Spring is underway now, tulips are in full bloom in gardens, birds are busy making nests and the weather is…well not the great today. However we have had some glorious days which means a certain Springtime ingredient is at it’s best now and that is wild garlic. I cannot get enough of this stuff every year and try and conserve it in ways I can enjoy it throughout the year. In this recipe, a butter. Once made and popped into the freezer, you certainly won’t be buying shop-bought Garlic bread anymore thats for sure!
This recipe is a quick way of turning some lamb chops into something a little bit more special using Spring’s seasonal ingredients.
The wild garlic butter gives colour and full flavour but still allowing the taste of lamb to come through.
The butterbean mash gives an alternative to potatoes giving it a lighter feel and also being a little more frugal.
Finally, the medley of veg “ Petit pois a la Francais” is a lovely alternative to do as a side dish for this recipe, fish and chicken.
Here is the recording when I cooked this on BBC Radio Leicester with Ben Jackson showing just how simple, quick yet so effective this recipe can be :- LISTEN HERE
Spring Lamb chops with a wild garlic and herb butter, butterbean mash and a medley of veg:
- 2-3 Spring lamb chops each depending on how big they are
- 1-2 tbsp rapeseed oil
- Sea salt ( I use pink himalayan but any will do ) and cracked black pepper to season
Wild garlic butter:
(Make this before hand and pop into the freezer)
- A block of unsalted butter
- a good handful of wild garlic ( if you haven’t got it, use normal garlic )
- a handful of fresh herbs chopped- flat leaf parsley, basil, I had. You could use Rosemary instead if you wanted to.
- 1/4-1/2 a lemon zest
- season if you wish
- 1 tin of Butterbeans drained and rinsed
- a drizzle of rapeseed oil
- sea salt and cracked black pepper to season
Medley of Veg:
- 6-7 lettuce leaves such as romaine, little gem or the innards of a round lettuce
- a few handfuls of frozen peas ( roughly 150g ) petit pois or garden peas defrosted and drained.
- 3-4 spring onions or baby leeks cut into 3 including the green ends
- 1/4 gel pot of chicken stock
- knob of butter
- a couple of sprigs of garden mint chopped finely
- sea salt and cracked black pepper to season
- Just cover your butterbeans in a saucepan with water, bring to the boil and simmer for a couple of minutes.
- In the meantime oil your lamb…not your pan and heat up your frying pan. Cook your Lamb for about 4 minutes each side for rare, more time for more well done.
- Drain your butterbeans and crush/mash with a masher only slightly, drizzle with oil and season. Keep warm.
- Rest your Lamb for about 5 minutes.
- Whilst this is resting bring to the boil your stock in 200ml of water and a knob of butter. Also season.
- Add in your Spring onions and cook for a minute, then add in your lettuce and peas, cover and cook for a further minute.
- Drain most of the liquid, add in a little more butter. Season if needed more, Pop in your chopped mint and stir.
– Melt your Wild garlic butter.
– Everything is now ready to serve.
I thought I’d share with you another recipe from my column that I did a couple of months back. This dish has been in my life for a long time and I always make these for many different occasions. I even make them for just a snack, they are that moorish!
So, I think the earliest memory of me having a version of this dish, must have been when I was only about 4 years old. But back then, they would wrap it all up in a large lettuce leaf. It is quite a retro dish for these days but I have come up with a version that I feel never dates or fails.
The sauce is something I have been having for years with these, noodle soups and Chinese dumplings so I thought I’d share that with you too. When you drizzle that sauce on top, it will give it a real kick.
I love serving these little cups when entertaining, they always look great served up on trays for people and they always seem to get an “ooh” when they come round. You can also use this recipe for a starter one night, a light Lunch or even on a Chinese banquet as my “Chinese nights” always seem to end up as!
They are very quick to prepare and they don’t break the bank to buy the ingredients either.
Lately I’ve being seeing a lot of Pork mince reduced so if you aren’t sure what to do with it, buy it and fear no longer.
Chinese pork lettuce cups:
– 1 tbsp of Rapeseed oil or you can use, sunflower or groundnut oil
- Pork mince 35og will make about 12 cups
- Half a green chilli chopped finely
- 4 Spring onions, half of pork mix, half for garnishing
- 1 tsp Chinese five spice blend ( I use Spice Kitchen )
- 1 tbsp of Light soy sauce ( Mine is from Wang Fung Hong in Leicester )
- 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
- small grating of fresh Ginger (about a small thumbnail amount)
- 2 Little Gem lettuces
- For the garnish: Thinly sliced cucumber
Thinly sliced Spring onion
Thinly sliced carrot (julienned)
Handful of fresh chopped coriander
Red chilli chopped finely
- 2 tbsp of Sriracha sauce ( Mine is from Wang Fung Hong)
- 1 tbsp of malt vinegar
- 1 tbsp Tomato ketchup
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce
- sprinkle of chilli flakes ( put more if you want it hotter )
- sprinkle of caster sugar
N.B If you find the sauce is too tangy, sometimes I add 1/2 tbsp Oyster sauce to this also.
- In a wok or a frying pan start to fry off the spring onion, garlic, chilli and ginger for only a minute.
- Add your pork mince and stir for a couple of minutes breaking up all clumps of the meat.
- As your pork mince is starting to turn brown, add in your Chinese five spice and again, stir for a couple of minutes
- Add in your soy sauce, stir and when your Pork is cooked, turn your heat down just to keep warm.
* Assemble your Pork mince into the lettuce cups, garnish and serve with your sauce.