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HAVE A CRACKING EASTER WITH WELSH LAMB

For many, Easter dinner would not feel complete without a succulent Welsh Lamb centre piece, be it a beautifully marinated roast leg or a tender rack of lamb crusted with garlic and rosemary.  But did you know the optimum time to enjoy the best of UK new-season Lamb is traditionally from June to January?

Don’t panic! This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a delicious, roast lamb dish this Easter. Welsh farmers work hard to meet the demand for high quality, locally produced and fully traceable PGI Welsh Lamb over the Easter period, so that you can enjoy melt-in-the-mouth dishes that make for an egg-citing celebratory meal. This is achieved by many farmers opting to lamb earlier in the year to guarantee great tasting, locally sourced meat is ready for spring, offering a more sustainable option for lamb lovers, than buying produce imported from much further afield.

‘But where then can I find Welsh Lamb this Spring,’ we hear you ask? The best way to ensure Welsh Lamb is the centre piece on your Easter dinner table is to speak to a butcher who will be well placed to advise on the local lamb available and the cuts best suited to your needs. There are also many online butchers and ‘farm door’ retail options that can deliver Welsh Lamb boxes direct to you, in time for Easter.

So whether you’re cooking for friends, family, or just want a special meal for yourself, we’ve got the perfect Welsh Lamb recipes to make this Easter one to remember.

Spring minted leg of Welsh Lamb

A lamb showstopper that’s sure to be a family favourite. With plenty of lamb to go around, this recipe provides the perfect centrepiece for your Easter dinner table.

  • Prep time: 25 minutes
  • Cook time: 2 hrs 10 mins
  • Serves: 5+

Ingredients:

  • 1 leg of PGI Welsh Lamb
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 small onions, sliced
  • Seasoning
  • 2 large handfuls of fresh mint leaves, roughly torn
  • 6 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar

For the mint sauce:

  • 1 large handfuls of fresh mint leaves, roughly torn
  • 6 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar

Method:

  1. Cooking time: medium – 25 minutes per 450g/500g plus 25 minutes, or well done – 30 minutes per 450g/500g plus 30 minutes.
  2. The oven temperature should be 180°C / 160°C fan / Gas 4.
  3. Weigh the lamb joint and calculate the cooking time. Place the lamb on a board and make several slits into the joint.
  4. Line a large roasting tin with foil. Place the oil, onions, seasoning, mint, vinegar and brown sugar into the roasting pan, add the lamb and roll around to coat thoroughly. Roughly squash some of the onions, mint and sugar into some of the slits – leave to marinate for two hours, covered and in the fridge.
  5. Remove from fridge, spoon over any marinade juices, scrunch the foil very loosely around the bottom of the joint and cook for the calculated cooking time. Baste the lamb joint a couple of times during cooking. Mix all the ingredients together for the mint sauce and allow to stand at room temperature for about 20 minutes to infuse flavours.
  6. Remove the lamb joint from oven and allow to stand for about 15-20 minutes before carving. Serve on a bed of steamed spring vegetables and spoon over the cooking juices.

Welsh Lamb shanks kleftiko

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 3 hr
  • Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 4 x PGI Welsh Lamb shanks
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • Seasoning
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 garlic bulb, halved
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • Sprigs thyme
  • Sprigs rosemary
  • 600g waxy potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 4 large tomatoes, cut into thick wedges
  • 1 large red onion, sliced
  • 200g feta cheese, crumbled
  • 100ml dry white wine

To serve:

  • Fresh chopped herbs to serve

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 190˚C / 170˚C fan / Gas 5.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a frying pan, place the shanks in the pan and season. Sear the shanks quickly, browning them all over.
  3. In an oven tray or deep casserole dish, place the remaining oil, lemon juice, garlic, bay leaves, oregano, thyme, rosemary, potatoes, tomatoes, wine and half of the feta cheese. Stir well. Place the halved garlic in the tray.
  4. Place the lamb shanks on top and cover with foil.
  5. Cook for approximately 2 – 2 hours 30 minutes, depending on the size of the shanks.
  6. Remove the foil and place back in the oven for a further 30 minutes, basting the shanks with the juices.
  7. Before serving, top with the remaining feta cheese and chopped herbs. Squeeze the garlic bulb into the juices.
  8. Serve with crusty bread to mop up the juices.

Herb crusted pulled Welsh Lamb shoulder

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 4 hrs
  • Serves: 5+

Ingredients:

  • Shoulder of PGI Welsh Lamb, on the bone (can be made with boneless shoulder)
  • Handful of fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • 1 sprig of rosemary, chopped
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • ½ tsp coarse black pepper
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 100ml water

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 160°C / 140°C fan / Gas 3 – 4.
  2. Place the lamb shoulder in a deep roasting tin.
  3. Place the garlic, seeds and seasoning in a pestle and mortar and lightly crush. Add the oil, zest and juice of lemon and fresh herbs.
  4. Make a few slits in the surface of the shoulder and rub the herby mixture all over the surface. Add the water into the tin.
  5. Place in the oven for 45 minutes until crust has browned then cover with foil and return to the oven for approximately two and a half hours until the meat is very tender, basting occasionally.
  6. Remove from the oven and rest for 20 minutes. To pull/shred the meat use two forks to pull the meat off the bone.
  7. Delicious served in flatbreads with a minty yogurt dip and crispy salad. You can also serve the lamb sliced with vegetables and gravy as a roast shoulder of lamb.

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