Lamb isn’t actually popular meat in Filipino cuisine. Yet you can still find in big supermarkets such as lambs that are mostly imported from New Zealand or Australia. It’s the least appreciated meat for most Filipinos due to that pungent aroma, especially coming from the meat of older lambs, which is the type that is mostly sold in the Philippines.
I’ve somehow managed to appreciate lamb meat before I left for Switzerland, thanks to the shawarma craze back then. Now I’m enjoying it more since lamb is a staple meat in Europe.
Lamb symbolizes the rebirth of the earth and the passing of the winter season. In some traditions, a roast leg of lamb is expected on Easter feasts. While my palate seemingly likes to celebrate now that spring is finally here, to satisfy my craving I’m readying my oven for this easy yet luscious lamb dish.
- 10 potatoes
- 1 handful cherry tomatoes
- 6 pcs lamb chops
- olive oil
- 1 handful Kalamata olives, stoned
- 1 small handful garlic cloves
- sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- a few sprigs rosemary
- 2 lugs olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/gas 5.
- Boil the potatoes until tender and squeeze the pips from the tomatoes.
- Stick a large frying pan on a high heat, add a lug of olive oil and sear the lamb until golden.
- Remove and put to one side while you crush the drained potatoes in the frying pan – use the bottom of a jar or a masher – then fry for a couple of minutes over a low to medium heat.
- Stir the tomatoes and olives into the potatoes with some seasoning and rosemary sprigs, drizzle with a little olive oil and place in a roasting tin. Place the lamb on top of the potatoes and cook according to pack instructions. Depending on the size, the lamb will take somewhere between 10 and 20 minutes to cook, but will still be pink in the middle (add 5 to 10 minutes if you like your meat well done).
- When the lamb is cooked to your liking, slice it into chops and serve with the crispy potatoes and a little salsa verde or an extra drizzle of olive oil.
Recipe adapted from Jamie Oliver.