Whenever we go on holiday to Wales, I go into ‘buy local’ overdrive. Surrounded by lush green fields bordering the coast in North Wales, some of the very best Welsh lamb and Welsh Black Beef is available. It’s a chance to reconnect with the food chain. The local butcher carries only local meat and tells you which farm you are buying from and even the particular breed. The very freshest fish can be found directly from the shores of the Llyn Peninsula, with fishmongers able to tell you the time of the catch. Even some of the bigger shops and supermarkets specifically label fresh and local produce; organic free range eggs from Treddafydd Farm, fresh cream from the dairy less than four miles down the road…I wish local food shopping were always this easy.
Crazy as I am, I also brought with me on holiday one cookery book, Nigella Kitchen, as there were a few recipes I had bookmarked from her fabulously-named chapter ‘The Bone Collection’. I gave some of the recipes a local Welsh twist; Asian braised shin of beef, made with Welsh Black Beef braising steak – this would have been amazing cooked in a slow-cooker. Our favorite of the week was Nigella’s recipe for Greek Lamb Chops with lemon and potatoes, which I made with local Welsh lamb shoulder. I also used fresh, seasonal ingredients, new potatoes instead of baking, fresh mint in place of dried, with garlic, lemon zest and juice, local rapeseed oil and a last minute addition of seasonal asparagus. It didn’t end up tasting particularly Greek, perhaps some crumbled feta cheese would have worked well.
- 1 kg Welsh lamb
- 500 g new potatoes
- 450 g asparagus
- 2 heaped tablespoon rapeseed oil
- 2 clove garlic
- 1 lemon
- 1 bunch fresh mint
- sprinkle sea salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius. I used a tiny gas oven, at gas mark 6 or 7.
- Zest the lemon, grate the fresh garlic and squeeze out the lemon juice into a small bowl. Drizzle in a couple of tablespoons of rapeseed or olive oil and mix together well.
- Line a large roasting tin or baking tray with foil or greaseproof paper (makes for easier washing up) and add the lamb and potatoes to the tray. Pour over the lemon and oil mixture.
- Season with salt and pepper and add a few torn mint leaves. Bake in the oven for one hour.
- After an hour, carefully take the tray out of the oven and add the asparagus spears. Bake for another fifteen minutes. Take the tray out again and give everything a good mix. Serve.
I’m sending this across to Lucy from Vanilla Frost who is hosting this month’s Forever Nigella on behalf of Sarah from Maison Cupcake. The theme is Springtime and as we were on Easter holidays, I hope this fits.
As the recipe I used included seasonal ingredients (spring lamb, British asparagus) I’m linking it up to April’s Simple and in Season, too here on Fabulicious Food!