Two tasty dishes from Scottish Government’s Eat in Season campaign
Tagine of Perthshire Hoggett Lamb Neck with Shallot Fritters (serves 4) - from Graeme Pallister, Chef at 63 Tay Street, for the Scottish Government’s Eat in Season campaign
1kg diced lamb neck
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp turmeric
1 tbsp paprika
1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp cumin seeds
3 bay leaves
1 tsp saffron strands
2 large onions, diced
3 cloves garlic, germ removed, finely diced
2 x 400g chopped tomatoes
700ml meat or vegetable stock
150g dried apricots, halved
1 tbsp clear honey
100g flaked almonds
25g coriander leaves
25g chopped mint
25g chopped parsley
2 shallots, finely sliced
1 tbsp self raising flour
pinch of curry powder
milk to combine
1. In a large bowl, combine the first eight spices listed with lamb, mix well and leave to marinade for at least six hours, preferably overnight.
2. The following day, heat a large casserole with a tight fitting lid on the stove, add two tablespoons of cooking oil and once almost smoking carefully brown the meat all over in batches. Don’t overcrowd the pan as it will lose its heat and start to stew the meat.
3. Once the meat is all browned, remove the last batch and add the onions to the pan with a little more oil if required, sauté for several minutes till softened and add the garlic. Two minutes later add the tomatoes, stock, fruits and honey, gently warm through, then add the hogget into the pan and make sure the meat is covered with stock, although it shouldn’t be swimming.
4. Gently bring to a simmer, place the lid on tightly and put into the hot oven. Leave undisturbed for 2-3 hours. To check if it’s ready the meat should gently fall apart when squeezed and offer no resistance when prodded with a fork.
5. Allow to cool completely – I prefer this the day after. If you are eating on the same day, try and allow it to cool before bringing it very gently back to serving temperature, otherwise, refrigerate overnight.
6. For the fritters, heat your deep-fat fryer according to manufacturer’s instructions to 180C. In a bowl, combine the dry ingredients and very gently add small amounts of milk, whisking each time till a firm batter texture.
7. Drop teaspoons of fritter mixture carefully into the hot oil till golden brown, turning at least once.
8. Serve alongside the warmed tagine with some coriander leaves and fragrant rice if you prefer.
Hake and Mussel Curry (serves 4) - from Philip Lewis, Head Chef at Cook School Scotland, for the Scottish Government’s Eat in Season campaign
4 x 100g hake fillets
1 shallot, finely diced
a pinch of cayenne pepper
quarter of a tbsp paprika
quarter of a tsp turmeric
1 clove of garlic, chopped
a bunch of coriander, chopped
20g fresh root peeled and finely chopped
half a tsp coriander seeds, dry roasted and ground
half a tsp cumin seeds, dry roasted and ground
1 can of half fat coconut milk
quarter of a tbsp tamarind paste
200ml reduced salt chicken or vegetable stock
a pinch of salt (0.25g)
1. In a sauté pan, add a teaspoon of oil and start to sweat off the chopped shallot without colouring. Now add the garlic and sweat for a further minute, then add all of the spices.
2. Add the mussels and the stock, place the lid on the pan and steam the mussels until the shells open up.
3. Remove the mussels from the pan, and allow to cool. Remove the meat from the shells and place to the side.
4. Reduce the cooking liquor by half, then add the coconut milk and the tamarind paste, and reduce by half again until thickened.
5. Finally, add the hake and poach it until it is thoroughly cooked.
6. Pop the mussel meat back into the curry to warm through. Scatter with chopped coriander and serve.