Cooking Spring Lamb - A Media Masterclass
Executive Head Chef Mike Bates treated members of the media to a cookery masterclass in the Hunter Lodges.
On the menu was that Easter favourite - Welsh Lamb - but with a difference as Mike encouraged his guests to join him in preparing a saltbaked crusted leg of lamb with a healthy quinoa salad (recipes below).
The day began with Welsh cakes fresh off the griddle and finished with a Bake-Off style challenge to produce the best-looking Easter Egg Eton Mess style dessert.
As well as Mike's culinary skills, the event showcased what a great space the Hunter Lodges are to prepare and share a family meal in.
Salt-baked crusted Welsh lamb
1 leg of Welsh lamb, tunnel boned (ask the butcher to do this for you). Choose a leg of spring lamb no more than 2.5kg in weight.
For the salt crust: (this mixture will cover 2 legs of lamb)
1kg plain flour
400g Smoked Welsh Halon Mon sea salt
4 sprigs of thyme
10 twists of a black pepper mill
4 sprigs of rosemary
Combine all dry ingredients into a mixing bowl, add water slowly to form smooth dough, cling film and refrigerate until needed.
Wild garlic Gremolata
1 lemon zested
1 cup of picked flat parsley
1 cup of wild garlic leaves
Teaspoon of salt
¼ cup of olive oil
Place all ingredients except olive oil into a food processor, slowly add olive oil until a smooth consistency is achieved, reserve until needed.
Roll out the dough with a rolling pin into a size that will cover the whole leg of lamb.
Rub the leg of lamb with the wild garlic gremolata, including the cavity.
Place the rolled out dough over the lamb, ensuring it is totally covered.
Place onto a baking/roasting tray and put into a preheated oven at 180 and cook for 1 hour and 35 minutes.
Remove from the oven and allow resting for 20 minutes.
Crack open and remove the crust and carve the lamb and enjoy.
Serving suggestion : As an alternative to boiled vegetables, try a healthy quinoa salad.
Healthy Quinoa Salad
- 300g black quinoa
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- small Romanesco, finely grated
- 100g broad beans, shelled
- 200g pomegranate seeds
- 85g toasted pine nuts
- freshly chopped mint
- small pack each of coriander, flat leaf parsley and mint, roughly chopped
- juice of 3 lemons, and zest
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 large carrot , finely chopped
- Cucumber, deseeded and finely chopped
Cook the quinoa following pack instructions – it should be tender but with a little bite.
Drain well and spread over a platter or wide, shallow bowl to cool quickly and steam dry.
When the quinoa is just about cool stir through all of the remaining ingredients with plenty of seasoning.
Add and mix in wild garlic Gremolata (recipe as above), little by little, until required taste is achieved. Or add Pesto, or honey or mustard dressing if preferred.