For us Easter is about getting together with friends and family over a delicious meal of home cooked, well sourced produce. And, here at Mr Pickles’ Yorkshire Food Emporium, we think our Firs Farm lamb takes a lot of beating in terms of taste and provenance.
The tradition of eating lamb at Easter is long established, but it was initially eaten as part of Jewish Passover celebrations. And, as the festival tends to coincide with Easter, it’s thought that any Jews converting to Christianity simply carried the tradition of eating spring lamb with them. However lambs also have their place in the bible with Jesus being the lamb of God and the ultimate sacrificial lamb when he died on the cross. And, of course, spring lamb is also linked to rebirth which is a recurring theme at Easter.
British spring lambs are born in the winter months and, due to poor weather, they are raised in barns with their mothers. This keeps the lambs safe from the elements and, because they’re reliant on their mother’s milk, rather than feeding outdoors, the meat is incredibly tender and delicately flavoured.
Firs Farm on Ringinglow Road supply our lamb all year round and this Easter we recommend our leg of lamb. We like to stud it with garlic and anchovies, then cook rare. The anchovies give a lovely boost of savoury saltiness and the juices make a tremendous gravy. Be sure to rest it for half an hour before serving, like you would beef, to allow the juices to settle in the meat.
A low and slow cook suits the shoulder well; sit on a bed of onions, add stock and white wine and cook at 160C until the meat is falling apart tender. You could add rosemary and thyme too – they add great flavour and aroma to the lamb. We sell the shoulders boned and rolled, so they’re easy to serve, but you can order one on the bone if you’d prefer.
Racks of lamb never fail to impress and they’re great for smaller gatherings as each will serve 2-3 people. Our loin chops, lamb chops and steak are also great options, especially if you’re pressed for time as they only take about 20 minutes in the oven and can be cooked in a frying pan.
For more tips for the perfect lamb dinner, and to place an order for your Easter lamb, why not come and see us at Mr Pickles’? We’re based at 240 Abbeydale Road and we’re open from 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week.