As we celebrate Easter this weekend it is time to enjoy some spring lamb. These delicious recipes, courtesy of Bord Bia, will help you make the most of the season, and are particularly suitable for those of us cooking for smaller groups this year.
Roast rack of lamb with mustard and herb topping
Serves: three to four people.
1 rack of lamb, well trimmed
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper
1 tablesp olive oil
4 tablesp parsley, chopped
1 teasp thyme, chopped
1 tablesp good quality mustard
Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 6, 200°C (400°F ). Season the lamb with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a pan and brown the lamb for a couple of minutes until golden. Leave to cool. Meanwhile make up the topping – combine the herbs, breadcrumbs, seasoning, and butter and mix well. When the lamb has cooled, spread the mustard over the top and spoon on the herb and breadcrumb mixture. Press well onto the lamb. Place in the preheated oven and roast for 25 minutes. At this stage the lamb will be medium rare. Allow to sit in a warm place for five to 10 minutes before serving.
This is delicious with roast potatoes and roast vegetables.
Lamb chops with minty couscous
Serves four people.
8 lamb chops or leg steaks
1 tablesp ground coriander
1 teasp ground cumin
1 teasp fennel seeds, chopped
1 teasp dried chilli flakes
2 tablesp olive oil
Minty couscous salad
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablesp olive oil
½ teasp paprika
200ml boiling water or low salt stock
½ cucumber, seeded
10 cherry tomatoes, quartered
4 scallions, sliced
100g ready soaked apricots, chopped
Large handful mint leaves, roughly chopped
Handful flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
Natural or Greek style yogurt
Freshly chopped mint leaves
To make the marinade: In a small dish, combine the coriander, cumin, fennel seeds and chilli flakes. Then add in the oil and mix well. Brush all over the chops and leave to marinate for an hour if you have time.
To prepare the couscous: Put the couscous into a large bowl with the lemon zest, garlic, paprika, one tablespoon of oil, a little salt, and mix together. Pour the boiling water over the couscous, stir to separate any clumps. Cover with a lid, plate, or cling film, set aside for five minutes.
To cook the chops: Heat a griddle pan or barbecue. When very hot cook the chops for four to five minutes on each side.
To make the couscous salad: Slice the cucumber in quarters, then in quarters again, then dice. Add the cucumber to the couscous along with the tomatoes, scallions, apricots, herbs, and lemon juice. Stir well. Taste and season with salt and black pepper.
Serve the chops with the minty couscous salad and yogurt flavoured with chopped mint and seasoned with salt and pepper.