Friday, 25 September 2009

How to cook breast of lamb

I bagged a couple of terrific bargains on my way back to Bristol yesterday at an extraordinary shopping complex called Darts Farm just outside Exeter. Farm shop doesn't even begin to describe it: it's a gourmet shopping mall on an epic scale - more like the out of town shopping centres you find in the US.

You'd expect it to be expensive but it isn't, suprisingly. Or, put it another way, it needn't be. I picked up some good value fruit and vegetables grown on their own farm (including over a pound of rhubarb for 49p), a whole rabbit for £3 and a breast of lamb for £1.50.

Personally I don't like breast of lamb the traditional way, boned and rolled as you never seem to get rid of the fat so I had them chop it up into chunks which I then roasted much as you do spare ribs until it was crisp. I cooked it unseasoned (apart from salt and some smashed garlic cloves) for 20 minutes, poured off the accumulated fat then sprinkled over the za'atar I wrote about the other day and some ground cumin. If you don't have za'atar you could grind up some salt, thyme, sesame seeds and cumin.)

In keeping with the frugality of the dish I decided to use up some storecupboard ingredients as accompaniments. I cooked some rice and Puy lentils Lebanese-style, flavoured them with a pinch of cinnamon and topped them with roasted diced courgette and carrot. (If I'd had some coriander handy I'd have added some chopped up stalks and forked through a few leaves at the end. I'd also have squeezed a little lemon juice over the meat before serving it).

We had our lamb 'ribs' with yoghurt, harissa and a green salad (see the rather fuzzy picture above) and a mighty feast it was too - ample for three although the two of us managed to polish it off without much difficulty. All except enough rice and lentils to make a salad for lunch today which makes me feel doubly virtuous. Later I'll cook the rabbit - with bacon, cider and apples, I think. Happy days!

Do you have any favourite ways of cooking breast of lamb?


James said...

This sounds gooooood! Makes good Curry too & or cut like you did, marinaded and put on the bbq.

verity said...

Dart's Farm is wonderful - used to drive past it twice a week on my way to band. We drove past it when we were on holiday and it seems to have massively expanded in the last couple of years.

Anne said...

Never cooked with breast of lamb but Darts Farm is about 10 minutes from my nan's house, when I holiday down there, so many very nice things to buy all under one roof! The fresh clotted cream of the dairy counter is really good too, normally end up bringing a tub or two home.. :)