By Mark Gallagher
Lamb is great any time, but at this time of the year it is fantastic.
Here are some quick and easy recipes to help you make the most of lamb this summer.
Stir-fry strips of lamb with peppers and broccoli
Most of us are looking for a quick and easy recipe when time is short, so here goes. You can try serving this in pitta bread or a tortilla wrap for food on the go and it will serve four people.
450g lean lamb strips
1 tbsp oil
400g vegetables, chopped neatly – scallions, red/yellow peppers, broccoli
1 tbsp hoisin sauce
For the marinade
1 clove garlic, chopped
2cm to 3cm ginger, peeled and chopped
Pinch of Five Spice Powder
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp sherry/rice wine
Combine the marinade ingredients and add in the meat. Heat the oil in a wok or frying pan. Then add in the vegetables and cook for two to three minutes. Remove from the wok. Stir-fry the lamb in two batches.
Return the vegetables to the wok, add back in the cooked lamb and stir in the hoisin sauce. Mix well together. Serve with rice or potatoes or fill a pitta bread or tortilla wrap with the stir-fry and there you have it, a tasty meal in minutes.
Summer lamb kebabs
Another quick and easy recipe is Lamb Kebabs with feta cheese and tomato salad. In the good weather you can simply cook them on a barbeque or as I have done here, in the oven.
The juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
600g diced lamb leg
For the salad
4 large tomatoes, chopped
1 cucumber, chopped
A large handful black olives, roughly chopped
200g pack feta cheese, crumbled
A bunch of mint, chopped
Mix the lemon juice, olive oil, fresh rosemary and garlic in a mixing bowl. Pour half into a jug and set aside for later. Add the lamb to the bowl, stir to coat, then thread onto eight small skewers.
If using wooden skewers, soak in water for at least 30 minutes before use. Pour over any excess marinade and let stand for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, mix all salad ingredients together, (except the mint ), and pour over the reserved lemon juice and oil mix.
Heat the oven to 170c. Cook the lamb for eight minutes, turning once, until cooked through and slightly charred. Mix the mint through the salad and serve immediately with the kebabs. Feta cheese is a lovely accompaniment with lamb so if you haven’t tried it, give it a go, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Lamb chops with red pepper and mint salsa
Everyone loves lamb chops and this recipe with a little twist is a great summer dish.
12-18 lamb chops, depending on size
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
For the salsa
290g jar roasted red peppers
1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
1 red chilli, roughly chopped
A handful of fresh mint
1 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp olive oil
Season the chops all over with salt and pepper. Make a slit between the bone and meat in each chop, and then push a sliver of garlic and small sprig of rosemary into each.
For the salsa, put the peppers in a mini chopper or food processor with the garlic, chilli, mint and lemon. Blitz until finely chopped, but not puréed. Add the oil and blitz briefly to mix.
Tip into a bowl and leave at room temperature until serving time. Grill or barbecue the chops for five to seven minutes on each side until brown, then serve on a platter with the salsa (stir before serving ).
This goes great with freshly baked bread rolls and salad.
These summer lamb recipes are easy to prepare and are cooked quickly, to keep the lovely flavour of Irish lamb and give us more time to enjoy the summer weather, when the sun is out.