the hot oil, and after a few seconds add the finely chopped onion.  Stir fry until onions turn colour, then add ginger, turmeric and tomatoes to the pan.  Continue frying for a further five minutes, or until the tomatoes take on a rich deep colour. 

Pour in about 250ml hot water, bring to a simmer and return koftas to the pan along with any meaty juices.  Season with salt and simmer for about twenty minutes, or until the koftas are tender.

Serve hot with boiled basmati rice.

Roopa is author of the 'Good Morning India' Cookbook. 

Lamb Casseroled in Ale
with Prunes & Raisins

From 'The Art of Dining: a History of Cooking and Eating' by Sara Paston-Williams
Serves 4

4 lamb steaks, approx. 675g (1½lb)
25g (1oz) butter
15ml (1tbsp) vegetable oil
1 large onion, finely sliced
600ml (1 pint) real ale
½ tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped, or ½ tsp dried rosemary
½ tbsp fresh thyme, chopped, or ½ tsp dried thyme
30ml (2 tbsp) fresh parsley, chopped
½ tsp ground allspice
2 or 3 whole cloves
50g (2oz) raisins
freshly milled black pepper and salt
25g (1oz) fresh white breadcrumbs
225g (8oz) prunes, stoned
4 slices wholemeal bread
orange slices, to garnish

Heat the butter and oil in a heavy casserole dish and brown the lamb steaks quickly on both sides. Remove with a slotted spoon and set on one side.

Reduce the heat and cook the onions in the remaining fat until soft.  Replace the meat in the casserole and cover with ale.  Add the herbs, spices and raisins, then season with salt and pepper.  Cover tightly with a lid and place in a moderate oven (180°C, 350°F, gas mark 4) for 30 minutes.

Add the breadcrumbs and prunes and return to the oven for a further 30 minutes, or until the lamb is tender.  Check the seasoning and adjust as necessary then serve each lamb steak on a slice of toast. Pour over the gravy and garnish with slices of orange before serving.

Sara is the author of several books including The Art of Dining: A History of Cooking.

Wood Roast Leg of Lamb

by Terence Conran 
Serves 6 - 8

1 leg of lamb
4 cloves of garlic
A few sprigs of rosemary and thyme
20g rock salt
Black pepper

Get your butcher to 'butterfly' the lamb, that is to take out all the bones and open it up.  About three hours before you want to cook the lamb light the fire and keep it going until you have a nice bed of really hot cinders and no flames.  

Meanwhile mash the garlic, rosemary and thyme with the rock salt in a pestle and add a few drops of olive oil - not too much - just enough to make a bit of a paste.  Smear this on the lamb, both sides, grind some black pepper on it and leave in a cool place until time to cook.  Depending on the size of your grill,, you may need to cut the lamb into 2 pieces.  Put the lamb on the grill, gat side down and cook it for about 15 minutes – it will flare up from time to time, but a good device is to have a spray bottle of water to extinguish the flames as they happen.  Turn the lamb over and cook the other side for about 10 to 15 minutes, depending on how pink you like the meat.  when it's cooked allow it to rest for about 10 minutes then carve into thickish slices.  It should be charred on the outside and pink in the centre.  Serve this with baked potatoes or pommes dauphinoise and a green salad.

Sir Terence owns 25 restaurants including The Blue Bird, Mezzo and Quaglino's.

Sizzling Lamb with Ginger
and Chinese Wine

by Terry Tan
This is a classic North Chinese recipe, often served on a sizzling hot plate in restaurants.  It uses the best cut of lamb and is best served with plain noodles or rice.
Serves 4     
Preparation time: 25 minutes

300g fillet of lamb
2 tbsp oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tbsp shredded ginger
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tbsp Chinese wine or sherry
4 stalks spring onions
1 tsp cornflour blended with a little water

Cut lamb into thin 2 inch pieces and tenderize a little with the blunt edge of a cleaver.  Marinate for 10 minutes in sesame oil, oyster sauce and wine.
Heat a wok with oil and fry garlic and ginger for 1 minute.  Drain off marinade and stir fry lamb for 1 minute until well sealed.
Cut spring onions into 1 inch lengths and toss into wok.  stir for 1 minute and add remaining marinade.  Stir for 30 seconds over high heat and serve immediately.
Note: If a cast iron hot plate is used, heat for 20 minutes in a hot oven or directly on a gas flame and transfer lamb to this dish.  It is a perfect winter warmer.

