Our latest festive dining article looks at an ideal candidate for your holiday feast.
Irish lamb by Bord Bia
Lambs are an integral part of the Irish landscape and for good reason. There are nearly four million sheep for 4.70 million Irish people. Lambs are naturally at home in their environment of the beautiful landscapes and green grasslands for which Ireland is famous. Often, lambs and oxen are raised together to get the most benefit from grass growth – lambs like short grass, while oxen have a preference for longer grass, creating a fully-grazed meadow that grows back in a denser and richer manner.
Focus on shoulder of lamb
Taste-wise, the shoulder of lamb has nothing to envy the leg of lamb, but it contains more bone which can complicate the preparation. This is why Bord Bia would like you to discover its boneless version, which is much easier to cook. You will notice that the shoulder of lamb retains the shank bone, which will not interfere with the cutting and provides the flavours so typical of ‘meat on the bone’. This cut is prepared by the lamb specialist A.Lonhienne. It can be roasted, stewed or stuffed. Generous, visual and fragrant, it is an ideal candidate for a festive table.
Chef Maxime Colin’s advice
Prepare a marinade based on sweet spices, garlic and thyme for 24 hours before cooking the lamb. Brown the meat at high temperature in a roasting pan before continuing to cook it covered at low temperature, with its juice at +/- 95° for 12 hours. Drizzle the meat with its juices as often as possible throughout cooking, giving you a tasty meat which really melts in the mouth.
The image shows Shoulder of Lamb Stuffed with Pancetta and Shallot Confit.
Bord Bia is the official Irish Food Board.