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Niklas Ekstedt’s
lamb with cabbage and mustard seeds is a much needed winter warmer

Niklas Ekstedt

I’m a big fan of lamb, it’s such a tasty and versatile ingredient that doesn’t often get the credit it deserves. When I was growing up, the sheep breeders on the Swedish island of Öland insisted that their sheep tasted best because they flavoured themselves by grazing all their lives on the island’s many wild herbs. And you can find excellent lamb here in the UK. I recommend Philip Warren who supplies my favourite restaurants and also direct to customers.

Ingredients (serves 4)

2–16 lamb chops (saddle or fillet of lamb works too)
Half a Savoy cabbage
20g mustard seeds
100ml 12% spirit vinegar
200g sugar
300ml water
2 red onions
2 apples
Butter, for frying
1 tbsp honey
6 sprigs of thyme
Salt and black pepper, freshly ground

Lamb with cabbage and mustard seeds

1. Remove the lamb chops from the refrigerator 30 minutes before frying to temper the meat. Boil about 2 litres of water in a large saucepan with 2 tablespoons of salt.

2. Pick off the best leaves of the Savoy cabbage and cut out the stem from the middle. Cook the cabbage leaves in the boiling water until soft — this usually takes about 20 to 30 seconds — then cool the leaves in iced water.

3. Place the mustard seeds, spirit vinegar, sugar and water in a saucepan, bring to the boil and allow to simmer for 20 minutes.

4. Once done, sieve out the pickled mustard seeds. Peel the red onions then cut the onions and apple into wedges. Fry both in the butter in a hot pan until golden. Add the honey and thyme, fry for 1 minute, then remove from the heat.

5. Season the lamb chops with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat a large frying pan and fry the lamb chops in butter for 2 to 3 minutes per side — or more if you prefer your meat well done. It’s important not to cover the entire surface of the pan, so fry the chops in batches if necessary. Place the lamb chops on a dish and set aside for 4 to 5 minutes.

6. Heat the cabbage with 1 tablespoon of water and
a knob of butter and then stir in the pickled mustard seeds. Serve the cabbage with the lamb chops, onion and apple.