Racks, shoulders, mince and legs – 8 recipes that do lamb justice

Ooh la lamb, these dishes really are perfect

Lamb is about 10 times easier to cook than most of us think, irrespective of the part being prepared. The intimidatingly large joints worked tirelessly which means you, the cook, don’t need to do the same – time and a gentle heat is all they need for the fibres and flesh to break down and collapse into a heap of nothing but deliciousness.

The smaller, leaner cuts like loins and chops are eager to please and only too keen to be on the table in a flash, while lamb leftovers offer up a different kind of excitement thanks to their endless capacity to take on so many wonderful forms.

Hungry yet? Yeah, we were too, which is why we thanked our lucky stars that our back catalogue is so full of lovely lamb recipes. Here, we’ve gathered a few favourites from the collection, each one celebrating a cut you can find in store. To accompany the dishes are tiny tips that will help guarantee perfection, because we’re kind like that it allowed us to dream about lamb a little longer.

Loin

The tip Loin of lamb is a relatively small cut and only in the pan for a short time, so bringing the meat up to room temperature is key to achieving that even ‘you’re making me blush’ centre.
The takeaway Post-wrap eating, you should prepare yourself to go through a brief period of wanting to do lunch no other way.

Shoulder

The tip Try to make this early enough that you don’t serve it the second it’s ready. Slow-cooked dishes are always better made in advance – morning of, night before – so the flavours have developed and gotten even more interesting and irresistible.
The takeaway This recipe can form the foundation for dozens of replicas – with a fiery curry paste, with different cuts of meat, or fish, or veg, or pulses... or people to enjoy it with.

Leg

The tip A great technique if you’re nervous about a joint turning dry. The leg sits and steams in its own liquid to stay moist, plus cooking meat on the bone is a more forgiving route for the concerned cook to venture down.
The takeaway Before you serve, be sure to squeeze the roasted lemon halves and garlic bulbs into the gravy for maximum flavour.

Rack

The tip To make the racks look extra impressive, ask our butchers to French trim the bones for you. Then, as an extra step, wrap foil around each bone while they cook so they stay nice and clean.
The takeaway This recipe calls for the lamb to be barbecued. The weather outside right now calls for the exact opposite, so it’s best to cook the racks in the oven.

Chops

The tip Take heed, if time allows, of the note to marinate the lamb overnight. These extra hours in the fridge will give the yogurt in the marinade more time to tenderise (and flavour) the meat.
The takeaway Don’t miss out on the chance to gnaw at and adore the smoky, charred edges of meat right next to the bone – they’re the best bit.

Shanks

The tip Make this an overnight success by marinating the shanks the day before you plan to serve. Not only will they end up more flavoursome, the lamb then only needs to be slipped into the oven to be ready for the grand reveal.
The takeaway Saffron rice on the side is delicious, but store-bought packs of steamed rice (flavoured with a few herbs and lime zest) would be a perfectly fine partner.

Mince

The tip Be gentle when the time comes to cook the eggs in the sauce. A low heat will leave you with tender whites and super-oozy yolks.
The takeaway An absolute classic iftar dish, all this needs is big mound of warm-from-the-oven Arabic breads on the side.

Leftovers

The tip When rolling these destined-to-be-crispy croquettes in egg, flour and breadcrumbs, aim to use just one hand. It’s less messy, more efficient and means you’ll have a hand spare to snap and share your thriftiness with the world.
The takeaway Any time you have leftover lamb, use it as an excuse to make these croquettes. Trust us.

Though very different from one another, these recipes all share the gift of being easy to cook. For more simple lamb dishes, click here.