Lamb is a hugely versatile meat and perfect for your BBQ grill this summer. With Welsh Lamb Day happening on Thursday (August 1) we celebrate this delicious indigenous food courtesy of popular TV chef and author John Gregory-Smith’s inspiring recipes all keen cooks will enjoy making
August is the official start of the season for PGI Welsh Lamb which runs until November. During these months lamb is at its most plentiful and absolute best. There are lots of reasons lamb tastes better at this time of year: not only is it home-grown but Welsh lamb has also matured for months and been produced through traditional farming methods dating back centuries.
To kick-start the season, chef John Gregory-Smith – who is also a best-selling author, presenter and food and travel writer – has been cultivating the most mouth-watering Welsh lamb recipes for all your barbeque needs this summer.
John says: “Much of my career as a chef has been focused on Middle Eastern and North African cuisine. Lamb is a big part of this and I have always loved cooking with it. Welsh Lamb in particular has proven quality and is an incredibly versatile meat. Now is perfect season to be cooking with it and I highly recommend people try it out.”
Summer Welsh Lamb and Orzo Salad
- 200g orzo
- 100g frozen peas
- 60g feta, crumbled
- 1 courgette, shaved lengthways using a mandolin
- ½ a red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
- A handful of finely chopped mint leaves, plus extra for garnish
- 1 preserved lemon, deseeded and finely chopped
- The juice of a lemon
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 8 lamb cutlets (approx. 100g each)
- 10g toasted pine nuts
- Sea salt and pepper
- Cook the orzo in a large pan of boiling water for 8-10 minutes until al dente, adding the frozen peas for the last 2-3 minutes. Drain, refresh and drain again thoroughly. Tip into a large mixing bowl and add the feta, courgette, chilli and chopped mint.
- Whisk the preserved lemon, lemon juice, half the olive oil and a good pinch of salt and pepper together in a mixing bowl. Pour the dressing over orzo and mix well. Transfer to a large serving dish and set to one side.
- Meanwhile, heat a griddle or BBQ over a high heat. Rub the olive oil all over the lamb and season both sides of the cutlets with salt and pepper. Cook the lamb for 2-3 minutes each side until charred and tender. Arrange over the orzo. Garnish with the pine nuts and remaining mint. Serve immediately.
Zaatar Welsh Lamb Tacos
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1.5kg whole shoulder bone in Welsh Lamb
- 3 tbsp zaatar
- 2 red onions, thinly sliced
- The juice of 2 lemons
- 8-12 soft tacos
- 250g Greek yogurt
- A large handful of coriander leaves
- 50g pomegranate seeds
- Sea salt
- Pre-heat the oven to 220 fan. Rub the oil all over the lamb and then encrust it with 2 tbsp of the zaatar and plenty of salt. Place into a roasting dish. Pour in 100ml of water and cover with foil. Pop the meat into the oven and immediately reduce the heat to 160. Cook for 3 ½ – 4 hours or until you can pull the meat apart with two forks. Remove from the oven and leave to rest for 10 minutes. Place the lamb onto a chopping board and remove and discard the skin. Pull meat off the bone and shred with two forks. Skim the fat from the roasting juices and return the meat to the pan. Mix well and check the seasoning, adding salt to taste.
- Meanwhile, put the red onions into a bowl and add the lemon juice. Add a good pinch of salt and mix well. Leave to macerate for 10 minutes, mixing half way through until the onions go a beautiful light pink colour.
- Serve the cooked lamb at the table with the onions, tacos, yogurt, coriander,
Sticky Harissa Welsh Lamb Ribs
- 100g rose harissa
- The juice of a lemon
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp garlic granules
- 1.5kg lamb ribs, approx. two racks
- Sea salt
- Put the harissa, lemon, oregano, garlic granules and a good pinch of salt into a mixing bowl. Mix well. Place the lamb into a large shallow dish and rub the marinade all over the meat. Cover and leave to marinade overnight in the fridge.
- Preheat the oven to 160 fan and get the ribs out of the fridge to come to room temperature. Place a rack into a roasting tin and arrange the ribs on top. Roast for 3 to 3 ½ hours or until the meat is really soft and tender. Remove from the oven and place onto a warm serving dish. Cover and leave to rest for 10 minutes. Serve immediately.
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