From February to June, ’tis the season of daffodils, Easter eggs, hot cross buns and also spring lamb. At 3 to 5 months old the milk-fed lamb has meat milder in flavour and softer than the lamb we find later in the year, which has had more time to graze in the pastures. At its freshest it is a pale pink colour and soft in texture with a good marbling of fat that lends it flavour and tenderness.
It’s subtlety means the meat can be seasoned simply with salt, pepper and herbs and served with seasonal vegetables, but lamb can also take on more vibrant spice blends from the za’atar of the Middle East to the harissa of North Africa.
Roasted, the leg or loin can be the perfect centrepiece to a Sunday roast, succulent and pink and sat amongst piles of golden, crisp roast potatoes and later dressed in sweet, vinegary mint sauce and velvety gravy. We braise the shank with herbs and spices to create rich and indulgent lamb scrumpets with mint mayo. Minced, the shoulder, loin and leg are great for late night sliders or kofte with kafir lime and courgette tzatsiki. The shoulder and leg are perfect for slow roasting and are fantastic for big feasts and weddings. The fall-off-the-bone flesh is perfect with seasonal salads and buttery potatoes or the meat can be pulled apart to fill flatbreads and topped with crunchy salads and punchy condiments. And finally, when the sun finally starts to make an appearance, the sweet loin meat can be deboned, butterflied then grilled on a barbeque, to blend with the flavours of the smoky charcoal: a perfect way to welcome in the summer.