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Easter Weekend Tips & Recipe

Easter Weekend Tips & Recipe

Top tips from a few top chefs we work closely with

  • If you’re using a cut like shoulder or leg, I would recommend brining in the fridge overnight. Add 3l of water to a pot and add 300g of salt, 3 bay leaves, 3 sprigs of thyme and rosemary and 8 star anise plus 1 whole lemon (quartered) then bring to the boil. Stir until the salt has completely dissolved and remove from the heat. Submerge the lamb in the brine and leave in the fridge for at least 12 hours. Rinse and pat dry before roasting for the recommended time - Paul Ainsworth 
  • For the ultimate mint sauce, melt together equal quantities of red wine vinegar and redcurrant jelly in a pan, along with a touch of caster sugar. Bring to the boil and cook for 2 minutes, then remove from the heat and allow to cool completely before stirring in a lots of freshly chopped mint - Brad Carter, Carter’s of Moseley 
  • When cooking with lamb saddle, rump or loin, always score the fat with a sharp knife creating a criss-cross pattern before searing in a medium-hot pan. This will render the fat and leave it beautifully crisp - Chris Eden, Gidleigh Park 

Cull Yaw Shepherd’s Pie by Michael Harrison 

Cooking Time 2-3 hours

Serves 4

Notes On The Recipe

  • These older sheep have a lot of fat (this is a good thing) and will release plenty of fat while cooking. The liquid fat that renders out in the browning stage should be kept for use in later steps. If none is produced or you don’t fancy doing this then use beef fat or veg oil for the browning in Step 1 and butter for the sweating of the vegetables in Step 2.
  • As I grew up in Sheffield I nearly always use Henderson’s Relish instead of Worcestershire Sauce.   
  • I do not give salt measurements for seasoning as this is down to the individual. Always taste and season. The same goes for finishing with black pepper.
  • Feel free to make your Cull Yaw dice as rough or as neat as you like.

Step 1

  • 500g Cull Yaw leg/shoulder boneless dice  
  • 1 small white onion, peeled and cut in half
  • 1/2 carrot, peeled and cut in half
  • 1 stick of celery and cut in half
  • 4 x garlic clove, peeled
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • 100ml dark ale or stout
  • 300-400ml good quality brown stock (ideally mutton but beef or chicken are also good)
  • 5 large sprigs of thyme
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • Lightly season the Cull Yaw with salt and, in a little hot oil, brown in a suitably sized pan. When evenly browned and firm to the touch remove from the pan and pour off any excess fat.
  • With a small amount of the Cull Yaw fat brown the onion, carrot, celery and garlic. Once brown, lower the heat and add the tomato paste seasoning with a tiny pinch of salt. Return the browned Cull Yaw to the pan and over high heat deglaze with the dark ale. Simmer for 30 seconds but do not reduce too much.
  • Add just enough stock to cover and bring up to a simmer. Skim off any impurities and fat and gently simmer for 45 minutes (you may need to add a little more stock or water as you go). 
  • Turn off the heat, add the rosemary and thyme and leave to rest for 20 minutes.
  • Remove all of the vegetables and herbs leaving on the meat in the liquid.

Step 2

  • 2 small white onions, peeled, 1cm dice
  • 2 large carrots, peeled, 1cm dice
  • 2 sticks celery, 1cm dice
  • 1 x bay leaf
  • 5 dashes of Henderson’s Relish
  • In a suitable pan and over a medium heat, add a touch of leftover Cull Yaw fat (or butter) and sweat the onion, carrot and celery until soft. Add in the cooked Cull Yaw with the cooking liquid and the bay leaf. 
  • Bring up to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes or until the sauce has a thick, gravy like consistency.
  • Add the Henderson’s Relish to taste (it should be a background note not a dominating flavour) with a small pinch of cracked black pepper and salt to taste. Set aside to cool and remove the bay leaf. 

Step 3

  • 1kg floury potatoes, such as Maris Piper, peeled, 5cm dice
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 150g butter, 2cm dice, room temperature
  • Put the potato in a suitable pot and cover with cold water 2cm above the potatoes. Add the salt and stir to dissolve. 
  • Over a medium heat, slowly bring the water up to a simmer, cover with a lid and drop the heat to a gentle simmer. Test the potatoes with a fork. When they slide off the fork very easily and break under a little pressure drain the potatoes and leave to steam themselves dry.
  • While still warm, mash the cooked potatoes with a masher or fork until as smooth and work in the butter 
  • Check seasoning 

Step 4

  • Transfer the meat and sauce to a suitable ovenproof dish and top evenly with the warm mash.
  • Use a fork to create the pattern of your choosing in the mash. Brush with any remaining fat or melted butter and sprinkle with picked rosemary.
  • Bake at 180C until the top is nicely browned and the filling is hot
  • Allow to rest for at least 10 minutes. Serve sprinkled with cracked black pepper and some seasonal cabbage such as steamed savoy, buttered hispi or braised red.