New ways with Lamb


LOCAL PRODUCE Mayo’s exceptional, grass-fed lamb shines in any dish.

Rediscover Mayo lamb with inspirational recipes from far-flung shores

The Cabots

Our rugged landscape, with its lack of large dairy and tillage land, plays right into the hands of producing exceptional, grass-fed sheep. Reared for the main part outside, eating natural grasses and vegetation, these animals are to be celebrated. If Mayo or Connacht lamb ever disappeared from our markets we would be out crying in the street! Celebrate this unique product now and revel in our accessibility to this fine produce. It will change as everything does, so for now give ourselves a good pinch and thank God for having access to possibly the best sheep stock in western Europe.
Everyone knows delicious cutlets from the grill, a Sunday roast leg with rosemary and garlic, pairing lamb with mint, shoulder gigot chops cooked more slowly in the oven. So perhaps let’s use the Easter holidays, while the children are still off school, to experiment with a couple of interesting lamb recipes and combinations to rediscover this truly regional wonder and top-quality produce. Family dinners with a taste of the exotic.
All over the world people cook lamb with their own traditions. In Ireland and England, we pair lamb with rosemary, thyme, or redcurrant and mint sauces. Indian lovers of lamb cook it with coriander, cinnamon, turmeric, cumin, garam marsala, yogurt. North African cooks love their lamb dishes with saffron, cumin, chili, and around the Mediterranean they pair lamb with olives, anchovies, lemon, basil and garlic. There are so many traditions to take inspiration from.

Indian spiced barbecued lamb
Ask your butcher to ‘butterfly’ your leg of lamb, this is where they cut the meat off around the bone and you cook it in a rolled up shape.
Make an Indian marinade with thumb-sized peeled ginger, one tablespoon each of turmeric, garam marsala, cumin seeds, one teaspoon of paprika, the juice of one lemon and a bunch of fresh coriander leaves, as well as 150ml of natural yogurt. Blitz all these ingredients in a food processor, season and coat the lamb with the marinade. Cover with cling film and leave in fridge overnight, or a minimum five hours.
Cook the lamb, meat side down, on the barbecue for about 25 minutes, and then 15 minutes fat side down. When you have a good crust, and the meat is cooked through, let it rest for a few minutes before serving the slices of lamb with extra fresh coriander and pickled onion. If cooking in an oven, roast the lamb at 220ºC for about an hour, and also let rest before serving the slices.

Butterfly leg of lamb with anchovies and olives
Ask your butcher for a ‘butterflied’ leg of lamb. Create a stuffing by adding the following ingredients in a bowl and mixing by hand:

  • 50g pitted black olives, roughly chopped
  • 1 big tsp capers
  • juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 50g breadcrumbs
  • The needles of two rosemary sprigs, finely chopped
  • 75g dried apricots roughly chopped
  • 5/6 parsley fronds finely chopped
  • 30g pistachios chopped

In a pan cook two shallots over medium heat with olive oil for four minutes slowly, then add a 50g can of anchovies and two garlic cloves, crushed.
Cook for approximately four minutes till the garlic softens, and break down the anchovies with a wooden spoon.
Add this cooked mix to the stuffing bowl, and mix with your hands. Lay out the lamb fat side down, spread the stuffing all over the top surface, fold over and press down.
Cover with tin foil and cook in a pre-heated 200ºc oven for 50 minutes. Allow rest on a warmed plate and cut sections to serve with potatoes and veg, or couscous and salad on a summer’s day.

— Redmond

The Cabot family live and work in Lanmore, outside Westport. Fresh, seasonal foods are their passion, from country markets to growing, making and selling. They love cooking and eating at the kitchen table, while Redmond and Sandra are kept on their toes with children Penny and Louis. Here they share their favourite recipes.


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