James’s jaunt around Britain: Welsh lamb with gnocci
James Martin tasted the most mouthwatering local produce in every corner of the UK for his new TV series and book – and here you can try his recipes yourself
Swap potatoes for gnocci for a fabulously sophisticated twist on this lamb dish
To top off my trip through Wales, I had the best meal I’ve ever eaten in Britain at Gareth Ward’s restaurant, Ynyshir, near Machynlleth.
The Rolling Stones were playing on vinyl and the meal was 20 courses. The lamb is great there too.
- 12 small lamb chops
- 200g (7oz) Welsh sheep’s curd cheese
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 25ml (¾fl oz) olive oil
- 500g (1lb 2oz) cooked potato, pushed through a ricer
- 125g (4½oz) plain flour
- 2 egg yolks
- 4 heritage carrots, halved lengthways
- 1 large leek, sliced
- 8 spears of asparagus, trimmed
- ½ a spring cabbage, leaves torn
- 50g (1¾oz) butter
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- A small bunch of mint, leaves chopped
Preheat a flat griddle pan over a medium heat. Using a sharp knife, cut a pocket through the fat of the lamb into the meat.
Set aside half of the cheese, then fill each pocket with 1tsp of the rest.
Season the lamb then drizzle the oil over the hot griddle pan and cook the lamb for 2-3 minutes on each side.
It should be golden on the outside and feel slightly firm when pressed.
Put on a plate, cover and leave to rest. Turn off the heat but leave the griddle on the hob for later.
Mix the potato, flour, egg yolks, remaining cheese and some seasoning together well until smooth.
Divide into 4 portions then roll each one into a long, thin sausage (20cm long and 2cm thick), using a little flour. Cut into 3cm pieces.
Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and cook the gnocchi in batches for 2 minutes, then use a slotted spoon to lift them out and set aside.
Bring a separate pan of salted water to the boil and blanch the carrots, leek and asparagus for 2-3 minutes.
Reheat the griddle pan, drain the vegetables well, then put on the griddle pan with the cabbage and cook for 3-4 minutes, coating with the lamb fat.
Spoon onto a plate.
Add the butter, lemon zest and juice, mint and 50ml of water to the griddle pan and stir to make a sauce.
Mix all the vegetables and gnocchi together on the griddle pan, season then spoon onto 4 warm plates. Top with the lamb chops, some sauce and serve.
James Martin’s Great British Adventure is published by Quadrille, £25. To order a copy for £20, visit mailshop.co.uk/books or call 0844 571 0640, p&p is free. Spend £30 on books and get FREE premium delivery. Offer valid until 23/02/2019.