We're now officially in Autumn. The equinox has been and gone and the nights are, as they say, "fairly drawing in". It's a time for comfort food and hunkering down with warm and tasty meals. It's also the key time for Scotch Lamb to be in season and at it's best. Whilst we tend to intrinsically associate lamb with Easter, historically lambs are bred in the spring rather than eaten then. As such a newly born spring lamb may look cute but it won't be ready to roast until the Autumn. Even then, there's far more to Scotch Lamb than just the Sunday roast. With a huge variety of fresh lamb cuts and products available it really comes into its own with regards to versatility, simplicity and speed of cooking.
There's really no excuse for Scottish supermarkets and butchers not to be stocking Scotch Lamb at this time of year. Keep an eye out for the Scotch Lamb PGI logo which is shorthand for wholesomeness, safety and taste. Only meat carrying this logo is guaranteed to come from animals born and reared on assured Scottish farms. You can be sure that whenever you buy Scotch Lamb PGI that it’s the genuine article. It has been quality assured for its whole life in Scotland; the farm and processor has been independently audited to make sure they meet stringent requirements regarding animal welfare and natural production methods.
If you need further inspiration for simple and quick to cook delicious and nutritious mid-week family meals with Scotch Lamb checkout out www.whambamlamb.com for recipes and step by step videos. Whilst slow cooked and roasted Scotch Lamb is amazing, a huge variety of lamb dishes can be on the table in less than 30 minutes, perfect for midweek meals.
As part of their annual “Wham Bam Lamb” campaign Quality Meat Scotland challenged me to make a quick and easy family meal using Scotch Lamb. Initially I had Mediterranean Meatballs in mind but that will have to wait for another day as my sister mentioned a minced lamb dish that she'd enjoyed on holiday in Greece which featured Orzo pasta. A quick Google revealed that it was Yiouvetsi and it sounded right up my street. As a busy Mum with many roles to juggle, a one pot dish will always appeal. Yiovetsi traditionally combines minced lamb with tomato, oregano, cinnamon and orzo. I added a bag of spinach to boost the vegetable content and black olives as along with Feta they always scream Greece to me. Six of us enjoyed the dish accompanied by assorted flatbreads, pittas and dips however on its own it would make a substantial and delicious meal for four. I really hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
Yiouvetsi - One Pot Greek Lamb with Orzo
on the table in under 30 minutes
500g Scotch Lamb Mince
1 Red Onion, finely chopped
2 Cloves of Garlic, crushed
1 Tbsp Oregano
1 Tbsp Cinnamon
400g Tin of Chopped Tomatoes
180g Baby Spinach
500ml Lamb Stock
350g Orzo Pasta
50g Sliced Black Olives
200g Feta Cheese, crumbled
Salt & Pepper
Chopped Fresh Mint & Parsley
Brown the mince in a large heavy based pan/casserole along with the chopped red onion and crushed garlic. (The lamb will release some fat so no additional oil is required.)
Add the oregano, cinnamon and tinned tomatoes and mix well before adding the spinach. Allow it to wilt down then simmer the dish for 5 minutes.
Pour in the lamb stock and orzo and cook for a further 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the orzo is tender. (If it seems dry at any point and a little more stock or water)
Finally stir through the black olives, taste and season well with freshly ground salt and pepper.
Serve topped with crumbled Feta Cheese and chopped fresh Mint and Parsley.
Minced Scotch Lamb is such a versatile ingredient. Here are three more of my own favourite recipes using it. The image below is the perfect one to Pin so you can easily find my recipe for Yiouvetsi in the future. #WhamBamLamb
Disclosure : This is a commissioned recipe for Quality Meat Scotland. As always, all views expressed are my own.
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