I was recently invited to attend my very first cooking class at Edinburgh New Town Cookery School courtesy of Scotch Lamb and Quality Meat Scotland along with other food bloggers. The aim of the day was to educate the invitees on Scotch Lamb, to help change perceptions about lamb and highlight that it is easy to cook, vestatile and simple to use.
When I arrived at the Cookery School, we were introduced to the chefs, other food bloggers and then given a short introductory talk all about Scotch Lamb. QMS started the #WhamBamThankyouLamb campaign to encourage more people to eat lamb. Beef is established as Scotlands favourite red meat – on average, Scottish households only buy lamb 5.9 times a year – and QMS is out to change this [source]
Scotch Lamb has Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status which means:
- Quality Guarantee: this guarantees a specific production method and controls which are stricter than those required by legislation.
- A Superior Character: which also guarantees our meat to have specific characteristics or quality that is superior to usual commercial standards.
- 100% Traceable: complete traceability of all our products.
- Clear Labelling: this allows you to identify quality products, their origin and their characteristics.
We then watched the Head Chef Jess re-create three simple lamb dishes: Lamb Biryani, Lamb Meatballs and Fillet of Lamb with Crushed New Potatoes & Mint Sauce. Jess talked us through each step, giving us her professional tips and making us feel at ease. While Jess was cooking away, I got the chance to chat to some of the other food bloggers who I’ve followed on twitter for a while or read their blogs. It’s always good putting a face to the name and finally meeting someone after “following” them for years.
Jess made the dishes look so simple to make and in fact, most can be cooked in 30 minutes (after you’ve found all the ingredients, chopped them up and figured out that you’re going to be doing… so make that an hour!). After the three dishes were created, we had a taste test (my favourite part!).
After lusting after the Le Creuset pans and Aga Cooker, we were then set loose in the professional kitchens to cook our favourite dish from those demonstrated. I decided to make the Fillet of Lamb with Crushed New Potatoes & Mint Sauce. I’ve never cooked Fillet of Lamb before but after seeing how quick & easy it is to cook, I am a convert.
We were shown our stations, given a recipe sheet and given all our ingredients. It honestly felt like I never set foot in a kitchen before and it took me a few minutes to get into the swing of things. Let’s just forget the part where I accidentally put a tablespoon of sugar into my bowl of lemon rind instead of my bowl of chopped mint leaves. All was well in the end & I quickly fixed my mistake. I shall just blame the strange surroundings, yes?
After we all finished cooking our dishes, we sat through in the lovely dining room with some wine eating our creations feeling very pleased with ourselves at a job well done. I had a lovely day and a great first experience at a Cookery School, so much so I really want to go to another class soon. The recipe for the Fillet of Lamb dish will be in another post along with more photos, so look out for that soon!
I do love lamb and it used to be something I just ordered in a restaurant but after learning some tips from professional chefs and learning more about lamb, I’m going to try cook more of it at home. It is lambing season after all!
Do you eat lamb? Do you have any tips? What is your favourite thing to do with lamb? Let me know!