Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Tandoori Welsh Lamb Neck Fillet, Masala Potatoes, Crispy Onions and Coriander Vinaigrette

This St. David’s Day I have been inspired by the great produce of Wales and I for one am so proud and privileged to call Wales my home and help show off some of the incredible products that Wales has to offer. Teaming up with Food and Drink Wales I aim to do just that!

Here I use arguably to most well recognised Welsh product not only in Wales and Great Britain but the World. I am of course talking about Lamb! Not any lamb, Welsh PGI lamb. What does that mean? It stands for Protected Geographic Indication which is a byword for quality and means that the produce bearing that logo has been highlighted as having particular characteristics specific to that area. Think Champagne or Parma ham. Here I use a cut of lamb that is full of flavour and very reasonably priced. I always recommend using a quality butcher so find out where your local one is and use them!

The other product is Pembrokeshire new potatoes which in their own right are pretty damn good with a bit of butter and salt! Come May time however a certain variety of new potato the Pembrokeshire Earlies as they are known also have the coveted PGI status. These potatoes are versatile, sweet and buttery. I love them.

In this recipe I combine these great products with a hit of spice and I am super happy with the result. But don’t take my word for it, try it for yourself! #ThisisWales #GwladGwlad

Ingredients: (makes 4 portions)

For the Lamb-
·         2 Welsh lamb neck fillets – fully trimmed of excess fat and sinew

For the Marinade:
·         6 tbsp Greek Yogurt
·         2 tsp Gram Masala
·         2 tsp ground red chilli powder (medium heat)
·         ½ tsp smoked sea salt (fine)

For the Masala Potatoes-
·         500g Welsh new potatoes
·         1 tbsp sunflower oil
·         ¼ tsp cumin seeds
·         ¼ tsp black mustard seeds                                                                                                                ·         5 dried curry leaves
·         1 green finger chilli
·         ¼ tsp ground coriander
·         ¼ tsp ground turmeric
·         ¼ tsp ground red chilli powder (medium)
·         ¼ tsp garam masala
·         ¼ tsp salt (smoked)

For the Crispy Onions-
·         2 echalion shallots
·         1 egg
·         Dash of full fat milk
·         Plain flour
·         Smoked sea salt
·         Black pepper
·         Sun flower oil to fry

For the Coriander Vinaigrette-
·         2.5 tbsp white wine vinegar
·         2 tbsp olive oil
·         1 tsp shallots finely chopped
·         5 tbsp finely chopped coriander
·         Fine sea salt to taste
·         Freshly ground pepper to taste


For the lamb:
·         For the marinade mix all the ingredients together in a clip fresh tub or similar.
·         Trim any excess fat and sinew from the fillets (you can ask you butcher to do this for you).
·     Coat the lamb neck fillets and marinade in the clip fresh tub for 12hrs or overnight in the fridge.
·        Remove the from the marinade but ensure there is still a good coating of it on the lamb. This will form the ‘crust’. (Do this at least 20-30 mins before cooking as you do not want the lamb to be fridge cold before going into the oven).
·     Cook on the highest temperature your oven will go for 20-25 mins then remove from oven and check internal temp with a meat probe: needs to be at least 55-60c when removed from the oven. Internal temp will continue to rise while meat is resting. We are looking for the centre to still be pink.
·       Carefully transfer to a separate tray or cooling rack being sure not to disturb the crust hence use a fish slice/wide spatula rather than tongs to lift up the fillets.
·       Blow torch to glaze and char the coating, alternatively place under a preheated grill turned up to max until the coating has that lovely charred appearance.
·         Allow the meat to rest for about 5-10 mins.
·         Carve each fillet into slices just before serving.

For the potatoes:
·         Quarter/half the potatoes depending on the size.
·         Boil in salted water until cooked.
·         Drain and set aside to allow excess moisture to evaporate.
·         Then in a separate frying pan add the oil then the whole spices and heat gently.
·         Add the ground spices and cook out for a few mins.
·         Transfer the potatoes to this frying pan and coat. Gently press some of the potatoes down to ‘crush’ a few so there is a mix of whole and ‘crushed’ potatoes.

For the onions:
·         Slice the onions thinly.
·         Dip in a mixture of egg and milk.
·         Then coat in seasoned flour.
·        Fry in hot oil until crispy (both shallow and deep frying will be fine just be careful and try not to burn the onions).
·         Drain on kitchen paper.

For the vinaigrette:
·         Finely dice the shallots
·         Finely chop the coriander
·         Then add all ingredients to a jar and shake!

To serve:
·         Place a mound of potatoes in the middle of the dish
·         Place the carved lamb on top
·         Drizzle the vinaigrette around the potatoes
·         Arrange the onions on the lamb
·         Garnish with picked coriander leaves as required

There you have my dish inspired by Wales on St. David’s Day. With spring just around the corner and new season lamb on the way along with the Pembrokeshire Earlies now is the time to make the most of these amazing products Wales has to offer. Not to mention the cheese, beef, fish, shellfish, chocolate, wine, whisky…….. (I could go on and on!).
For more information about food and drink in Wales check out Food and Drink Wales website or on twitter @FoodDrinkWales @BwydDiodCymru

Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Hapus/Happy St Davids Day.