Monday, 19 May 2008

What happened to the breast of lamb

Confession time. I've never cooked breast of lamb before, having been put off by the decidedly fatty boned, rolled roasts of my youth. But at £5.19 a kilo for organic lamb it's too good a bargain not to try.

Last night I slow-roasted it on the bone, as advocated by Graham the butcher - slightly too long I think. It was so lean that it dried out a little. But with the creamy chard gratin, the beet greens and a few roasted spears of asparagus from the farmers' market it was a feast.

Unusually for me I tackled the leftovers straight after the meal, pulling the meat off the bone and marinating it in a few spoonfuls of garlicky vinaigrette. (Good for the lamb, not so good for the fridge which reeked of garlic when I opened it this morning.) I also saved the crisp outer skin in a separate piece.

Tonight I crisped up the meat and the skin in a little hot oil. I seasoned the meat generously with ground cumin, a little chopped onion and a tablespoon of chopped fresh mint and scissor-snipped the crisp skin into it. I rescued the last of Saturday's salad greens, lightly dressed them with oil and vinegar and tossed in some peeled, chopped cucumber I found lurking in the veg drawer of the fridge. Then I arranged the salad on our plates, topped it with one of the roasted beets, cut into chunks, piled the meat on top, drizzled over some yoghurt and sprinkled over some chopped herbs.

It was actually pretty good - like a deconstructed doner kebab with veg - but one of those dishes for which you can't really give a recipe as it's too off the wall.

It did prove, however that lamb breast is a good buy. The two breasts I bought would have easily served six and were really tasty. Graham told me they're at their best at this time of year because they come from animals who have been grazing on winter grass and which are therefore nice and lean (as opposed to spring lambs which gorge on summer grass and run to fat).

Off to London tomorrow for a couple of days' meetings and catching up with the kids. I'm really looking forward to seeing them but it's hard to break off in the middle of a book especially when a deadline is looming. And the publisher is reading my blog ;-)

PS There's a useful post (I hope) on Beyond Baked Beans today on how to save money on pasta which, as I'm sure you know, has gone up 81% in the last year. Scary.

4 comments:

Fiona Beckett said...

Just to let you know that this week breast of lamb is even better value in the butcher! Down to £4.76 a kilo.

Have bought another batch to experiment with cooking them like ribs

Anonymous said...

It's been nearly a year since you posted this and along I come ...


... the husband, very excitedly, brought home lamb breasts with visions of a good Irish stew dancing in his eyes. I confess, I asked him to stop and buy lamb so I could make it but the breasts are what we here in the states call ribs.

If you happen to read this any time soon (it's March 16, 2009), like by St. Paddy's Day, can you tell me if I can turn these ribs into a stew?

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