Welsh lamb has a special place in my heart, for a few reasons. Of course the first reason is that I am Welsh and grew up amongst some pretty glorious countryside where lambs grazed close by. The second reason is that as a child one of my favourite home cooked meals was Cawl. My mum would make huge batches of it and it was a comforting meal which always reminds me of home. Since moving into my home and starting my own family I’ve enjoyed cooking with lamb, generally the typical roast lamb dishes or chops with a mint sauce but I’ll be honest I haven’t experimented too much with it.
PGI Welsh Lamb got in touch last month to ask if I would like to collaborate and create a recipe using PGI lamb. I was incredibly keen, especially after my recent press trip to a salt marsh lamb farm and wanted to make something easy but tasty and healthy which would suit the whole family.
But firstly, what is PGI?
The European Commission (EC) has awarded Welsh Lamb and Welsh Beef the coveted status of Protected Geographical Indication (PGI). This puts Welsh Lamb and Welsh Beef in the same elevated company as Parma Ham and other speciality and protected food name products from around the world.
You can find a list of the butchers in your area which serve PGI Welsh Lamb by clicking here and there are even online stockists which deliver to your door. I quite enjoyed the discovery of a very local butcher to me and after the quality of this meat I will certainly be paying them a visit again soon!
Pretty much immediately after I was asked to create the recipe I began buying different cuts of lamb and trying different dishes. Research is key after all and well lamb is pretty tasty! I finally decided after plenty of testing on this recipe for griddled lamb steaks marinated overnight in a mixture of lemon, garlic, honey and herbs. It is summery and light and with the right sides can be a really special meal. It is also very good diced finely the next day in a wrap or pitta with loads of salad.
I also thought up a fun adaptation using diced lamb so that kids could get involved in the recipe too. One of the things I’ve recently picked up on with my two young daughters is that the more I involved them in cooking the more they want to eat the food. They have always been enjoyed baking cakes or biscuits but everyday cooking is fun for kids too. We call it cooking club. Both of the girls enjoy rubbing herbs into potatoes for crispy air fryer potatoes, helping to butter bread or chop veggies or in this case threading meat and vegetables onto skewers for kebabs! Always be careful when little ones are touching raw meat or using sharp objects such as kebab sticks and it goes without saying they need constant supervision but they can do it and what’s more they will enjoy it.
We began our prep the night before with Izzy helping somewhat reluctantly to rub the marinade into the diced lamb while I did the same to the lamb steaks. She soon got over her initial squeaminess and enjoyed helping out.
The next day at my parents house the girls sat at the kitchen table and had so much fun creating their very own lamb kebabs.
We used halloumi, peppers, new potatoes and sweet potato to layer up our lamb kebabs but you could use any veggies you like.
To make the lamb kebabs just us the marinade recipe from the lamb steaks below and use chunks of veg and halloumi. Drizzle with oil and bake for 25 mins until golden brown or pop on a bbq until cooked thoroughly. If using wooden skewers pre soak to avoid burning.
The finished product:
Moving on to the main event – Griddled Welsh Lamb Steaks – sounds simple you say? It is, extremely simple yet tasty and satisfying. Lamb doesn’t need an awful lot of fuss but an overnight stay in the fridge after being massaged with a good marinade can make a basic dish an exceptional one. I love the light summery combination of lemon, herbs and garlic, throw in a little honey for sweetness and a good rapeseed oil to bulk it up and that is all that’s needed. Lamb has quite a strong flavour on it’s own, don’t try to overpower that flavour, just subtle enhance it. I had planned to make these on the BBQ and this recipe can be easily adapted for that particular style of cooking just by firing up your gas barbecue or lighting some charcoal for a real smokey taste. The Welsh weather this weekend had other ideas and a particularly wet Sunday meant that an alfresco lunch was out of the question. A griddle pan is a perfect swap for a bbq when you need to eat indoors, you get the look of bbq’d food and a lot of the flavour too. Just remember to oil the meat, not the pan and keep some windows or doors open as it can get a little smokey.
Griddled Welsh Lamb Steaks With Lemon, Garlic and Herbs
You will need:
6 Lamb steaks
Zest of 2 lemons
Juice of 1 lemon
75ml of a good quality rapeseed or olive oil
2 tbsp of fresh diced herbs – I used oregano
4 garlic cloves minced
a good pinch of salt
a good pinch of cracked black pepper
Mix all of your marinade ingredients together well and add to your lamb steaks in a bowl, massage for a few mins and cover. Pop in the refrigerator for a minimum of 12 hours.
Remove your lamb from the fridge 30 -60 minutes before cooking to bring to room temperature ( this helps it cook more evenly ).
Place your griddle pan over a medium to high heat and heat the pan completely before adding your meat, cook for around 3-4 minutes each side for medium rare, 6-8 minutes each side to be cooked through or to your liking.
All meat should be left to rest slightly after cooking, this makes the meat a little more moist and allows the flavour to develop. Just a few mins will do the trick.
Serve with some super sides. Here are some basic recipes for the sides I served:
I have been using this basic recipe for flatbreads for years now, it always works well and they are kind of addictive. These quantities make around 16 small flatbreads, believe me everyone wants at least two.
500g Plain Flour
300ml warm water
30ml of rapeseed oil
Slice your aubergine into chunky rounds, rub in some chilli oil and sea salt. Bake for 25 mins.
Yoghurt and mint dip:
Blend together half a tub of natural greek yoghurt with a heaped tablespoon of jarred mint sauce.
Not a recipe as such but a serving suggestion, get the best new potatoes you can find and cook to perfection. Add some herb butter for indulgence.
We had a lot of fun creating this recipe for PGI Welsh Lamb. I also enjoyed an afternoon with my mum where she taught me how to make her homemade cawl, would you like that recipe too?
- This recipe is in collaboration with PGI Welsh Lamb and I have been compensated for my time in creating it.