Spring lamb and vegetables – one pot meal just as I like them!

1 Dec

Here is another one pot meal, great for when you are busy, just leave it in the oven to take care of itself!  I love lamb, especially when it is falling off the bones and is meltingly tender.  My husband, however, hates fat so I have to be really careful when I choose the cut of meat.  As this is cooked slowly in the oven I needed a tougher cut of meat so I finally chose lamb shanks.  I can remember when you could buy a lamb shank for about a pound.  That was before the TV Cooks made it popular.  Now they sell for about £4 each!

I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the various cuts of lamb and how they should be cooked.

Lamb Primal Cuts: Leg, Loin, Rib, Breast and More

  • For roasts, the best cuts include leg, breast, best end of neck (also known as rack of lamb), shoulder, saddle, rump and loin.  
  • For quick cooking, choose fillet, chump chops, loin chops, leg steaks, best end cutlets and butterflied leg.
  • For slow cooking, leg, shoulder, shank, neck and chump chops are among the best options.
  • Lamb is also available minced (good for pies and burgers) and you can also buy lamb offal (mainly the kidneys and liver but also, less commonly, the heart and the sweetbreads), which is quick to cook, cheap and nutritious.
  • When choosing any cut of lamb, look for firm, fine-grained meat with a velvety texture; it should be moist, rather than dry or slimy. Any fat on the outside of the lamb should be white (fat that is yellow might well be rancid). Properly hung lamb should have a deep red, rather than bright red colour, although very young lamb will be paler than older lamb.

Here is the recipe.  It is based on one I found in a Good Food Magazine that I have adapted to suit our tastes.  Here is a link to their website if you want to see the original recipe.

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/

Spring lamb and vegetable one-pot                                     Serves 2

  • Olive oil
  • 2 lamb shanks
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and halved
  • 200g new potatoes, peeled and left whole
  • 1 bay leaf
  • sprig thyme
  • 75g frozen peas
  • handful Dwarf Beans, topped and tailed and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 lamb stock cube
  • Salt and black pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 3.
  2. Dry the lamb shanks on kitchen paper.  Season with salt and pepper.  Drizzle a little olive oil into a skillet or heat proof shallow casserole.  Brown the shanks on all sides over a high heat. 
  3. Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion, garlic and carrots and cook for a few minutes.  Add the carrots and cook for a few minutes more. 
  4. Pour in sufficient water to come half way up the shanks.  Crumble in the stock cube.  Add the herbs and the potatoes and bring to the boil.  Cover and transfer to the oven for 1.5 hours or until the lamb is tender and the vegetables are cooked.  Remove from oven.
  5. Blanch the beans in boiling water for 4 minutes.  Drain and add to the lamb and vegetables with the peas.  Return to the oven for 10 minutes or until everything has heated through.  Serve.

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