Herb Crusted Lamb with Minted Pea Pureé Roasted Parmesan Swede and a Sticky Red Wine Jus

Yes we’ve been here before in the crusted lamb area. I like lamb, so does Carol, I also like fat and this is where we differ, luckily for me as I can pick her bones after she’s eaten. Fat is where the flavour is mostly. Which gets me on to Lamb in the 21st century. Where did all the flavour go?

I always loved lamb chops , lamb leg steaks, roast lamb as a kid but I don’t know what the problem is these days, it just doesn’t pack the punch it used to.

I think we’re victim of the grow it big, grow it quick culture where flavour is second to profit. As a butcher I remembered the seasons and influx of regional lamb coming in to the shop and this is now no longer celebrated.

Isle of Man Lamb, Welsh Lamb, Spring Lamb, they were all delicacies Now today it’s just New Zealand or if you’re lucky British!

 

Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed the lamb, (and Carol’s leftovers) but I kind of think that it was more down to the accompaniments that lifted the lamb.

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To crust a lamb rack  I first fried, fat side down, the rack for as long as it took the render out enough fat to fill a small cup then let it cool. This was an all day job along with the gardening so there was no rush. So it cooled for a few hours.

The crust was made by blitzing some bread with a clove of garlic and some hand picked herbs from the newly emerging crop, (mostly Chives and Rosemary) some salt and pepper. To stick the herby breadcrumbs to the lamb I used Dijon Mustard. Mild enough to not overpower the lamb by just pasting some to the cooked fatty side.

I set this aside and later cooked in an oven along with my Carbs for 20 mins tops and removed and rested for 10 minutes.

CARBS!!!!
Here we go, I didn’t have enough spuds to make a mash and I thought roast spuds or chips were a cop out. I did however have half a Swede in the fridge. Now you know you can do more with a swede than mashing it with carrots and giving it to a Scotsman. Apparently tossing the swede in oil and grated parmesan, salt and pepper is a tried and trusted thang and I can tell you that, yes, It works big style. I loved the taste. Slightly sweet with that burnt umami of parmesan.

The pea pureé was simply half an onion gently fried and then blitzed together with some cooked frozen peas with some chicken stock and a handful of fresh mint which is also just starting to reach for the sky. If you’ve no fresh stock,  no worries, half an OXO will do. OXO’s are good add enough stock to loosen the mixture to a very thick custard feel.

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The extra element was a sticky Red wine and redcurrant jus. Just boil away some red wine a lamb oxo a teaspoon of redcurrant jelly and a dash of water till you’re left with a lovely intense sticky sauce.

All in all it was a very very nice meal. It’s just the star of the show, lamb, seems to be holed up in Nellcote in France with the rest of The Stones in a fug of blandness circa 1971.

I will search out pastures new in my lamb intake. For my gob is my shepherd.

PS, I still rate Lidl’s Pinotage for a good all rounder wine.

Crust your lamb, pureé your peas, roast your swedes ans always make a bleedingly good sauce.

Mugsie

 

 

Pheasant with Orange and Salad Leaves

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Here’s a quicky for ya.

I was going to call this “Pan Fried Pheasant” but I have a right bolshy friend who always pipes up with “what else are you going to fry a pheasant in!” well Sandra,you may be super whizz regarding Employment Law and all things ACAS but I’m the cook here and I’ll tell you that “pan fried” is not “deep fried”! There’s the difference.

This was a pack of M&S pheasant fillets that had been laying around the freezer for a while. Too small to cook as a main meal and as we Rimmers don’t do snacks or light lunches (Give me a peanut butter and cheese butty any day for lunch) I didn’t know what to do with them. So this day I had a revelation, why not, instead of one massive brilliant meal, don’t I do a starter and a slightly smaller mains than usual.

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So I had a quick look on the Interweb and saw a Gino D’acampo recipe using orange and as usual I ignored what he did, lovely man as he is, and made my own stylee!

First thing is, when cooking pheasant and any other very lean meats, it’s all about timing, so when you think you’ve got another 5 minutes cooking time, that’s when to stop. Resting the meat for 5-10 minutes will take care of the rest of the cooking process leaving you with succulent juicy meat. So as a guide I only fried in a butter olive oil mix for around 4 mins each side. I also pan fried, see Sandra; some mushrooms for a more earthy taste. I didn’t get the salad leaves from my allotment or my garden at La Squalid Midden de Quatre Saison, I bought them from Lidl. It was a Rocket and Baby Leaf salad.

The orange sauce was quite simple . I reduced a large glug of Orange juice (from concentrate) to a sticky sauce simply by boiling and added a small knob of butter to add a shine to the sauce and then drizzled over the pheasant.

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I must say,the pheasant was perfect. really juicy and full of flavour. The orange drizzle was zingy and went well with the pheasant. Funny, as they say orange is good to cut through the fat of duck but also good with a very lean meat like pheasant

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I also pan fried a few baby plum tomatoes too. This was a great way to use those pheasant breasts. Usually I go all poncey and wash food down with a good wine and this had Riesling written all over it but I’m now a home brewer and a top February 2016 Vintage Rimmer IPA was quaffed. Bloody lovely.
So Sandra, Stick that in your pan and fry it!

Oh, by the way Mugsie, what was the main meal? ………..

To be continued