Terry is a food writer, chef, cookbook author and does cookery demonstrations, he recently completed a video for The British Meat Board, and was Chinese and Southeast Asian consultant for HP Foods, responsible for developing recipes and sauces.  He also has his own website at

Rack of lamb with black olives

From 'Simply British' by Sybil Kapoor 
Serves 6

2 short cut pairs of best end lamb (also sold as 4 French trimmed racks of lamb), boned and stripped of fat and sinew
8 tablespoons olive oil
10 sprigs thyme
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
freshly ground black pepper
140ml/1/4 pint dry Martini
285ml/1/2 pint reduced lamb stock (see below)
12 black olives, stoned and cut into strips
115g/4oz cold unsalted butter, diced

This recipe depends on a well-made lamb sauce as suggested below.  Thus prepared it makes superb dinner party dish, as very little work is required to take it to the table yet it tastes divine.  It is particularly good served with a potato gratin.

Rack of lamb is one of the easiest meats to bone, although if you are worried any butcher will do it for you.  If you wish to bone it yourself, run your knife down along the bones, following their line, until the tiny ribs come away.

Trim the lamb fillets of any fat and remove the fine blue skin by running a sharp knife just underneath it.  Mix together the marinade ingredients and coat the lamb fillets. Cover and chill for 12-24 hours.

Preheat the oven to its highest setting.  Shortly before you are ready to serve, reduce the dry Martini to 3 tablespoons by boiling it vigorously in a non-corrosive saucepan. Add the reduced lamb stock, bring to the boil, then add the olives and set aside.

Remove the fillets from their marinade and season with salt. Place a frying pan over a high heat and sear the lamb in this, colouring every side, before transferring to a roasting tray. Spoon over any excess marinade and roast for 10 minutes for medium rare.

Allow to rest while you finish the sauce.  Return the black olive gravy to the boil, then reduce the heat and whisk in the butter. Check the seasoning then serve immediately with the lamb, which should be carved in thick slices.

Note:  If you are in a rush and need to prepare the lamb quickly, cut the fillets into thick slices and marinate (covered and chilled) for 1-2 hours.  Then, when you are ready to serve, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a hot frying pan, season the slices and fry in batches, searing each side until just coloured. Keep warm until all the lamb is cooked.

A Good Lamb Gravy

Serves 6

Lamb bones, e.g. leg or shoulder
2 small unpeeled onions
2 leeks, roughly chopped
3 trimmed carrots, roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic
2 outer stems celery, roughly chopped or 1/2 small peeled celeriac, roughly chopped
2 ripe tomatoes, halved
1/2 bottle good red or white wine
2 large sprigs parsley
1 bay leaf
1 sprig thyme
3 black peppercorns
3 cloves

Known in some circles as 'jus' there is only one way to produce a truly superb lamb gravy and that is by making a good lamb stock.  To quote the Hermit in Lady Llanover's extraordinary book on Welsh cookery, The First Principles of Good Cookery (1867): 'No one can have a gravy properly prepared from the same leg of mutton which is just roasted, because there is not time for the fat and gravy which are necessarily mixed together to cool, which process must take place before every particle of the fat can be removed from the gravy.'  Although it has become unfashionable to make home-made stock, it is well worth the small amount of effort required.  If you are ever in any doubt I suggest you read the ingredients list on a packet of stock cubes, which invariably includes monosodium glutamate, a taste enhancer.

