Yeah, I know right. Who uses lamb cutlets for braising?
Well, in the south island of New Zealand where the sheep population grossly outweighs that of the humans*, lamb cutlets are cheap as bro, so today I would do whatever the heck I wanted with them.
Also, what is this whole bubble-and-swede thing, you ask? A damn clever play on words and a really tasty way to eat the humble swede, that’s what it is.
You see, on an island that seems to have the climate to grow absolutely nothing, the folks down south are pretty effing adept at growing the humble swede. Mostly to feed the ever-growing sheep population it would seem, but occasionally for human consumption also. But probably not very much for human consumption as I would imagine they’d be pretty sick of them by now. Probably the carnie folk would still relish a good swede though, I would imagine…
So much dribble.
Whatever the case, it was not uncommon to see roadside market stalls selling swedes (and swedes alone) the size of the head of the carnie folk they might eventually feed, for a buck a pop.
So, the scenario is this – we drove through the hills (there is always “the hills”) of the sheep growing, swede producing south and I said to myself, “today I shall purchase some sheep and some swedes and I shall cook them for our evening meal”.
“That would be heaps Kiwi-ish”, I agreed.
LAMB CUTLETS, TAGINE GRAVY, BUBBLE-AND-SWEDE
8-12 lamb cutlets, depending on size and appetite (NZ origin)
Moroccan seasoning (dubious origin)
½ onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped (NZ origin)
1 small knob ginger, grated (origin unknown)
1 teaspoon chilli paste (origin unknown)
A splash of some white wine (NZ origin)
400g tin diced tomatoes (definitely not of NZ origin as we could not afford the barter of 12 gold doubloons and 3 sex slaves that was necessary to obtain said tomatoes)
1 decent sized swede, diced large (NZ origin)
1 leek, sliced (NZ origin)
1 potato, diced large (probably NZ origin)
50-100g butter (we had some NZ stuff earlier in the week, but… hmmm… we don’t have any more)
Salt and pepper to season
Season cutlets with Moroccan seasoning. Brown cutlets in a pan over med-high heat for 2 minutes each side. Remove and set aside.
Add onion, garlic, ginger, chilli and a little extra Moroccan seasoning to the same pan with all of the lamby flavour, and sauté for a few minutes or until soft.
Deglaze pan with a splash of white wine and add diced tomatoes.
Return lamb chops to pan, cover and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes or so, until lamb is nice and tender.
While that’s going on you’ll need to sort your bubble and swede.
Boil swede and potato until nice and soft. Drain.
Sauté leek with half of the butter until soft and sexy smelling.
Mash swede and potato with remaining butter, mix in sautéed leek and then season well. Taste it and make sure the seasoning is good.
Plate it up however you see fit.
A bit of parsley would be nice but as you can probably see, we didn’t have any of that on hand.
Feeling the NZ vibe? I am.
*Seriously. I grew up in the south of Western Australia and I thought that place was an oversized sheep property but this place is nek level. The locals around here would be chucking a few sheep in the front yard before they ever contemplated putting in a rose garden or a kids cubby house I can guarantee you. I have respect for that kind of sheep love.
4 responses to “Braised lamb cutlets with bubble-and-swede… and a couple of things that grow really well on the south island of New Zealand”
I’m gonna make this right now right this minute but with pork chops not lamb cos that’s what I grow, and a turnip not swede cos that’s what came in my veggie box that i bartered this week along with some cabbage and a leek from same box, and I might add garlic olives to the braise cos that’s what I got at the farmers market. None of it was grown in New Zealand, but all was grown within 50km of my house. Some within 50metres of my house. Then I’m gonna ruin this great story about provenance and squeeze some Heinz 57 tomato sauce over the top of my bubble and squeak cos that’s what I like.
Your lamb looks luverrly and braising makes sense when its cold. Why is food so expensive in NZ, they can clearly grow everything (I am basing this statement on watching Annabelle langbein once or twice on the telly admittedly, shit she grows, harvests and cooks all that stuff in one episode) and I know its wintery at the south end but probs warm enough in the north to grow under plastic? Or is it all imported sans the sheep and swedes?
Heheheh. It’s a bit cold for lots of things down south which is where we are 😜
Enjoy your Aus-Kiwi dinner 👍👍👍
It’s the tagine gravy that got me. Looks delicious. Lamb is world class here in Ireland but one pays through the hooter for it.
As do we in Australia. It used to be cheap as chips, but is now one of the more expensive of the proteins…