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.
Last thing you need on a Sunday is to have yourself slaving over a Hot Stove cooking a Large Roast Dinner. Especially now the weather is beginning to become slightly warmer.
In this recipe, yes it does take some time, however, it is all in one pot as you can leave it to carry on with your Planned activities. Of course, it isn’t just a recipe specifically for Sunday’s but I chose this as an easier option for you.
This Recipe is Light, Fresh and Easy to do. You don’t want to overpower this either with bold flavours as you want to capture that Lovely Spring taste of the Lamb, the Sweetness of those Peas popping away in your mouth and a favourite of mine…The Pearl Barley being velvety along the stew’s juices.
I have used stewing Lamb in this as the bones will give the extra flavour you need. I personally like to pick up the Bones with my Hands and get every last Morsel I can Find.
A dish like this is always a great winner for me when you can pop it down as a talking point on the dinner table, tuck in and not to forget, there is a MUST for some Crispy Bread to mop up those last bits that have been sitting patiently at the bottom of your bowl.
This Recipe capture’s seasonality at its best, It can be done quite inexpensively and will have you craving for more.
Spring Lamb Stew with Vegetables and Pearl Barley:
(Serves 4-6 people depending on size of Lamb pieces you buy)
– 1 Kg Of British Stewing Lamb (approximately 8 pieces) You could use Neck of Lamb also
– 1 Tbsp of Rapeseed Oil
– A Splash of Dry White Wine
– 2 Onions Roughly Chopped
– 2 Large Garlic Cloves finely Diced
– 3 Tbsp’s Tomato Puree
– Homemade Chicken stock or 1 Stock pot (Knorr) to every 4 pieces of Lamb you have
– A good handful of Chantennay Carrots ( 200g roughly) Halved lengthways
– 100g Pearl Barley cooked before hand in a little Chicken stock
– 4 medium potatoes diced into cubes of 6. I used Shannon but any will do.Could even use new season Baby ones.
– 1 Large Leek sliced a centimetre thick.
– 5-6 Spring onions Sliced into 4
– Small Sprig of Rosemary chopped finely
– 100g of Petit Pois
– A few sprigs of Fresh Mint chopped finely
– A couple of Fresh Flat Leaf Parsley chopped finely
– Salt and Pepper to season
* Take your Lamb Pieces and pat dry with Kitchen Paper. Season Your Lamb with Salt and pepper if required.
* In a Heavy bottomed Casserole Dish/Large Saucepan heat up the Rapeseed oil and start to sear of the Lamb just till browned on the outside. Placing each pieces of Lamb into a separate dish once browned on the outside.
* Fry off your Chopped Onions for a minute or two.
* Add your splash of White wine to de glaze your large saucepan( allow juices to come away) Add Your Lamb, Chicken Stock and 2 Tbsp’s of Tomato puree. Cover with water covering everything.
* Simmer away for 1/1/2 – 2 hrs adding water when needed.
* Cook your Pearl Barley to packet instructions with a little chicken stock added and leave to one side.
* After 2 hours or when the Lamb is starting to soften and theres about 30 mins to go. Then add your Carrots, Garlic and Rosemary.
* Then pop in your potatoes after another 5 minutes.
* When your carrots are starting to soften, add your Leeks, rest of your tomato puree and the Cooked Pearl Barley.
* After another 5 minutes add your Spring Onions and Petit Pois. Only cook for a further 2-3 minutes
* By now the lamb should be falling off the bones and the veg all cooked. Now Finish with your Chopped Fresh Mint and Parsley
* Finally, Serve into Bowls with Crusty Bread