Lamb has never been a meat I’ve ever been particularly fond of. When growing up, our roast dinners would generally be beef or chicken as they went down well with everyone. Anytime I’ve tried lamb I’ve found it to be tough & chewy, often full of fat as well. We won’t discuss the odd kebab here & there… When Scotch Lamb asked if I wanted to attend an exclusive event showcasing Scotch Lamb, I figured I had nothing to lose & may as well see if they could convert me into a lamb lover!
The event was held in SWG3, which if you’ve ever been to a Scoop pop-up event, you’ll know it’s basically an open warehouse space that can be used in any manner. As the event was aimed at getting people more familiar with lamb & its uses, there were demos from Chef Jacqueline O’Donnell (of The Sisters & The Great British Menu fame), butchery lessons & different dishes on offer from the Scoop Cartel.
The one good point about the cartel being involved was the variety of dishes on offer:
- Lamb tacos from Antojito Cantina
- Roast lamb on fresh baked (in an amazing stone pizza oven) from So La Ti Dough
- Lamb Massaman Curry from Pad BKK
- Braised neck fillet of lamb with jewelled cous cous from Scoop
The shared the first 3 dishes between us since the portions were giant! I first tried the curry & was genuinely surprised at how soft the meat was, it was literally melt in the mouth. The tacos also had a similar style of meat with them but it was a bit lost in the masses of guacamole, salsa & sour cream provided. The roast lamb was probably my least favourite as it was quite fatty – pretty much what I was dreading! However, the bits of lamb I managed to tear off were sweet & succulent.
We also watched a couple of demos by Chef Jacqueline since I would not know where to start with cooking lamb. The first demo involved a fillet of lamb with a fruity, morrocan style cous cous. I was honestly surprised at the speed of cooking, since it took around 10 minutes to make the dish! I sample a bit after & the lamb was as soft as a good beef steak. The fruitiness of the cous cous also worked really well with the lamb’s sweetness. I wish I could send a smellogram for the second dish which was Asian influenced & the smell coming from it instantly transported me back to Thailand.
I spoke briefly to Jacqueline after the first demo to ask for some advice on buying lamb & cooking it. The two tips she gave me was to always buy lamb from the butcher, especially if I don’t like fat as the butcher can trim the meat easily & to invest in a good, solid pan, with a wide & flat base as those pans evenly distribute to heat to cook meat evenly.
In the goodie bag we were given contained an amazing Red Meat cookbook, giving advice on cuts, cooking styles & lots of recipes! Definitely something I’ll be using again. You can get some of the recipes from the Scotch Beef and Lamb website.
I’m so glad I went along to the event as it’s totally changed my opinion on lamb. Seeing how versatile it is & also how easy to cook, it will definitely be something I will try in the near future. The week after it, in fact, I happily sat down to some Isle of Lewis lamb made by my mother in law which I would never have done before this event!