Allyson Gofton - Spring Lamb

Publish Date
Friday, 16 October 2015, 10:22AM
By Allyson Gofton

Tunnel Hill a coastal property in Wanganui, known for its warm coastal environment, has been owned by the Redmayne family since 1936  and is now the home of Coastal Spring Lamb®.

Tunnel Hill, in partnership with a select group of intergenerational family farms on the North Island’s west and east coasts, raise hand selected, new season lambs on salt seasoned pastures to produce succulent tender lamb for the table.  The secret lies in the spring pasture, which is a mix of lush ryegrass, clover and herbs. It is delicious and it is available now, both at selected retail shops and on line. Look for more information on

Spring Lamb Braise
Spring lamb is very much apart of our culinary heritage, but as time for cooking becomes less, the idea of a slow cooked roast becomes a special treat only. This simple dish, prepared from fresh season ingredients, spiked with pancetta is ideal to cook with friends; it is quick, healthy and a one-pot meal with style

Serves: 4-5
Total Time: 50 minutes

2-3 long lamb backstraps, well trimmed (see Cook’s Tips)
200 grams thickly cut pancetta, diced
4 large shallots, peeled and sliced or diced or 1 medium-sized onion
250 grams baby carrots, well-scrubbed
2 tblsp quince paste
½ cup dry sherry
3 cups lamb or vegetable stock (see Cook’s Tips)
4 courgettes, trimmed and sliced or chopped
250 grams broad beans, blanched and peeled


  1. Cut each backstrap in half crosswise and season well salt and pepper, cover and set aside while cooking the pancetta.
  2. Heat a non-stick lidded frying pan and when hot cook the pancetta over a moderate heat until the pancetta is crispy and all the fat has run from it. Remove the pancetta, but leave the fat in the pan.
  3. Add the lamb and brown over a high heat on all sides and set aside with the pancetta. Add the onion and carrots and toss quickly in the residue fat until they onions have softened and the carrots browned a little. Stir in the quince paste and sherry and allow the mixture to simmer for 5 minutes or until reduced by half.
  4. Return the lamb to the pan with the courgettes and stock, cover and simmer gently for about 10 minutes until the meat is just cooked to medium and the vegetables tender. Remove the meat and set aside to rest before carving. Add the broad beans to the pan and warm gently. Season with salt and pepper and a small handful of chopped chervil if you have any to hand. Slice the lamb and place in the pan to serve from the dish.

Cooks Tips:

  • The backstrap is the boneless eye of the loin. Each will usually feed two people. If it sold with the silverskin on, take a sharp knife and run underneath the silverskin to lift it from the lean meat. If left on the silverskin will cause the meat to buckle and twist when cooking. To make lamb stock, brown off about 500 grams -1kg lamb bones (the butcher will usually give them away) in a hot oven. Add 1 litre of chicken stock and simmer for around 1 hour. Strain to use. If you do not have pancetta, use bacon rasher steaks, now available from Beehive bacon.

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