Lamb proves a meat for all the seasons

Warm lamb with noodle salad
Warm lamb with noodle salad
Dr John Steadman, archivist of Portsmouth History Centre based at Portsmouth Central Library     Picture:  Malcolm Wells

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Easter is nearly upon us and that means it’s lamb season, or so you’d think.

Easter is nearly upon us and that means it’s lamb season, or so you’d think.

It might be traditional to dig out the mint sauce and serve up a spring roast, but author and cook Rosemary Moon says we should also be thinking about our lamb feasts later in the year.

‘If you look in the shops a lot of the lamb is from New Zealand. If you’re someone who likes to eat with the seasons, our local lamb meat is usually available late summer. And even beyond that in autumn, older lamb meat is delicious. It’s had chance to build up some character in terms of flavour.’

But as it’s tradition to serve it up at this time of year, Rosemary has plenty of tips about different cuts for the home cook.

The Chichester cook says a shoulder of lamb is great for stuffing with flavour-enhancing ingredients. One of her suggestions is a mix of sliced rhubarb, ginger, spring onion and soy sauce.

She says a leg is great for curries and a neck of lamb works well in an Irish stew, ‘I know people think of stew as a winter dish but if you cook the meat and potato slowly in the oven, stir fry the vegetables and maybe get some wild garlic and finely slice the leaves and add, it’s a delicious fresh dish.

Rosemary plans to hold a cooking with lamb session as part of the food courses at West Dean College in West Sussex later in the year.

But in the mean time you could try the recipe below from Simply Lamb and Beef, which promotes the Quality Standard Mark.

Warm lamb with noodle salad

(Serves 4)

· Ingredients

4 lean lamb leg or rump steaks

Salt and freshly milled black pepper

2tsp Chinese five-spice powder

2tbsp sunflower oil

1tbsp sesame seeds

4tbsp sweet chilli sauce

2tbsp plum or damson jam, softened with a little hot water

300g cooked egg or rice noodles, to serve

· For the salad

1 x 100g bag mixed salad leaves

175g fresh radishes, sliced

1 small red onion, peeled, halved and thinly sliced

3tbsp extra virgin olive oil

· Method

1. Place the steaks on a chopping board and season on both sides with the salt, pepper and Chinese five-spice powder.

2. Place the salad ingredients into a large bowl, season and drizzle with the olive oil.

3. In a small bowl, mix together the sweet chilli sauce and plum or damson jam.

4. Heat the sunflower oil in a large, non-stick wok or frying pan. Add the lamb and cook for four to six minutes on each side until cooked. Half way through cooking, add the sesame seeds.

5. Remove the lamb from the pan, transfer to a plate to rest for two to three minutes, then slice into strips.

6. Arrange the warmed noodles on a serving plate and add the salad, then arrange the lamb on top. Spoon over the sweet chilli dressing and serve immediately.

n Visit simplybeefandlamb.co.uk for more lamb recipes.