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Lamb and raspberries

This has been a marginally frustrating post to get together for me. I had another five minutes of watching a cooking show the other day - an episode in The Great British Food Revival series. This one featured Gregg Wallace, whom I don't know but is apparently a British Master Chef presenter and an ex greengrocer. Anyway he was lauding the delights of raspberries and I'm sure nobody would disagree with him there. He was also sounding the alarm about a disease called root rot which is affecting the raspberries being grown in England. I'm not sure if they have that one here, but I believe there are other diseases. In England they are now almost exclusively grown commercially under plastic - well under cover anyway and quite a lot in Scotland it seems. Here I'm guessing they are similarly grown in greenhouses and in the south. And they are usually pretty expensive - I had a look today because I was thinking of making one of the recipes I am about to tell you about, but couldn't quite bring myself to spend around $5.00 on a tiny punnet. You can always get frozen ones from Chile of course, and maybe I should have done that.

The recipe that he demonstrated was called Raspberry marinated rack of lamb. It was pretty simple but involved an overnight marinade in the raspberries. Basically you made a purée of the raspberries, with some vegetable stock, raspberry jam and red wine vinegar, marinaded the lamb in it and then roasted it the next day, using the boiled down marinade as a sauce. It looked pretty delicious. One of the other little things that he did was to sear the lamb first before pouring over the marinade. I'm not quite sure why he did that. I don't think I have ever seen anyone partially cook meat before marinading it.

But I cannot find a picture I'm afraid. So that was my first frustration, and then when I started looking for other inspirational things to do with raspberries and lamb I was somewhat disappointed to find that there were really not very many. You would have thought that Nigel Slater, Yotam Ottolenghi et al. would have really been into such a combination. After all lamb is one of those meats that is often paired with some kind of fruit. There were a few pulled lamb salads, but these just mixed the raspberries in with the various salad ingredients.

In fact really the only things I found were recipes for plain roast lamb, or pretty plain roast lamb but served with a raspberry sauce - such as Roast saddle of lamb with raspberry sauce which was apparently served to Prince Charles on his fiftieth birthday. Again no picture. On one of the old Cook and the Chef programs Simon Bryant apparently did something with lamb and raspberries and peas - and here by contrast I found a picture but no recipe. I'm guessing that this one is a variation on the roasted lamb with raspberry sauce thing.

It's probably because they are basically all old programs even if they are being repeated, or perhaps it's because it's old-fashioned. Not trendy - so waiting for a comeback.

It is funny how things come and go is it not?

Gregg Wallace also talked about raspberry vinegar - three bottles of which I still have in my pantry in spite of vowing to do something with it a while ago. I did a post on it way back on my old blog site. That little segment was actually quite interesting. He was told that in Yorkshire they serve Yorkshire pudding with a splash of raspberry vinegar - not an obvious thing to do. Or a small dash in a glass of water is very refreshing and it's good over ice cream. None of which are obvious uses of raspberry vinegar. And I think it's not one of the vinegars you find in the supermarket these days. It's all balsamic vinegar today.

Maybe it's because raspberries are just so delicious as they are. Lots of cooks indeed said that really you just couldn't fault raspberries and cream. Gregg Wallace also made a pavlova with raspberries and cream. Now you can't really go past that can you? And there was a picture of that, a video too.

#berries #lamb #britishfood


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