It’s a tricky meat to cook with and not just because a decent quality joint tends to be a bit on the pricey side, but this British Lamb Week is still cause for celebration. As lovely as roast rack of lamb is, we’re going to leave this sort of thing to one side for today and concentrate on some slightly better value lamb recipe suggestions where mince is the key ingredient, ones which won’t take you most of the day to prepare…
The classic Greek recipe may have a somewhat retro feel these days but it’s still delicious nevertheless. The other key ingredient is sliced aubergine and there is some debate as to whether this should be salted or not prior to cooking in the dish. Salting and rinsing before frying the aubergine does take away some of the bitterness, but if you want to go ahead and cook them without doing this step (but making sure they are still seasoned), then you will still have a delicious dish at the end. To start with, season and fry some lamb mince and sliced onion then add a tablespoon of tomato puree. Cook through then layer in a casserole dish with the fried aubergine and top with béchamel sauce and cheese. Bake in the oven for about half an hour and serve with your favourite Mediterranean-themed side salad. Or chips!
Now, strictly speaking you shouldn’t be using lamb mince to make this one at all because the original purpose of Shepherd’s Pie was to use up any leftover roast lamb from the Sunday before. So by all means, if you have leftover lamb hanging around in your fridge then chop if up and chuck it in, but if not, then go ahead and use the mince. By its very nature, Shepherd’s Pie is very much a chuck in whatever you have in your fridge sort of dish anyway, so once you’ve fried the onions, mince and garlic then added the stock and some tomato puree, chuck in dash of Worcestershire Sauce, some mustard and small amounts of relishes or chutneys you have sitting around – they will all add to the richness. And of course you know the rest – once it’s simmered for a little while, put in a dish, top with mashed potato and bake until golden brown.
We’re coming out of barbeque season, but these still make an excellent dish when cooked under the grill if you fancy something a little different. A blend of lamb mince and spices, this BBC recipe offers a simple introduction with minimal effort. Once you’ve cooked your lamb kofta kebabs on the grill or griddle pan, serve with minted yogurt, flat bread and a simple tomato and red onion salad.
And you can probably guess what they’ve been stuffed with… Here is a very good, simple recipe, but it mainly follows the principles of the above – frying lamb mince and onions with suitable Mediterranean seasoning, but this time adding the stock along with some rice to cook out. Once your filling is ready, you can fill up some large beef tomatoes (with the flesh scooped out) and bake.
By all means tuck into your delicious roast lamb rack or lamb shank this British Lamb Week, but for a more affordable option, don’t forget there’s always lamb mince available with our Ocado voucher codes, Morrisons promo codes or Waitrose discount vouchers (as well as all your other required ingredients) to create a Mediterranean-themed mid-week meal too.
By Anna Scott, 2nd September 2016