Last Saturday Laurence Keough made a Lamb Rasher Salad on Saturday Kitchen and Nick the lovely boyfreinds’ ears pricked up , mostly because anything with the word rasher has him salivating Homer Simpson- style
On Friday he returned happy from the butchers clutching a breast of lamb. It really doesn’t look like the most appetising cut , lot of fat and ribs. It make sense if you understand it as Lamb belly though obviously lambs have a lot less meat on their tummys than pigs, which explains why despite pork belly being the meat du jour ,lamb breast is still a cheap cut .
Making rashers of lamb is a little time consuming since the lamb needs to be cooked and then pressed overnight but once cooled and sliced it takes just a few minutes to grill it leaving sweet golden strips.
Lawrence also used Dandelion Leaves in his salad , this is appealed to the forager in me so this morning on a gorgeous spring day we went for a little stroll round the local canals.
Just 5 minutes from home we stumbled on a tonne of wild watercress ( Rorippa nasturtium-aquaticum) , this is only the second time I had found watercress. Though myths abound that watercress only grows in clear running water , I have known people grow it in tubs in backgarden . This was close to regularly running water on a culvert leading down from the canal but growing out of concrete. Picking watercress you must be careful to leave the roots in place and there is also a danger of liver fluckes where watercress comes from a water course where there are animals grazing upstream. You can cook the watercress to avoid any risk it makes a lovely soup .
Here I decided to risk a salad , adding a little extra foraged hedge garlic to bulk out the watercress but any other flavorsome lettuce would be good too
Breast of Lamb Rasher Salad with wild watercreass and hedge garlic
1kg breast of lamb
1 bunch of watercress
1 bunch of hedge garlic
20 mint leaves
Few slices of wholegrain bread
Sherry Vinegar Dressing
1 tsp of whole grain mustard
1 glug of sherry vinegar
1 glug of olive oil
Salt and Pepper
- Preheat the oven to 160C/325F/Gas 2.
- Place the lamb belly onto a roasting tray , season with salt & pepper.
- Roast in the oven for 2 hours and 30 minutes
- Remove the lamb from the oven and, while still warm, pull the bones away from the flesh.
- Lay the cooked meat between two baking sheets weighing the top on down with something heavy, I used a mortar from my mortar and pestle
- Chill in the fridge overnight.
- Thinly slice the lamb , place the slices with the brown bread , under a medium grill until golden brown
- Chop the bread into 1cm cubes , mix together the salad leaves lamb and breadcubes
- Mix with the sherry dressing