When I first mentioned to Belle that I was going to make up a breakfast recipe using lamb, she was sceptical.
‘A breakfast lamb recipe?’ she said, scrunching up her face. ‘LAMB? For breakfast?’
‘Yes,’ I said, ‘I’m going to base it on my favourite – eggs benedict – but bring in a literary reference for fun.’ She didn’t look less sceptical at this point, I have to say. ‘So it’s eggs and ham… green eggs and ham… GREEN EGGS AND LAMB!’
I paused for her to tell me what I genius I was. Silence. She’s 16 though, I don’t think it was a reflection on my idea.
The thing is, I could see where she was coming from. When I first considered lamb for breakfast I wasn’t sure either. The more I thought about it though, the more it felt like an untapped source of breakfasty meat goodness. We have no problem eating pork for breakfast do we? Bacon, sausages, black pudding – it’s all good. Steak and eggs isn’t unheard of for a hearty brunch, so why not come up with a tasty breakfast lamb recipe?
Plus there are environmental and health benefits to consider – lamb is a lot more sustainable than most other animal agriculture farming and it’s also one of the healthiest meats you can eat – it’s rich in niacin and vitamin B12 and a great source of things like protein, zinc, potassium and phosphorus. So there you go.
My green eggs and lamb recipe is pretty easy to make, although I’d suggest it’s more of a special weekend breakfast than a ‘we’re leaving in ten minutes godammit so find your shoes NOW!’ thing. It’s the sort of breakfast I imagine cooking up while listening to The Archers omnibus and drinking a big mug of fresh coffee. In fact, it would serve you very well as a Valentine’s Day breakfast – nothing says ‘I love you more than the cat, honest’ like taking your time over a special breakfast for someone.
That’s not to say my breakfast lamb recipe is difficult, in fact, it’s possibly easier than your regular eggs benedict because the ‘green’ bit comes from a cheaty hollandaise-style sauce made from avocados, which is actually much easier than regular hollandaise. Your Valentine doesn’t have to know that though.
‘Darling, I love you so much I made you this delicious avocado sauce from SCRATCH.’
Chuck a flower on the side next to the plate and cue some much deserved swooning.
Breakfast lamb recipe ingredients
To make my super romantic Valentine’s Day breakfast lamb recipe for two you will need:
- 2 medium sized potatoes
- Splash of olive oil
- 1/4 of an onion, finely chopped
- 125g lean lamb mince
- 1/4 tsp of all spice
- 1/4 tsp cumin
- salt and pepper
- 2 eggs – as fresh as possible
This should make enough for two fried patties, so chop the rest of the onion and freeze it for later. You can freeze leftover lamb too, or make the recipe the day after a roast dinner and just use leftover potatoes and bits of roast lamb. (Maybe leftovers from my roast neck of lamb recipe?)
For the avocado hollandaise-style sauce:
- one very ripe avocado
- salt and pepper
- a pinch of cayenne pepper
- teeny splash of lemon juice (not too much or it dominates the flavour)
- hot water
How to make breakfast green eggs and lamb
The base of my green eggs and lamb is a kind of lamb and potato patty – a bit like bubble and squeak, but with more lamb. Start by peeling and chopping your potatoes into small chunks – about a centimetre square is fine – and stick these on to boil for 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile fry your onion in the olive oil until soft, then add the lamb, all spice and cumin and fry until just browned.
Drain the potatoes and add to a mixing bowl with the lamb. Stir it all up into a big mush and shape it into two burgers.
The next stage takes a bit of coordinating, so at this point you might want to make the avocado sauce to get it out of the way. Put everything bar the water in a blender and puree. Add small amounts of hot water until you get a nice, smooth, pouring consistency. If you want to have the sauce warm, you can heat it gently in a pan for a few minutes.
Back to the other bits.
I’d suggest getting the eggs on, then frying the lamb and potato patties while they cook. I’ve always been terrible at poached eggs, but a couple of weeks ago I got a set of the Delia ‘How To Cook’ books in a charity shop, so I decided to have a go at her method for poached eggs.
Start by putting an inch of boiling water into a heavy-based, wide pan. Heat the water until bubbles are JUST starting to form on the base of the pan, but only just – you don’t want the eggs getting shaken about. Break the eggs gently into the pan and simmer for exactly one minute. Then remove from the heat and leave them sitting in the water for exactly ten minutes.
It’s during this ten minutes that you can then fry up your patties in a little olive oil until they are crispy on both sides. Pop them out onto a plate, and carefully place a poached egg on top. Let’s take a minute shall we to admire mine:
Oh how it oozes with yolky deliciousness!
I’d recommend going for really good quality eggs so as to get a lovely bright yoke. If you can’t treat your loved one on Valentine’s Day to a decent coloured yoke then what hope really IS there for your relationship?
You can now either cover your lamb and egg in avocado hollandaise-style sauce or be fancy and serve the sauce on the side. Add the Valentine’s Day flowers and present the finished dish to your loved one.
‘My one true love,’ you will say, ‘eat this lamb and know my love for you is pure and strong.’
Find more lamb recipes with Lamb. Try it, Love it.