When it comes to stock it is not necessary to worry about exact quantities – rather it is a matter of what you have in the fridge and how large your saucepan is. Naturally the more vegetables you add the more complex the final flavour of your sauce, but treat the following ingredients list as a guide rather than a rule.  In the past I have resorted to using the bones and trimmings of 4 lamb racks, omitted the onions and added some dry martini instead of wine and it still tasted good.  However, it will taste all the better if you can persuade a friendly butcher to give you some extra bones.  If he is particularly kind, ask him to break them into several pieces.

Preheat the oven to its highest setting.  Arrange the lamb bones in a large roasting pan and roast until their fat begins to run and the bones are beginning to colour.  A wonderful smell of roast lamb will fill the kitchen.

Wash the onions and remove their roots before roughly chopping, skin and all.  Add al the vegetables, including the tomatoes, to the lamb bones and mix thoroughly so that they are well coated in fat.  Continue to roast, stirring occasionally, until they have turned a beautiful golden brown and the lamb is well coloured.  On no account let anything burn, as this will make your stock taste bitter.

Remove from the oven and carefully transfer the lamb bones and vegetables to a large non-corrosive saucepan, leaving as much fat as possible in the bottom of the roasting tray.  Pour this off and save for roast potatoes or lambs stews.
Add the wine to the roasting tray and place over moderate heat.

Using a wooden spoon, vigorously scrape off any caramelised bits from the bottom of the pan as the wine comes up to the boil.

Tip this into the stock-pot along with the herbs, peppercorns and cloves.  Finally, add enough cold water to fill the saucepan.
Place over a high heat and bring to the boil, skimming off any scum. Then reduce the heat and simmer gently for about 3 hours. As the stock cooks it will reduce and intensify in flavour.

If you have only a relatively small saucepan you may need to replenish the water as it reduces to ensure that you have plenty of well-flavoured stock.  The broth is ready once it tastes good.
It is important to simmer stock, as boiling can make it cloudy by suspending tiny particles of fat or debris throughout the broth, rather than letting them float to the surface.

Once cooked to your satisfaction, carefully strain the stock through a fine sieve into a clean container.  Allow to cool, then chill.  Once cold (and set) a thin layer of white fat will cover the surface of the stock.  Remove this, then pour the stock into a non-corrosive saucepan and boil vigorously until it has a wonderfully rich lamb flavour.  Do not over-reduce to a syrupy consistency as this will make it taste like Marmite.  Chill and freeze what you do not need.  Otherwise your gravy is now ready for use.

Sybil is the author of several excellent books, such as 'Simply British' from which the above recipe is taken.

Breast of Lamb Ste Ménéhould

1 breast of lamb
2 carrots, sliced
2 onions, sliced
a glass of white wine
a glass of water
a sprig of rosemary, or thyme, or both
salt, fresh ground black pepper

to finish:
one egg, beaten
dried breadcrumbs
100g butter, melted

The breast of lamb is the giveaway cut of the animal (in some butchers’ shops literally), yet most British cooks these days have probably never got to grips with one. If that includes you, you’re missing out.

This dish, originally brought to our attention by Elizabeth David, is the one to make you a convert.  It’s something that will delight anyone who is ever excited by the words “crispy” and “breadcrumbs” in a recipe.

Place the breast of lamb in an oven-proof dish or casserole, cut into two halves if necessary to fit, with the carrots, onions and herbs scattered under and over it and the wine and water poured over. Season well with salt and pepper and cover the dish with foil (or its lid).

Bake in an oven preheated to 140ºC for two and half to three hours, removing the dish to turn and baste the breast two or three times, until the meat is completely tender.   

As soon as the meat is cool enough to handle, slip the rib bones out of the meat by tugging gently with your fingers. Press the boneless breasts between two chopping boards, or two flat plates, with a weight on top (a few full jam jars or large tomato tins will do). Leave in a cool larder or the fridge for a couple of hours, or overnight.

