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Tasty meat cuts perfect for Autumn from The Ginger Pig

The season is upon us and the colder weather is setting in. This can only mean one thing: Stews, slow cooking and hearty dishes of food. The Ginger Pig, infamous for their love of quality meat, have given us their top tips on what to buy this Autumn.



When the Autumn chills set in it’s time for slow cooking and belly-warming, flavourful dishes. The front end of the animal lends itself to this sort of cooking.

 

Meat taken from the fore end is not only the best value, it is also the sweetest tasting. 70% of the animal’s weight is held up by the front legs, increasing muscle bulk and adding great fat marbling.

 

With all its muscle structure and connective tissue, fore end meat needs to be cooked long and slow to break down the muscles, while the extra fat will add flavour and baste the meat to increase moisture, leaving it juicy and tender.

Recommended recipes from Ginger Pig Meat Book:

 

Slow roast shoulder of lamb

 

Lamb shoulder has the most flavour and is very succulent. Ideal for slow roasting and good value:

 

Serves 6, takes 4.5 hours

1 head of garlic

3kg shoulder of lamb or hogget

6 onions (peeled)

8 carrots (peeled)

Sea salt

freshly ground pepper

 

  • Pre-heat the oven to 190 degrees/gas mark 5/375 fahrenheit
  • Cut the head of the garlic in half and rub it all over the shoulder of lamb, then break in to cloves around the roasting tin
  • Add the onions and carrots and place the lamb on top, season and pour on 1.4 litres of water
  • Tent the tin with foil and place in the oven for 30 minutes
  • Reduce the heat to 150 degrees/gas mark 2/300 degrees fahrenheit and cook for a further 4 hours
  • About 30 minutes before serving, remove the foil and allow the lamb to brown
  • The lamb is so tender it doesn't require carving; the blade should just be lifted out, then the lamb spooned from the tin with the vegetables and the juices. Great with mashed potato

Rolled and stuffed breast of lamb

 

Serves 4, takes 2.5 hours

1tbsp olive oil

1 onion, peeled and finely diced

2 garlic cloves, crushed, then peeled

175g (6oz) mushrooms, finely chopped

175g (6oz) spinach, finely chopped

140g (4oz) cheddar cheese

1 egg, beaten

sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1breast of lamb, boned (keep the bones)

1 tbsp plain flour

1 tbsp redcurrant jelly

100ml red wine

 

  • Preheat the oven to 170 degrees/325 degrees fahrenheit/gas mark 3
  • Heat the olive oil in a frying pan, add the onion and garlic and cook until lightly brown
  • Tip in the mushrooms and cook for five minutes, then add the spinach to wilt. Leave to cool, then mix in the cheddar, egg and seasoning
  • Lie the lamb skin side down on a large sheet of kitchen foil, spread evenly with stuffing, then tightly roll up the breast and wrap in the foil, twisting each end to to seal
  • Place the bones and lamb in a roasting tin and roast for 1.5 hours, then remove the bones
  • Place the bones in a shallow saucepan and just cover with water
  • Cover, bring to the boil, then simmer for 35 minutes the strain
  • Meanwhile, roast the meat for a further 30 minutes
  • When cooked, remove from the oven and discard the foil but retain the cooking juices
  • Add the flour to the roasting tin and mix well, place over a medium heat and slowly pour in the roasted bone stock, mixing until smooth
  • Add the redcurrent jelly and wine, bring to a boil and reduce by half.
  • Carve the lamb and serve with the sauce and a rosemary sprig to garnish
More

A little more on lamb

 

The hardworking heft of muscle from the forequarter of the animal, which can be broken down into separate parts or roasted whole to great affect. Although leg (from the rear of the animal, which does less work than the front) is often favoured as the premium cut, it is shoulder the gives the most flavour and succulence, thanks to its marbling of fat and intramuscular tissue. Cooked slowly and allowed to tenderize over a number of hours, shoulder has every ounce of leg’s majesty at around half the price. While shoulder makes a fantastic roast, it’s ideal for dicing or mincing too. A whole shoulder will feed four to eight, depending on whether you have a small new season lamb around Easter or a large hogget in the new year.

 

To cook


With a whole or piece of lamb shoulder, you can’t really go wrong. Marinade or flavour if you wish, then give it 10 minutes at 200°C before adding a glass of wine and turning the oven down to 140°C for 3-5 hours.

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