Monday 23 July 2018

Taste test: Our food critics tell you where to buy the best leg of lamb this Easter

Dunnes lamb is tops for the Easter feast. Photo: Tim Hester Photography
Dunnes lamb is tops for the Easter feast. Photo: Tim Hester Photography

Katy McGuinness

The most popular Easter lunch in Ireland is a leg of lamb with mint sauce, roast potatoes and frozen peas. We roasted the lamb to medium with sea salt and black pepper seasoning and left it to rest before tasting.

Dunnes Simply Better Connemara Hill Irish Leg of Lamb, €19.99 (special offer until April 3), 9/10

Taste sensation: Connemara Hill Irish Leg of Lamb from Dunnes was our testers’ favourite
Taste sensation: Connemara Hill Irish Leg of Lamb from Dunnes was our testers’ favourite

The leg supplied by Dunnes was frozen, which makes its win all the more impressive. Connemara Hill lamb is reared on a diet of herbs, grass and heathers resulting in a lean carcass, rose-red flesh, succulent texture and a distinctive taste. Our testers were unanimous: this was their favourite.

Tesco Finest Hand-trimmed Whole Irish Lamb Leg, 2.586kg, €18.72, (currently half price at €7.24/kg), 7/10

The lamb from Tesco had a mature flavour, although lacked the subtle complexity of the Connemara Hill meat, and was nicely tender.

SuperValu Leg of Spring Lamb, €14.49kg, 7/10

SuperValu's Spring Lamb is sourced from Padraig Brennan in Galway and available from the butcher counter in selected stores. The lamb had a delicate flavour and our testers liked the dry, parchment-like crisp skin that melted in the mouth, but some commented that the meat itself was a little tough.

Aldi Full Leg of Irish Lamb, €7.19kg (special offer), 6/10

Like the other Irish legs of lamb tested, Aldi's lamb is Bord Bia-approved and fully traceable. Our testers found the flavour a little bland (this could be good for those who find lamb generally too strong), but the texture good.

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Marks & Spencer The Collection Easy Carve Lamb Leg with Redcurrant and Rosemary Stuffing, 1.83kg, €43, 6/10

This decorous (and pricey) leg of lamb is for the people who prefer a no-stress option. The flavour is good and the stuffing and accompanying sauce tasty, but our testers were disappointed to hear that the lamb came from New Zealand.

Irish Independent

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