To finish the dish, slice the cold, pressed breast meat into two-finger width, one-finger length slices. Brush the slices with a little mustard, dip in beaten egg, and press firmly into a bowl of breadcrumbs so they are well coated. Arrange on a wire rack in a roasting tin, brush each with a little melted butter, and place in the centre of an oven pre-heated to 180º C. After 15 minutes, turn on the oven grill (if it doesn’t have one whack the oven up to maximum heat), to get them very crisp (a touch blackened but not incinerated), first on one side, then the other.

Serve on hot plates, to waiting guests, with a piquant sauce, such as tartare, salsa verde, or simply a very mustardy vinaigrette. To make this a meal, rather than a starter or snack, extend the accompaniments to a pile of creamy mash and a watercress and orange salad. 

Fom Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's book "Meat". Hugh has written several books including 'The River Cottage Cookbook'.

Shepherd’s Pie

This recipe can be made with either minced lamb (shepherd's pie), or minced beef (cottage pie).
Serves 4

1lb (450g) minced lamb
1 tbsp olive oil
2 medium onions peeled and chopped
3 oz (75g) carrot, peeled and chopped very small
3 oz (75g) swede, peeled and chopped very small
1/2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp plain flour
10 fl oz (275ml) fresh lamb stock
1 tbsp tomato puree
Salt & black pepper

For the topping:
2 oz (50g) mature Cheddar coarsely grated
2 medium leeks, cleaned and cut into 1/2 inch slices
2 lb (900g) Desiree or King edward potatoes
2 oz (50g) butter
Salt and pepper

Take the frying pan or saucepan and over a medium flame, gently heat the olive oil. Now fry the onions in the hot oil until they are tinged brown at the edges - about 5 minutes. Add the chopped carrot and swede and cook for 5 minutes or so, then remove the vegetables and put them to one sid. Now turn the heat up and brown the meat in batches, tossing it around to get it all nicely browned. You may find a wooden folk helpful here, as it helps break up the mince. After that, give the meat a good seasoning of salt and pepper, then add the cooked vegetables, cinnamon, thyme and parsley. Next stir in the flour, which will soak up the juice, then gradually add the stock to the meat mixture until it is all incorporated.

Finally, stir in the tomato puree. Now turn the heat right down, put the lid on the pan and let it cook gently for about 30 minutes.
While the potatoes are done, drain off the water, return them to the saucepan, cover with clean tea cloth to absorb the steam and leave them for about 5 minutes. Next add the butter and mash them to a puree - the best way to do this is with an electric hand whisk. Don't be tempted to add any milk here, because the mash potato on top of the pie needs to be firm. Taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary. When the meat is ready, spoon it into the baking dish and level out with the back of the spoon. After that, spread the mashed potato, scatter the cheese over the leeks and bake the whole thing on a high shelf of the oven for about 25 minutes, or until the top is crusty and golden.

Source: 'Delia Smith, How to Cook: Book 2'.


1lb (450g) Lamb Mince
3 Aubergines, cut into rounds about 1/2 inch thick
8 oz (225g) onions sliced
2 cloves of Garlic
Olive oil
2 tbsp tomato puree
75ml red/white wine
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper
For the Topping:
3 oz (75g) butter
3 oz (75g) plain flour
1 pint milk
2 oz (50g) Cheddar cheese (grated)
Freshly grated nutmeg
2 eggs

Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4 / 350°F / 180°
Sprinkle the aubergine slices with salt and put them in a colander, place a plate and a weight on top of that and leave for 30 minutes to drain off some excess moisture. Meanwhile fry the onions and chopped garlic in some oil for about 5 minutes, then add minced Lamb to the pan to brown. In a bowl mix together the tomato puree, wine, cinnamon and parsley, season with a little salt and pepper, then pour over the meat and onions when browned. Stir well and leave to simmer for about 20 minutes.

Heat some oil in another pan, dry the aubergine slices in kitchen paper, then fry each one until golden-brown on both sides. Once browned leave the aubergines on kitchen paper to drain (as the aubergines soak up the cooking oil). When the aubergines are done arrange in a casserole dish and spread part of the meat on top, followed by another layer of aubergine- until everything is incorporated.

