Lamb chump with fregola and goat’s curd

This week I stopped by the butcher’s I used to frequent most regularly when we lived in Leeds city centre whilst on my way back from the office to the train.

Steve and Kyle at Callard’s in Leeds Kirkgate Market are always brilliantly accommodating, friendly and enthusiastic about what they do. Regardless of the challenges that the redevelopment of the market has placed on them and their fellow stallholders over the last three years, you’re always sure of a warm welcome and high quality produce.

Interested in Kirkgate Market and want to explore? You can do so with this brilliant new book from artists Etheridge & Persighetti.

Callard’s first introduced me to chump (or rump) of lamb about six years ago and it’s now become by far my favourite cut.  You’ll often find this on the butcher’s counter pre-sliced into steaks. However, at Callard’s they always tend to have a few whole chumps in the back and this is what I prefer for cooking.

One chump is perfect for three people and a good layer of fat (if scored and rendered well) bastes the meat as it cooks, resulting in great texture and flavour. For value and taste I much prefer this cut to loin or rack.

When I cook fregola, it’s normally always when I’ve arrived home from the market with a pound of fresh clams and I’m looking for a heartier alternative to the classic spaghetti vongole. However, today I’m branching out and searching for alternative uses to employ throughout spring and summer as a side dish. I buy a ‘tostada’ variety, which is lightly roasted as it dries, from Buonissimo in Saltaire. They’re also my go to for good tinned tomatoes.

The goat’s curd in this recipe is leftover from the packet bought for the previous bbq post from the wonderful Wharfedale Fine Cheeses. In future, I would embellish the fregola with chopped fresh mint, parsley and lemon. Adding some fresh peas would also be a nice touch.

Ingredients (serves 3)

  • 25g goat’s curd
  • 1 chump Yorkshire lamb
  • 1 tin tomatoes
  • 1/2 glass dry white wine
  • 1 clove garlic, pealed and pressed
  • 1pinch dried chilli flakes
  • 1 knob butter
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt
  • black pepper

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LAMB CHUMP WITH FREGOLA AND GOAT’S CURD

  1. Heat 2tbsp oil in a heavy bottomed pan along with the garlic and chilli. Warm through until fragrant, then add the white wine. Stir and reduce until the smell of alcohol has disappeared. Add the tomatoes and a can full of cold water. Crush the tomatoes with a wooden spoon, then simmer gently for 90 minutes until thick and luscious.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 190°c.
  3. To a deep pan of boiling, salted water add 150g fregola and cook for 12 minutes until tender. Strain and add to the tomato sauce. Stir to combine and keep warm.
  4. Heat 1 tbsp oil and the butter over a medium flame in an oven proof pan. Score the lamb fat in a diamond pattern and season with salt and pepper. Place in the pan skin side down and leave there until the fat starts to render down. Turn the lamb and cook evenly until golden brown on all sides.
  5. Place the lamb fat side down and cook in the oven for 10 minutes. Flip it over then cook for a further 10 minutes. Remove the meat and rest under tented foil for 10 minutes before carving and serving.
  6. Dot the fregola with goat’s curd and serve alongside some braised cabbage or spring greens.

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