Many people feel that the cuisine of the British Aisles is somewhat bland and lacking in character. I disagree completely. Most dishes from this region are recipes born of necessity and frugality. They use what was available seasonally, they are prepared simply but yet all are heartwarming and filling. It’s a cooking style that I intend to pursue further over the course of the next year. Perhaps I’ll help to show some of you what is, and should be, a wonderful cuisine that is perfectly suited to a family meal around the table.
Last night was a celebration of my family’s Irish heritage. This dinner, unlike most on this site was cooked from a cookbook with only slight modifications, as I have not made these dishes often enough to just throw them together as I normally would. I’m just digging in to Irish cuisine, so at least at first I’ll stick pretty tight to the recipes.
For those in the know, I’ve not served the champ in the traditional method. I wanted a one plate meal with a bit of presentation, rather than a separate dish off to the side. If this offends, I apologize. The meal was fantastic even without the tiny soup plate of champ with it’s well of butter at the center and it added a lot to the lamb, which was fabulous along with a bite of champ and mint peas. these are good flavors and they all play well together.
I’m not really going to cover the lamb here. It was simply cooked with just salt, pepper and olive oil in a rocket-hot cast iron skillet for 5 minutes per side. While wonderful, it’s not really a recipe worth going through all the stages of. (In fact, I just gave it to you. Season, toss in hot pan and cook about 5 minutes per side. Rest. Serve.) The other dishes were really the stars here and I feel that they need the spotlight, so I’m giving it to them. Celebrate the flavors of Ireland with the flavors of lamb, champ and good old mushy peas. Simple, comforting, and wholesome. This is the perfect recipe for the end of winter, or any time, really.
Lamb with Champ and Mint Peas Recipe
Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 380Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 323mgCarbohydrates: 63gFiber: 9gSugar: 7gProtein: 12g
What I would have done differently had I thought of it at the time:
Celebrate the flavors of Ireland with the flavors of lamb, champ and good old mushy peas. Simple, comforting, and wholesome. This is the perfect recipe for the end of winter, or any time, really.
I think perhaps I used a bit too much mint in the peas. next time I’ll back that off and skip the sugar altogether. The camp was lovely but I have to say that I prefer colcannon and will probably make that in place of champ the next time. As far as the lamb… Well, is there a better word for perfect?
Links to other recipes like this:
- Peas with Mint, from Serious Eats
- English Peas with Fresh Mint, from A Veggie Venture
- Lamb Rump and Champ, from Dinner Diary
Gosh, Monica Sheridan – that’s a real blast from the past for me. She would have been pretty well known here in Ireland when I was growing up. Not only that, but your post has brought me right back to my childhood Sunday dinners of lamb, peas, mint sauce and (of course) potatoes. To be honest, we wouldn’t make champ that often here, but mash, and potatoes in general, loomed large in my family diet – still do (no real surprises there – if there is any one thing that characterises Irish cooking (cuisine sounds too grand a term!), then potatoes are it).
I love lamb and I love champ… and this look excellent Jerry. Yummy!
sometimes simple is good…real good.
Sounds yummy! I just saw a piece in one of the food mags about British classics and have been thinking of trying a few. This is making me think of some of the pub food we enjoyed when we were in the UK a couple of years ago. Delicious! Except the peas were mashed….even with fish & chips in Wales. Hilarious, but tasty!
Love Lamb – This seems intriguing considering most of the lamb dishes I’ve enjoyed are usually from the Mediterranean or Indian. Will have to give this a try – especially considering the British Isles roots.