Esther, a Shetlander who posts on Selfsufficientish, was given some Shetland hill lamb to pop in her freezer, but didn’t know how to cook many of the cuts.
I started off by telling her my recipe for steamed lamb, but soon found dozens of recipes for lamb and mutton (or even goat) popping into my head.
So, if you have some lamb in your freezer and are looking for different ways of cooking it, here a few suggestions.
- Bone out the breast, cut it into large pieces and pack them into a heat-proof basin, seasoning with salt, pepper and a few sprigs of fresh thyme. Place the basin in a large pan and pour in sufficient boiling water to come halfway up the basin.
- Bring the water back to the boil, cover the pan and cook at fast simmer for half an hour per pound of meat.
- Lift the meat out of the basin when cooked, place on a warm plate and keep warm.
- Pour the juices into a pan and thicken with a roux until you have a pourable gravy with the flour cooked out. Stir in a couple of tablespoons of chopped capers (salted ones are better than brined, but rinse thoroughly first).
- Serve the meat, then pour the gravy over the top. Excellent with mashed or boiled potatoes, steamed kale and carrots. (The meat should be really tender and falling apart.)
- Kid takes about the same time, mutton and older goat takes about 40-45 minutes per pound.
- Dice some left-over roast lamb and a large onion.
- Make up a savoury batter (like a thick drop scone batter but with no sugar and a dash of ground pepper).
- Stir the lamb and onions into the batter.
- Fry until brown on both sides, then serve with mashed neeps (swedes) and braised cabbage.
Lamb shank soup
- A pound or so of fresh butter beans (or dried ones soaked overnight)
- A couple of lamb shanks
- An onion
- A carrot
- A celery stick
- Some mutton fat (or butter)
- Some thyme
- A bay leaf
- A couple of pints of lamb or chicken stock
- Brown the shanks on all sides in the fat or butter in a large pan. Pour off the fat.
- Peel and dice the onion and carrot, dice the celery stick.
- Add the vegetables, herbs and stock to the pan with the meat.
- Bring to the boil, back off to a slow simmer, cover and cook for at least two hours (until the meat drops off the bones).
- Remove the shanks from the pan, remove the meat and shred it, then return the meat to the pan. Season to taste.
- Serve with freshly made soda bread.
- For a variant, replace the butter beans with pearl barley that’s been soaked overnight. Or use oatmeal to make a lamb brose, in which case the soup should be thicker, like a thin porridge.
- Lamb shoulder, boned and diced (Use half a shoulder from a larger lowland lamb)
- A couple of large onions, peeled and diced
- A large lump of fresh ginger
- A heaped teaspoon of cumin seeds
- A heaped teaspoon of yellow mustard seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon of pepper corns (green best, but black okay)
- Some grated cocount (I just use a couple of large handfuls!)
- A pint of lamb stock
- Clarified butter (ghee)
- Cut the ginger in half, and grind half up in a mortar with the cumin and mustard seeds.
- Melt the butter in a large pan, then fry the ginger paste until it just changes colour.
- Add the onions and fry until softened.
- Turn the heat up, add lamb, and stir until well coated with the juices. Add the stock.
- Bring to the boil, then back off to a slow simmer and cook for 90 minutes to two hours, until the meat is tender. (Kid takes the same time, mutton and older goat an extra 30-45 minutes.)
- Grind the remaining ginger, pepper corns and coconut together with a pinch of salt.
- Stir the coconut paste into the curry and cook, stirring frequently, until the sauce thickens into a gravy.
- Serve with rice or naan, plus a dhaal.