During the week, I got a call in the office from the Wicklow Hunter. He enjoys winding people up and one never knows the real truth behind many of his activities. I forgive him a lot as he does his thing with good humour and a twinkle in his eye.
WH: Are you in?
Me: I am, sure did you not just ring?
WH: I did. I have some lamb for you.
Me: Lamb? You don’t keep sheep, do you?
WH: No, this is the best tasting lamb there is. Trespass Lamb.
I probed a bit, as you do. His explanation related to the three farms that border his land and the wandering habits of young sheep. “If they’re not marked, you have no idea who owns them.” he said. “Who do you give it back to?” I believed that he was pulling my leg and decided that I didn’t need to know any more. I didn’t risk offending him. I accepted the cuts of “The best tasting lamb there is”.
He may be a hunter, but a butcher he isn’t. The cuts were like nothing I have ever seen before and I had to do a lot of knife work to get enough meat to feed the Wife and myself from the indeterminate parts of the wandering beast. I had an idea to cook Dry Fried Trespass Lamb with Salad and Mint Dip. If you want to give it a go with regular, legal, shop bought lamb, use neck or shoulder pieces.
Here’s what you will need:
- Half a kilo of lamb meat, preferably in thick strips with the fat trimmed
- Pitta breads
- Greek yoghurt
- Mint leaves to chop through the yoghurt
- The makings of a salad
- Cumin Seeds
- Caraway Seeds
- Smoked Paprika
- Black pepper
- Chili flakes for a bit of heat (optional)
Dry fry and grind the seeds. Mix them with the other spices in a plastic bag. Add the lamb pieces and shake to cover every side of every piece of lamb.
Pop the bag in the fridge and leave it there for a few hours. This is to let the spices penetrate and add deep flavour to the lamb. Chop the mint leaves and mix with the yoghurt.
Take the lamb out of the fridge about half an hour before cooking.
Use this time to make up a nice simple salad. (I used lettuce, red onion, cucumber and baby tomatoes.) Dry fry the lamb pieces until cooked.
This should not take long. Prepare the pitta breads. Add the lamb, the salad and a big dollop of Greek yoghurt to a pitta and enjoy.
It was particularly tasty. The rare flavour was really enhanced by the spices. But the memory of the meal brings on that nagging doubt in my mind “Trespass Lamb? He wouldn’t…. Would he?”