All of a sudden, the sun is shining and spring seems to be here! Hooray for that! Lamb is that quintessential spring meat and some fantastic Welsh lamb should be appearing very soon in your local butchers and supermarkets. Not to put a damper on New Zealand imported lamb as it is very tasty – but, thinking about carbon footprints it is much more preferable to eat meat that is far closer to home. Looking forward to Easter I sometimes feel that the traditional, humble, lamb has been usurped by the fattened turkey! Terrible, terrible; think again if you are planning on turkey this Easter.
Lamb has an element of sweetness, especially the shoulder; pair that with a slightly sweet stuffing and they compliment each other so well. Lamb does take well to sweet vine fruits and, also, other fruits such as apricots and dried figs! This would make a very special Easter roast and is more of a spring roast than a wintery recipe. The stuffing takes very few ingredients from scratch and takes very little time to prepare. Just remember to have some butchers string to tie up the meat – I get mine from my local butcher.
Shoulder of Lamb with a raisin & rosemary stuffing
Serves 4 and takes around 2 hours to prepare and cook
1kg boneless lamb shoulder
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, crushed
100g fresh breadcrumbs
The juice and zest of 1 orange
A few sprigs of rosemary, finely chopped
Preheat your oven to 200C/400F/gas 6.
Melt the butter in a small pan and add the onion and garlic, cook until soft. Place the breadcrumbs in a bowl and add the butter and onion mixture along with the raisins, rosemary and the orange juice and zest. Season it all with some salt and pepper and mix to bind the stuffing together with your hands.
Open the lamb out flat and spread the stuffing over then gently roll the lamb and tie with some butchers string. Any remaining stuffing could be put in a small ovenproof dish and covered with tin foil and then cooked in the oven with the lamb.
Place the lamb in a roasting tin and cook for around 80 minutes.
Serve with some buttered baby leeks and new potatoes.