Two ways to cook... lamb
Vanessa Greenwood pairs diced leg with craft beer in a gastro pub pie, while Gary O’Hanlon gives loin a Middle Eastern flavour
Gary O’Hanlon’s Middle Eastern lamb
I’ve often cooked this dish in Viewmount House in Longford, where I am head chef, using Black Faced Achill Mountain Lamb. This lamb is in season from late July until December, but this dish works equally well with spring lamb.
Lamb takes really well to Middle Eastern spices and when paired with a light coriander salad, it gets to be the star of the show. A bit different from the usual Easter leg of lamb roast – give it a try.
I’m often asked for simple and delicious dinner party dishes. Most people enjoy a rich, meaty casserole, where the flavours intensify if you make it the day ahead.
Stews lend themselves to cheaper cuts of meat and lots of slow cooking, but when it comes to making a lamb casserole or lamb curry, my preference is to buy diced leg of lamb, in order to avoid having to trim off the large proportion of fat from diced lamb shoulder.
Along with an Irish craft porter, my secret ingredient here is a jar of pickled onions – to cut through the richness of the lamb. Topping it with a crisp, puff pastry lid gives the dish a gastro pub vibe. If you don’t have a craft porter, you can use red wine instead.