Food Glorious Food - March 2015

Food Glorious Food – March 2015

By Robert Hanson

Seasonal and delicious, this lamb recipe is bursting with healthy, fresh flavours and textures. Perfect for a spring evening or a Sunday lunch.

The world is not short of sheep. Between them, the world’s top 5 sheep producing countries, China, India, Australia, Sudan and Iran have a gigantic flock of 438 million. Something to bleat about.

Now, while you simultaneously groan and, forgive me, digest the statistics, you might like to consider this month’s recipe.

And to follow, nothing beats a fresh and fruity dessert, vibrant with Spring colour. So, how about a fairly simple fruit salad with passion fruit, pineapple and pomegranate? It does involve a fair amount of skinning and rather a lot of pips but is well worth the effort, and goes very well with a dollop of natural yoghurt.

One last lamb thought; every year in many places around the country, including Sussex, there takes place the oddest of races, not with horses but with sheep. It’s ‘The Lamb National’ when 4-6 well trained Herdwick sheep from the Lake District race and show off their considerable ability to jump. The event attracts large, curious, but always very enthusiastic crowds.

Rack of Lamb with butter beans and lettuce

Depending on how many you want to feed, how generous you are feeling and how hungry your guests might be, take one three or four-cutlet rack of lamb per person and increase (multiply) the ingredients listed below accordingly. I have given them for just one three or four-cutlet rack.

Set your oven to 220°C, 425F°, Gas Mark 7.

One 3 or 4 cutlet rack of lamb

A teaspoon of wholegrain mustard

A teaspoon of brown sugar

A handful of crisp lettuce, washed, dried and shredded

An 8oz (225g) tin of butter beans

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

A teaspoon of fresh mint, chopped


1. Trim any excess fat off the lamb. With a very sharp knife score the remaining fat criss-crossed, then spread the mustard over your scoring and spread-and-press in the sugar.

2. Season, then roast for 10-15 minutes. Check for pinkness.

3. Either take the meat out of its roasting pan and set it aside, or perhaps cook it for a little longer depending on how you like it.

4. When you are happy with your lamb and have put it aside, pour off excess fat from the roasting pan and set it over a gentle heat on top of your stove. Add the lettuce, beans, salt and pepper. Toss this lot until the lettuce has wilted and the beans are hot. Stir in the mint then serve alongside the lamb.