Ingredient of the Month…Lamb

The temperature has definitely increased a few notches over the last couple of days and given we are more than half way through April, I’m pretty sure it’s safe to say spring has now sprung. So with this in mind there is only one type of meat to be making its way on to our dinner plate this month – Scottish lamb.

As the daughter of a farmer who has bred Suffolk sheep for over 30 years I guess I’m slightly biased. However you just can’t beat lamb bred and reared north of the border. Don’t get me wrong having spent time living in New Zealand my friends down under are also famed for their lamb and rightly so, but while I’m on home turf I’ll always opt for the home grown option.

Delicious and versatile it’s a great source of protein and iron. Also given our sheep farmers have endured a few setbacks this year as a result of the unseasonal and erratic weather, we really should support them the next time we visit the butcher and in doing so you will be sure to get great quality and flavour.

For simplicity you can’t beat grilled lamb chops and mint sauce, but for something a little more adventurous my spin on a Moroccan lamb tagine will provide a mouth-watering supper, which is not only colourful but also boasts a range of wonderful warming flavours. Served with salad and bread and washed down with a glass of red wine, (I can highly recommend the Blanc, Rouge, Rose range of French wines!), what’s not to love about Scotch lamb?

Ingredients…

4 Scottish lamb steaks (I opted not to trim off the fat, for maximum flavour!)
2 x 450g tinned tomatoes
1 x tbsp. tomato puree
2. tbsp. of honey
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. paprika
2 tsp. chili cayenne pepper
400ml vegetable stock
2 x onions
100g chopped dried apricots
100g chopped dried dates
100g flaked almonds
A good handful of chopped fresh coriander, plus extra to garnish

The Cooking Bit…

1. Chop the lamb steaks into chunks and place into a glass bowl. Add in the cinnamon, ginger, paprika and chili cayenne pepper and mix everything together. Leave to marinate in the fridge for an hour.
2. In a large wok brown two chopped onions in a little olive oil and then slightly brown the marinated lamb in with the onions for a couple of minutes.
3. Add in the vegetable stock, along with the tinned tomatoes and tomato pure and mix everything together.
4. Stir in the apricots, almonds and dates aswell as the honey and bring to the boil for five minutes. Keep stirring to ensure the lamb doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
5. Reduce the heat on the hob right down and leave to simmer for an hour and a half, until the mixture has reduced and is now a lovely thick consistency. Stir occasionally again to ensure it doesn’t stick to the bottom. Towards the end stir in the chopped fresh coriander. Once ready serve and enjoy!

For more inspiration, check out Quality Meat Scotland’s lamb recipe ideas.

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