Recipes: From (local) farm to fork
Back with For the Love of the Land II, a second volume of recipes and real life stories harvested from great British farms, award-winning cookbook author Jenny Jefferies shares two homegrown dishes perfect for summer dining
Butterflied Summer Lamb
Shimpling Park Farm, Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk
“Our clover-fed lamb is cooked with summer ingredients over native wood in this recipe, creating a zingy and tender dish that’s perfect for warmer weather.”
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
1 leg of lamb, butterflied
4 shallots or 2 onions
4 tinned anchovies
4 cloves of garlic
Fresh coarsely ground black pepper
Either butterfly the lamb leg yourself or buy it already prepared, but make sure that the meat is of an even depth. Score the meat diagonally across the grain at about 1cm, depending on thickness.
To make the marinade, finely chop the shallots or onions and the anchovies until the latter is almost a paste. Crush the garlic cloves with the skin on, roughly chop the fresh tarragon and squeeze the lemon juice into a bowl. Roughly chop the lemon skin and place into the bowl along with the prepared ingredients, adding salt and pepper to taste. With both hands, thoroughly mix and knead the mixture to get all the flavours working together. Pour the marinade into a recycled plastic bag, add the butterflied leg and knead the marinade into the meat. Tie a knot in the bag to seal.
Light your barbecue with a stack of thinly split native hardwood and let the flames die down before cooking. While you wait, return to the marinating lamb and knead the mixture again into the meat.
Repeat this occasionally until the barbecue is ready.
Once the flames have died down, barbecue the butterflied lamb for 20 minutes, turning it regularly, and apply some of the marinade after each turn. Don’t worry if the outside of the lamb blackens due to the flames, it all adds to the flavour! When the cooking time is up, cut into the meat to check it is done to your taste, or use a meat thermometer.
If you like your lamb less rare, extend your cooking time but remove it from any remaining flames. Serve with baked potatoes or potato wedges, young broad beans, summer salad and a juicy red wine.
Village Farm, Haddon, Cambridgeshire
“British farming is a world-leading and diverse industry; it’s something that we can really be proud of. This simple recipe combines some of those delicious ingredients for a celebration of British produce. To those who haven’t tried making meringue before, it’s easier than you think.”
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 5 hours (including cooling)
Foraged berries (raspberries, strawberries, redcurrants, blackcurrants, tayberries or similar)
3 large eggs (or 4 small ones)
180g caster sugar
Icing sugar, to dust
Sprigs of fresh mint
Preheat the oven to 140°c or 120°c fan, and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. Pop the foraged berries in the freezer.
Separate the egg whites carefully from the yolks (use the yolks to beef up your scrambled egg for breakfast) and then whip the whites in a glass bowl, gradually adding the caster sugar. You can add
your choice of flavouring, syrup, or vanilla essence at this point if you like.
When the meringue mixture has reached the perfect consistency (Nigella and Delia talk about ‘soft peaks’), spoon it on to the prepared baking tray (you can also use cupcake moulds, ramekins, or your receptacle of choice) and flatten out a hollow in each meringue for the fruit to sit in.
Put the tray in the preheated oven to bake for 1 hour 20 minutes, or a little longer if you like your meringue crispy. Allow your meringues to cool completely once baked. Some people like to turn off the oven and leave them there, though you can transfer them to a wire rack for cooling.
Bring your berries out of the freezer, allowing them to thaw and ‘mush’ a little before placing them on top of your meringues, filling the hollows you created, just before you’re ready to serve them. A shake of icing sugar (through a sieve of course) and a sprig of mint will make the mother-in-law think you studied at Ballymaloe.
Sequel to For the Love of the Land, winner of Best Cookbook in the Woman & Home Book Awards 2021, For the Love of the Land II is out next month. Published in hardback by Meze, copies can be pre-ordered now at jennyjefferies.co.uk and mezepublishing.co.uk
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