Did you know that despite producing some of the best lamb in the world, we Scots eat much less lamb per capita than elsewhere in the UK. So, obviously we need some help to encourage us to include lamb as part of weekly family meals.
This week saw the 2014 launch of Quality Meat Scotland’s, ‘Wham Bam Thank You Lamb‘ campaign, aimed at encouraging us to understand the versatility, simplicity and speed of cooking with lamb. This is ‘Love Scotch Lamb Weekend‘ and to spread the love for our delicious Scotch lamb some of Scotland’s sheep farmers will be out and about in town centres and supermarkets telling shoppers about Scotland’s outstanding lamb. There will be samples of the new season’s delicious Scotch lamb with lot’s of encouragement to include lamb as part of the weekly shop.
Cooking with Scotch lamb can be quick and easy, and as part of ‘Love Scotch Lamb’ weekend, Quality Meat Scotland sent me a hamper with lamb mince along with a super tasty recipe for lamb meatballs. The challenge was to put my cooking skills to the test and show how quickly a tasty mid week meal can be prepared. All the ingredients were included for my challenge and the hamper also included a handy stopwatch to let me see how quickly the recipe could be cooked up.
This recipe for lamb meatballs is easy to prepare, and once the prep is done and the meatballs are browned the dish is popped into the oven to finish cooking and will be on the table within 20 minutes.
My family gave the dish top marks and they loved the flavour from the tarragon and basil. Served up in the middle of the table in one big pot this makes a great family meal for any day of the week.
- 500g Lean Scotch Lamb mice
- 3 cloves garlic, finely diced
- 2 small brown onions, finely diced
- 1 slice of white bread, grated into crumbs
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 25g fresh tarragon
- 25g fresh basil
- 2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
- 200g cherry tomatoes
- 400g penne pasta
- 50g Parmesan shavings (optional)
- preheat oven to gas mark6/ 200C/ 400F
- Mix the lamb, half the garlic and onion, breadcrumbs, egg, a pinch of salt & pepper, and tarragon leaves. Shape into 12 balls.
- In batches, cook the meatballs in oil and allow them to brown all over. Remove and place to one side. Stir the onions and garlic in the pan before adding the chopped tomatoes with a pinch of sugar. Bring to the boil and allow to simmer for 3 – 4 mins.
- Add the meatballs back into the pan along with the cherry tomatoes and basil. Stir and bring to a simmer, place in the oven with a lid and bake for approx. 20 mins.
- Cook the pasta according the instructions on the pack & drain. Remove the meatballs from the oven before adding to the pasta with the sauce. Sprinkle the Parmesan and sprigs of basil to serve.
There you have it, no excuses, Scotch lamb is on the supermarket shelves and at farmers markets around the country. Why not pop a pack of lean mince lamb into your shopping basket and give this recipe a try. More delicious and easy recipes for Scotch Lamb are available on Quality Meat Scotland’s website
Notes: The recipe suggests shaping the meat into 12 meatballs. However my boys prefer smaller meatballs and I managed to make 36 from the lamb mixture.