Although I enjoy cooking - and love eating - finding the answer to the daily question ‘what’s for tea, Mum?’ is often a chore rather than a pleasure. Last night, though, it was easy. I came home from QVC towers with a sample from a brand new show that I will be presenting to you next Tuesday at 1pm – Cambrian Mountain Lamb.
I was treated to a neck fillet, a cut that many people aren’t familiar with but I often use. It’s perfect for a meltingly delicious lamb stew with carrots and pearl barley, or a quick and effortless midweek meal for the children – one of Billy’s favourites.
I simply put the oversized sausage shape of lamb into a small roasting pan; drizzle olive oil, squeeze lemon juice and sprinkle rosemary from the garden over the meat; cover with foil and cook for about half an hour in a 180c oven.
Enjoy a cup of tea (or glass of wine!) until ready, rest the meat for a few minutes and then slice and serve with oven-toasted pitta bread (brush with olive oil and season with salt, pepper and herbs and put into the oven 5 minutes before the lamb is cooked.)
I put a good sized dollop of houmous, spicy salsa and homemade tzatziki (grate cucumber and garlic to taste into natural yoghurt) and a spoonful of chickpea and tomato salad to create an easy and nutritious meal. It never takes Billy long to clear his plate, but the delicious Cambrian Mountain lamb earned me an extra thank you!
Lamb is probably my favourite meat – at its best I find it sweet and tender, versatile and easy to cook well. From shanks cooked long and slow in the oven until the meat falls off the bone to chops flash fried and still pink in the middle, lamb makes a tasty meal.
This IS lamb at its best – the special lamb is from native breeds in the beautiful Cambrian Mountains of Wales, where traditional farming practices date back to the Middle Ages. The flocks graze freely using the old ‘Hafod and Hendre’ system, which means the lambs spend the winter in the protected valleys and move up into the hills for a long summer of grazing the natural pastureland. The farmers use age old skills and knowledge to produce sweet tasting, tender and flavoursome lamb.
We’ll be offering selection boxes with a range of different cuts of lamb to be delivered to your door fresh and ready to cook or freeze. Dry ice helps keep it at its best in the insulated box for up to 48 hours. As you plan your menus you may be inspired by the tips and mouth-watering recipes included in the box which have been devised by top chef Rhodri Edwards, from The Farmers Arms in Aberystwyth.
Rhodri will be with us on Tuesday, showing us how to get the best from this quality meat. We’ll also be joined by farmer Gareth Rowlands, who is married to Rachel of Rachel’s Dairy (you probably know their delicious organic yoghurts) and is also a director of the Cambrian Mountains Company.
The farms which produce our lamb are part of the Cambrian Mountains initiative, inspired by its President HRH The Prince of Wales. So if you are looking for the perfect answer when your little prince (or princess) returns home from school with the immortal words ‘I’m starving – what’s for tea?’ you know what to say!
I really hope you can join us at lunch time on Tuesday – I’m sure you’ll be tempted by what you see. (Maybe eat from the freezer this weekend to clear some space). In the meantime, I’d love to hear about your favourite way to cook and enjoy lamb. Drop me a line here – or call into the show on Tuesday.