We might associate lamb with springtime, when the new season cuts hit the butchers, but this delicious meat can be enjoyed right through to the autumn months. Cheap, imported New Zealand lamb may be available year round but who would want to eat meat that's travelled halfway around the globe when we produce some of the most flavoursome, highly prized lamb in the world right here in Ireland?
While spring lamb is ideal simply roasted autumn lamb is more robust and can stand up to stronger flavours. Succulent lamb burgers served with harissa - a North African chilli condiment available from good supermarkets or specialist food stores - is a match made in heaven. If you can't find minced lamb, ask your butcher who will happily make up a fresh batch for you in minutes.
Late season lamb isn't as tender as spring lamb, but it packs more flavour making it perfect at handling spices, and this korma recipe is packed with warm and fragrant flavours. Don't be put off by the list of ingredients, most are easily-sourced spices that will combine to deliver the depth of flavour a jar of cooking sauce will never achieve.
In general lamb benefits from longer, slower cooking other beef. An hour may seem like a long time to cook dinner, but once the dish goes into the oven it takes care of itself.
If you love curry but want to cut corners I recommend getting acquainted with Green Saffron spice mixes (€2.99 from good supermarkets or at www.greensaffron.com). The multi-award winning spice blends, produced in Co Cork with fresh spices directly imported from India, are a godsend for time-poor cooks. The delicious Cococrazy Korma blend relies on coconut as its base, ensuring your Irish lamb curry delivers a wonderfully exotic twist.
Recipes courtesy of Bord Bia