Sunday, 1 May 2011

Lamb Chops and Beetroot Tzatziki

This is a dish we frequently eat in the spring, when British lamb is cheap and delicious, and beetroots can be dug young and sweet. Apparently 'Lambing Live' is actually reducing the sales of lamb this year, and people find them too cute to eat. Sales of chicken and beef are up... how hypocritical! Without  a demand for lamb as a meat, there wouldn't be much lambing going on in the UK at all...

I like to vary the filling for this dish depending on whatever I have to hand. A tin of chickpeas, some leftover roast potatoes, some blanched broad beans, etc. Just fry with a bit of garlic, yum! Likewise with the tzatziki, if you don't like beetroot, more chopped mint or fresh coriander works fine - although it won't be such an attractively bonkers magenta. Back in Cambridge now - so this serves two!


  • Four lamb chops
  • soy sauce
  • juice of half a lime
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 100g mushrooms
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • a handful of pine nuts
  • 10 green olives
  • 1 cooked or raw beetroot (not pickled)
  • 2 tsp caraway seeds
  • 200 ml natural yoghurt
  • juice of half a lemon
  • a handful of mint leaves
  • 2-4 wholemeal pitta breads
  • a few handfuls of spinach leaves

Pound the coriander seeds gently in a mortar and pestle. Put the lamb chops in a dish and splash with some soy sauce, the lime juice and the seeds; leave for an hour or while you prepare everything else.

Slice the mushrooms thickly and fry them in a few tsp of vegetable oil until golden on all sides. Turn down the heat and crush in the garlic, and add the pine nuts. Stir through a few times until the garlic is softened and the pine nuts have toasted. Halve the olives and add them at the end (I like to use chilli olives from the market for a bit of heat!)

Meanwhile, grate the beetroot into a medium pyrex bowl. Toast the caraway seeds lightly and crush in a mortar and pestle. Add these to the beetroot along with the yoghurt and lemon juice. Stir through and season with salt and black pepper. Grill the lamb at a high temperature for a few minutes on each side, until golden on the outside but pink in the middle.

Serve the chops with a hot pitta bread (or two) filled with spinach leaves, the mushroom mixture, a generous spooning of tzatziki and a few shredded mint leaves. This is very very messy to eat, so serve with napkins and a bowl to throw in the lamb bones and extra fat!

No comments:

Post a Comment