Tag Archive: Asparagus

  1. Lamb Rack, Lamb Fat Hasselback Potatoes, and Asparagus

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    In honour of British Asparagus Month, we’re sharing a recipe from Paul Foster’s wonderful new cookbook ‘How to Cook Meat Properly’.

    Paul has an amazing culinary history, working across the world, including at renowned restaurants  Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons and  L’Auberge de l’Ile. This recipe is another of his modern British showstoppers.


    For the Rack of Lamb

    • 1 four-bone rack of lamb
    • 5 sprigs thyme
    • 50g of butter
    • 2 cloves garlic

    For the Lamb Fat Hasselback Potatoes

    • 500g minced lamb fat
    • 2 small Maris Piper potatoes
    • Sea salt

    For the Asparagus

    • 10-12 spears of asparagus

    For the Lamb Sauce

    • 200g lamb trimmings
    • 2 tsp sunflower oil
    • 2 banana shallot, peeled and cut in ¼
    • 3 cloves garlic crushed
    • 10 sprigs thyme
    • 10 coriander seeds
    • 300g dry white wine
    • 300g reduced chicken stock
    • 450g reduced lamb stock

    To finish:

    • Extra Virgin Rapeseed Oil


    Rack of Lamb:

    1. Place the rack of lamb fat-side down in a hot frying pan. Heat until golden in colour.
    2. Add the butter and thyme to the pan. Lightly crush the garlic and add that as well. Keep a moderate heat to the pan so the butter is foaming.
    3. Use a spoon to baste the meat and the bones. Ensure the lamb stays fat-side down at all times.
    4. Place the pan into the oven at 170c and cook for around 10 minutes so the eye of the meat is pink. It should be 50°C in the centre.
    5. Remove and allow to rest for 8-10 minutes.

    Lamb Fat Hasselback Potatoes:

    1. Add 100g of water to the lamb fat and bring to the boil in a heavy-based pan.
    2. Cook until all of the water has evaporated, stirring regularly.
    3. Turn the heat down and render the fat until it is golden brown.
    4. Pass through a sieve.
    5. Pre-heat the oven to 190°C.
    6. Wash the potatoes and cut three-quarters of the way down with a sharp knife. Each slice should be 1-2 mm apart.
    7. Season the potatoes with salt and submerge in the lamb fat.
    8. Heat on the stove until the fat reaches 180°C then place the pan in the oven and cook for 30-40 minutes.
    9. The potato should be golden and crispy and fluffy in the centre.
    10. Drain on kitchen towel and season with sea salt.


    1. Cut the woody end off the asparagus and peel the skin around an inch from the top, all the way down.
    2. Wrap in a damp cloth until needed.
    3. Blanch the asparagus in boiling salted water for 2 minutes when the lamb is resting.
    4. Remove and season with sea salt.

    Lamb Sauce:

    1. Brown the lamb trimmings in the oil.
    2. Add the shallots and continue to brown.
    3. Add the white wine to deglaze and reduce by ¾.
    4. Add the rest of the ingredients.
    5. Bring to the boil and cover.
    6. Simmer gently whilst covered for 30 minutes.
    7. Adjust the consistency by reducing if needed and season to taste.
    8. When finished pass through a fine sieve and a muslin cloth.

    To serve:

    1. Carve the lamb into slices down the bone.
    2. Ensure the potato is hot by flashing through the oven for a couple of minutes.
    3. Arrange the components on the plate.
    4. Heat up the sauce and spoon over.
    5. Finish with a drizzle of extra virgin rapeseed oil.

  2. Asparagus, Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Pasta by Ren Behan

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    This pasta dish of asparagus, smoked salmon and cream cheese is very quick to make with just a few ingredients. Ren uses small penne tubes, though any small pasta shapes work well with this almost-instant cream cheese sauce.

    Kids in the Kitchen

    Pasta – This dish can be made with any pasta, so let your kids be boss and choose what shape/type you use. What if they want to use 2 different types with different boiling times?! The perfect mini math lesson. Don’t forget to use a timer, kids love waiting for a timer to go off and this will help you to remember to add the next type of pasta at the right time.

    Asparagus – Keep those little fingers busy and let them have a go at chopping or even using their hands to break the asparagus spears into 1 inch pieces. If using a knife to chop, please be there to supervise your child.

    Recipe Courtesy of Ren Behan author of Wild Honey and Rye

    Serves: 2

    Prep Time: 10 mins

    Cooking Time: 8

    Difficulty: Easy



    • 250g/ one cup dried Penne pasta, or other small shapes
    • One bunch/one cup fresh asparagus, chopped into one inch pieces
    • 200g/ 3/4 cup cream cheese, regular or light
    • A glug of olive oil
    • 120g (one small packet) smoked salmon
    • Fresh dill to garnish
    • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

    Cooking Method

    1. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Once boiling, add in the pasta shapes and cook for 8 minutes, or according to the packet instructions.
    2. Two minutes before the end of cooking time, add the chopped asparagus to the water. Take out one cup of pasta water for the sauce. After two minutes, drain the pasta and asparagus.
    3. Add the cup of pasta water back into the same pan, stir in the cream cheese and a glug of olive oil, season with sea salt and pepper. Add in the cooked pasta and asparagus.
    4. Stir through the chopped smoked salmon, leaving a few pieces to garnish the top.

    To Serve

    1. Sprinkle over the fresh dill and serve immediately.


  3. Warm New Potato, Asparagus and Halloumi Salad by Ren Behan

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    This warm vegetarian salad is quick and easy and perfect for Spring. If you don’t have asparagus courgettes work just as well or try it with any seasonal vegetables, you have to hand.

    Kids in the Kitchen

    Washing the Potatoes – this isn’t a step below, but you could let your kids wash the potatoes either in the sink or a washing up bowl. Let them use the veg brush though if you don’t have one you can use a clean small kitchen cloth. Things to talk about, do the potatoes sink or float? What other items/food/ingredients could you test to see if they sink or float? 

    Recipe Courtesy of Ren Behan author of Wild Honey and Rye


    Serves: 2

    Prep time: 10 minutes

    Cooking Time: 30 minutes

    Difficulty: Easy



    • 500g/2 1/2 cups Jersey Royal new potatoes
    • 500g (2 bunches) fresh asparagus
    • 1 lemon
    • 250g/2 cups halloumi cheese, cubed
    • 1 red onion, peeled
    • 3 tbsp olive oil
    • 60g/one cup rocket leaves, rinsed, drained
    • 10g/2 tbsp fresh herbs, e.g. dill, mint
    • Sea salt and black pepper 

    Cooking Method

    1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F
    2. Chop the new potatoes in half. Spread the potatoes out evenly on a large baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and grate over the zest of one lemon. Roast for 15 minutes in the oven.
    3. In the meantime, snap the woody ends away from the asparagus spears, then chop into 1 inch pieces. Chop the onion into 8 pieces.
    4. Remove the potatoes from the oven. Add the asparagus, cubed halloumi and onion to the tray. Mix together with the potatoes. Bake for a further 15 minutes.
    5. Take the tray out of the oven. Arrange the rocket leaves onto a large platter. Scatter the roasted potatoes, asparagus and halloumi.

    To Serve

    1. Scatter over some fresh herbs and serve immediately.

    You can also scatter over some shredded rotisserie chicken for a non-vegetarian version.