Recipe: Comfort casseroles

Lamb shanks with haricot beans

Lamb shanks with haricot beans - Credit: Archant

Winter warmer: Emma’s British lamb with haricots

Shoulder, legs, chops or shank! Recipes pop into my head as soon as I think of lamb.

If you’re looking to shop locally, British lamb has never been more important – it’s available in supermarkets and at your local butcher.

Often we think of lamb as being in season in the spring but the term “spring” actually means an animal born in the same year and slaughtered at about four or five months old. New lamb bought as early as Easter will have been born in mid-winter and “finished” on a diet of hay or a cereal-based manufactured feed. There’s a view among experts that new lamb is best eaten in July or later, when it will have been finished on the sweet spring grass.

Lamb roasted with rosemary and served with a homemade mint sauce is perfect anytime but when the weather is still cold I want a hearty casserole with the meat soft and unctuous, yielding when a spoon comes near. The combination of these white beans and the fragrant gravy is perfection on a cold, so-called spring day.

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