Next make the topping for the moussaka. Melt the butter in a saucepan and stir in the flour until smooth, then add the milk gradually stirring vigorously with each addition until you have a smooth white sauce. Next stir in the grated cheese, followed by a little salt, pepper and freshly ground nutmeg. Allow the sauce to cool, then whisk up the eggs, first on their own then into the sauce. Pour the sauce over the meat and aubergines, then bake (uncovered) for an hour until the top is fluffy-golden.

Meat Maharajah

Make this at least two days in advance to allow the flavours to develop, or even weeks before and freeze it – equally brilliant.

4 tbsps ghee (or oil)
2 large onions, coarsely chopped
1-inch cube of ginger root, peeled and chopped
4-6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 fresh green chilli, seeded and chopped
1-2 dries red chillies
125g set natural yoghurt
1 tsp black cumin seeds
2 tbsps white poppy seeds, finely ground
1kg leg of lamb, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 tsp salt or to taste
2 tbsps ground almonds
2 tbsps chopped coriander leaves
1 tbsp lemon juice
25g pistachio nuts, lightly crushed
Mix the following 4 ingredients in a small bowl:
3 tsps ground coriander
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ground turmeric
qtr tsp ground black pepper

Melt 2 tbsps ghee and fry the onions, ginger, garlic green and red chillies for 3-4 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Put the yoghurt into a food processor, add the onion mixture and blend to a puree. Set aside.

Heat the remaining ghee over a low heat and add the black cumin, followed by the spice mixture and poppy seeds. Stir fry for approx 1 minute.

Add the meat, increase heat to medium -high and stir fry until the meat changes colour (4-5 minutes). Cover the pan and let the meat cook in its own juice for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the blended ingredients and mix thoroughly. Rinse out the blender with 175ml warm water and add this to the meat. Stir in the salt and bring the liquid to the boil, cover the pan and simmer until the meat is tender (approx 30-40 minutes) Stir occasionally during the first part of the cooking time, but more frequently towards the end as the sauce thickens.
Stir in the ground almonds and half the coriander leaves, cook uncovered for 2-3 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and add the lemon juice, mixing well. Sprinkle the remaining coriander leaves and the pistachio nuts on top and serve.

Lamb Maharajah is from an Indian cookbook by Mridula Baljekar

Lamb Shanks (Slow Cooked)

This seems to appear on pub menus, and in the interests of research; we’ve tried a few, over the length of the country. The curious thing is that when ordering, you’re asked whether you’d like mint gravy or redcurrant jelly gravy or both! We think the point of the dish is that the shanks should be served in the gravy in which they’re cooked, rather.than adding one afterwards. That said, nowhere in the country were we disappointed.

In common with a lot of “slow cooking” this is dead easy-bung it all in, leave to cook, in the oven and come back to a plate of steaming excellence.
Serves 6

6 lamb shanks
Plain flour for dusting
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 onions, finely sliced
a handful of chopped thyme, oregano, rosemary and a bay leaf
6 cloves of garlic, chopped
150ml (5 fl oz) white wine (red is also interesting)
300 ml (10 fl oz) stock

Pre heat oven to 200C, 400F, Gas mark 6. Or you can cook it on the hob. Dust the shanks in the flour seasoned with salt and pepper.

In a casserole, heat the oil and brown the shanks on all over and remove. Brown the onions, add the herbs and garlic and cook for another couple of minutes. Raise the heat, add the wine and bubble furiously for a minute or two. It’s important to cook the wine through. Add the stock. Return the shanks to the pan. Cover closely. Cook in the oven for about 3 hours, or at a low heat on the hob. If you like garlic, stir in a crushed clove or two an hour before serving.

Serve with lots of polenta or mashed potatoes, with a steamed cabbage cut in quarters.

Peak District Farm Shop Menu

Grove Farm, Stanshope, nr. Ashbourne, Derbyshire DE6 2AD | Tel: 01335 310436 | • Email
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