North African Lamb Feast

Home made sauces and dips with marinated lamb chops, served with home made flat breads – the taste of Morocco and perfect with a glass of Pimms in the sun.

Ingredients:

For the Spicy Hummus: 200g chickpeas, 2tb lemon juice, 2 garlic cloves, 1tb cumin, sesame seeds, 1tsp turmeric, 2tb oil, 1tsp paprika, splash of water (tahini – if you have!), seasoning,

For the Tzatziki: 1 cup Greek yoghurt, 1 cup sour cream, peeled and diced cucumber ,  fresh dill, 3tb olive oil, 1tb vinegar, 2 cloves garlic,  ,seasoning, mint leaves

For the Lamb: 6-8 lamb chops, dried mint, rosemary, seasoning, garlic and a good glug of olive oil.

For the Flat Breads: 200g plain flour, 1tb cumin, 1tb sesame seeds, 1tb coriander, pinch of salt and water to bind

Method:

Start with marinading the lamb overnight – put all the ingredients for the marinade in a large dish and rub all over the lamb to make sure it all gets a good covering! Plenty of seasoning, rosemary, garlic and dried mint all bought together with some good quality olive oil. Then you can make the dips.

For the Hummus – simple as whacking it in a blender! Add extra to taste, smooth out with a fork or spoon and serve with a sprinkle of paprika, chickpeas and cooked peppers to top.

For the Tzatziki – mix together the olive oil, vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper in a bowl and whisk together the yoghurt and sour cream. Add both mixes together and mix well. Finally, add the cucumber and chopped fresh dill. Chill for at least two hours before serving and serve with mint leaves as garnish.

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Seal the meat for a minute on each side and put in the oven for 20 minutes (around 200).

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In the mean time, in a small amount of olive oil fry off the Pine Nuts on a low heat. When brown, squeeze over some fresh lemon juice and serve with slices of lemon.

Whilst I did this, Abi made the Flat Breads  Simply mix together all the dry ingredients then add water, a little at a time, until combined to form a firm dough. Cut into 6/8 small balls and flatten out thinly with a rolling pin. Then cook in a very hot, dry, non-stick pan until start they start to go brown and puff up, then they are ready. We cut ours up into little pockets and strips.

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Take out the lamb and leave to stand for a few minutes, whilst you get the table ready… This tasted wonderful when having a little helping of everything together in the still warm flat breads, enjoy!
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Rack of Lamb with Pesto, Parmesan and Breadcrumb Crust

Spring has sprung! (sort of) And one of my favourite spring time meats is Lamb, even though they do look cute skipping around a field, they taste better in my belly! (sorry to any vegetarians/vegans…)

So here’s my recipe for a scrummy rack of lamb, along with  minty new potatoes and a side of shelled broad beans, peas, spring onions and pancetta, as well as a red wine jus for serving. Be warned, this is quite time consuming, especially when allowing 6-8 for the lamb to get all juicy and tasty in the marinade, but totally worth it!

(2 racks of lamb; 7-8 cutlets each -serves about 4, or 2 hungry adults :P)

Ingredients:

Pesto Crust:

  • 4 small bunches of fresh basil
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 100g pine nuts
  • 100g parmesan (grated)
  • about 100ml extra virgin olive oil (add more if needed)
  • 30/40g breadcrumbs

Side:

  • 500g shelled broad beans
  • 500g peas
  • 12 slices pancetta, chopped
  • 500g spring onions, chopped

Red Wine Jus:

  • salt and pepper
  • dry red wine, good glug
  • 1 tbsp red currant jelly
  • 1 tbsp cornflour

Marinade:

  • 125ml light olive oil
  • 125ml dry white wine
  • 4 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 tbsp rosemary, chopped

Method:

  • First of all you need to marinade your lamb. Whisk together all the ingredients for the marinade and put over the racks of lamb, which should be places in a deep roasting dish. Leave in the fridge for 6-8 hours, stir occasionally, and bring to room temperature one hour before cooking.
  • Second, make your pesto sauce – start by whizzing together the basil and garlic in a food processor  add the pine nuts and grated parmesan and whizz again, then have it running whilst you slowly add the olive oil to emulsify. Add salt and pepper to taste and then spoon into a jar adding a splash on olive oil on the top, refrigerate.
  • After this, combine the breadcrumbs with 2 tablespoons more of parmesan, and leave in a bowl for later.
  • Prepare your broad beans, blanch for 2 minutes and then run under cold water, this should allow you to easily slip their skins off.
  • Put a 500g-750g bag of baby new potatoes on to boil for about 20 minutes until tender, drain and sprinkle of chopped mint and butter, shake and leave somewhere to keep warm.
  • When it comes to cooking, seal the fatty sides of the racks of lamb in a little of the marinade juices. Once sealed and golden brown place in a roasting tin, fatty side up. Add your pesto sauce to the breadcrumb and parmesan mixture a teaspoon at a time until you have a thick paste consistency, then spoon this onto the fatty sealed sides of each rack of lamb, pressing down to make sure it sticks. Finish with an extra sprinkling of breadcrumbs and parmesan on top for extra crunch.
  • Cook for about 15 minutes at 190 degrees, and then rest on a wooden board for 5 minutes.
  • Whilst the lamb is cooking, brown off the chopped spring onions and pancetta in a large non stick frying pan, added a good grinding of pepper, once browned, add the peas (after cooking for 2 minutes) and the shelled broad peas and warm through.
  • For the red wine jus, add the red currant jelly, red wine, and cornflour (after mixed with a little cold water) to a saucepan and heat through. Once the lamb is cooked, add the juices from the roasting tray to this to add more flavour, season with salt and pepper, once slightly thicken and to your liking, sieve the jus into a warm jug.
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Ready to cut and serve!

Phew! Hope you enjoy if you try, Abi x