I was quite priveledged recently to have been sent a lovely food package recently from the Welsh Assembly Government, containing some beautiful Welsh Lamb Steaks and a selection of other fine ingredients, along with the invitation to create a Welsh Lamb recipe for The English Kitchen.
Welsh Lamb is currently in season at the moment, on into December, making this the perfect time to prepare and enjoy it. Living in Chester as we do, we are right on the border to Wales, and we are lucky enough to know first hand just how very flavourful and delicious their lamb really is.
It just makes sense to buy locally produced meat when it is in season. It may cost a bit more, but the flavours just can't be beaten . . . let's face it, there is just no comparison between lamb which has been grown and farmed right on our doorstep, and lamb that has been flown halfway around the world. Right on the doorstep wins with me, every time!
I decided to create a mildly spiced marinade for the steaks and a warm couscous salad to serve alongside. Welsh lamb has a lovely robust flavour, without it being too intense. After marinating them for about 30 minutes, the steaks turned out very tender when cooked and succulent.
The flavours of the salad went very well with the lamb steaks . . . with fruity bits of dried apricot and dates, crunchy cashew nuts, spring onion, salty green olives, a little bit of heat from some Harissa Paste and a mild minty tang from my secret ingredient . . . Mint Sauce. This was so good, I ate the leftovers for lunch the next day and enjoyed it all over again.
You can find out a host more of information about Welsh Lamb HERE. Do pop on over and take a good gander at the site. There's lots of interesting things to peruse and a host of lovely recipes to try out.
Welsh Lamb, it's more than just about meat. It's the backbone of small rural communities which keep traditions and the Welsh language alive. It's a good thing, a very, very good thing.
*Spiced Lamb Steaks with a Warm Moroccan Couscous Salad*
Mildly spiced Lamb Steaks grilled and served on top of a warm couscous salad with subtle Moroccan flavours! Delicious!!
For the lamb:
2 leg lamb steaks
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
a splash of olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
For the Coucous Salad:
150g of couscous
a handful of dried apricots, chopped
a dessertspoon of chopped dried dates
a knob of butter
1 to 2 tsp harissa paste (depending on how much heat you want)
250ml of hot chicken or vegetable stock
a handful of pitted green olives, chopped
a small handful of salted cashew nuts
small handful of chopped flat leaf parsley
1 tsp of good quality mint sauce
1/2 bunch of spring onions, trimmed and finely chopped
1/2 of a small preserved lemon, flesh discarded and skin finely chopped
extra virgin olive oil
the juice of half a lemon
sea salt and black pepper to taste
Season the lamb steaks all over with salt and black pepper. Mix the cumin, coriander, and cinnamon together with a splash of olive oil. Rub this mixture into the lamb steaks and then set aside to marinate while you make the couscous.
Place the dried coucous into a bowl along with the dried fruits. Stir the knob of butter into the hot chicken stock along with the harissa paste. Pour this over the couscous and fruits, stir well, Cover and set aside for five minutes until it has absorbed all of the liquid.
While the coucous is soaking, heat a grill pan over moderate heat. Once the pan is heated add the lamb steaks. Cook the steaks until tender and nicely browned, about 5 to 6 minutes, turning them once. Remove from the heat and set aside to rest.
Fluff up the soaked couscous with a fork and stir in the olives, nuts, parsley, mint sauce, spring onions, and preserved lemon. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pile into a serving bowl. Pile into a serving bowl and top with the warm lamb steaks. Serve immediately.