Try Lamb ambassador, chef Dan Cruickshank is a food explorer, widening his horizons by trying out ingredients from countries around the world and using them in his own cooking at home and in his kitchen in Dublin. Dan shares his personal favourite flavour combinations inspired by his culinary travels around the world, which match perfectly with lamb.
Fresh mint, sumac and pomegranate.
These Middle Eastern flavour combinations work brilliantly with lamb as sumac adds a mellow citrus taste without the heat. I love mixing mint and pomegranate together to add a sweet and crunchy texture to any lamb dish.
Sumac is a tangy, lemony spice often used in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cooking, which can be found in the spice and herbs section of local supermarkets.
Check out my recipe for spiced lamb focaccia with sumac and yoghurt to try this flavour combination out yourself.
- Lamb with barley
This is a perfect dish for autumn and has a wholesome taste thanks to the barley. I created this casserole when I was over in Texas working as a food ambassador representing Irish food in different universities around the southern states of the US, and they loved it.
The lamb shoulder is slow cooked in a casserole dish with carrots, parsnips, garlic and onions along with chicken stock and 50g barley for one and a half hours.
Like many Irish/American dishes this recipe varies from family to family, but the barley component has stayed the same for generations.
- Picked onions and anchovy mayo
This is my take on Californian burger toppings - combining creamy avocado and seasoned lamb mince patties accompanied by pickled turmeric onions, fusing the taste of fried onions and tangy gherkins.
The salty anchovy mayo adds an extra bit of seasoning that goes perfectly with the lamb mince!
This is sure to be your new favourite for the BBQ. Check out the full recipe on the Try Lamb recipes page Smash Lamb Burger with Avocado, Turmeric Pickled Onion & Anchovy Aioli
- Lamb and kimchi
I love recreating street food inspired from different parts of the world, especially from South Korea where I spent a period cooking and eating my way through the country.
Readily available in supermarkets and Asian superstores, kimchi and Korean seasonings such as gochujang are excellent flavour combinations with lamb, hitting all the taste bud areas - the umami of diced lamb leg and the sweet, tangy and salty taste of the kimchi.
Kimchi is a staple in Korean cuisine made from salted and fermented vegetables, such as napa cabbage and Korean radish, made with a selection of seasonings.
It’s something I’ve started making since returning home and although it takes time to ferment, it is easy to make and lasts for months in a fridge.
Check out my recipe for BBQ lamb bibimbap with kimchi to find out how amazing lamb can taste with Korean style food.
- Pico de gallo
This is a Mexican side dish also known as salsa fresco and is commonly associated as the fresh and chunky tomato salsa that accompanies tacos. Its key ingredients are roughly chopped onions, tomatoes, lime juice and coriander.
Lamb’s versatility comes into play as a tasty alternative filling in tacos, best served with a hot sauce and pico de gallo.
For a cost effective and resourceful cut of meat I recommend trying lamb hearts from a local butcher, but lamb steaks from a supermarket work perfectly too.
- Coriander and yellow Peruvian chilli (aji)
My mum always made a lovely dish called seco de cordero, which is a Peruvian lamb stew packed with South American flavours such as aji chillis from an online grocery store, and herbs such as coriander.
Each Peruvian province has their own twist on this stew whether it is the vegetables they cook it with or if it comes with beans, rice, or potatoes.
This is a hearty, herb and cumin infused meal that is perfect as a mid-week dinner to try lamb with for the whole family. Spice levels can be managed by keeping the aji chillis to the side to sprinkle on to taste.
For more inspiration of flavours that work with lamb visit the Try Lamb recipes page