lamb

Easter lamb: top tips from London butcher HG Walter

HG Walter, one of our favourite butchers in London, shares some brilliant tips for buying lamb at Easter time. Plus, recipes for both leg of lamb and shoulder of lamb.

A trustworthy source 

Always buy lamb from a source that you trust.  A good butcher should be able to give you information on the origin, age, breed and slaughter process of the animal – all of which have a big impact on the end product.

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At this time of the year it will most likely be West Country lamb. All of our Easter lamb comes from the West Country, either Cornwall, Devon or Somerset.  The warmer climate allows better grass in winter and nicer conditions for the young lambs to grow in.


How long is lamb hung for?

It is also important to ask your butcher how long she/he hangs the lamb for. Here at HG Walter we hang our meat for between 7 and 10 days. As the lamb is young it doesn’t need to be hung for long. When you’re in the shop and choosing the lamb, look for pale pink flesh and firm, creamy-white fat.  Another indication of young lamb is a slight blue tinge to the bones.


Choose the right cut

Without a doubt leg is the most popular cut at Easter time. The leg is a quick roast and best served slightly pink. If you’re only cooking for a few people you may want just have half a leg, but even better look at some of the more primal cuts such as a rack or a rolled saddle. For a slow roast a shoulder is perfect.


Our best roast leg of lamb recipe

A roast leg of lamb will feed 6 to 8 people. Rub olive oil over the leg and stud with rosemary, thyme and garlic. Season well with salt and pepper. Place the leg in a preheated oven at 200 degrees for the first 20 minutes and then drop to 180 and roast for 50 minutes. Allow the leg to rest for at least 20 minutes after cooking.

Serve the lamb with seasonal British vegetables. As we are in between seasons you can choose from some lovely root vegetables (parsnips, carrots and potatoes), or spring vegetables such as spring greens and purple sprouting broccoli.


Our best shoulder of lamb recipe

A shoulder of lamb will feed between four and five people. The slower the better when it comes to roasting the shoulder. Like the leg rub with olive oil and stud the shoulder with rosemary, thyme and garlic and season with salt pepper and olive oil. We think it is best to cook the shoulder on the bone for optimum flavour.

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees. Cover the shoulder with tinfoil and cook at 200 for 20 minutes and then drop down to 150 degrees for three hours. Serve with seasonal British veg.


The H bone

If you choose to cook a leg, make sure your butcher removes the H bone so that it’s easier for you to carve at the table.


Resting

It is very important to rest your meat after cooking.


Lamb bones

Prior to Easter Sunday collect some lamb bones from your local butcher to make a stock so you can make a delicious gravy for your roast lamb!


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