Rustic Lamb and Ramp Mashed Potatoes

There’s been some greenmarket lamb (one shoulder and one steak) in my freezer for quite a while now, and we finally took advantage of it as a celebration of the end of the ramp season 2010. We made our own recipe for lamb with ramps, involving a simple preparation of the lamb on top of ramp greens and alongside ramp mashed potatoes (think garlic mashed potatoes but more rustic).  It was delightful!

For the lamb, we thawed it in the fridge overnight and briefly marinated it in oil, salt, celery salt, white pepper, black pepper, and lemon juice before pan-frying it.  It fried up beautifully in the recommended ~4 minutes/side, but as we ate it we decided it should cook a little longer…I guess because they were relatively thick cuts of meat.  In the end, the browned edges of the lamb didn’t make the meat tough or dry, just improved the texture and flavor.  The insides were only very slightly pink when we finished cooking them and that’s how I’d recommend eating lamb in the future, though I guess we haven’t had much experience eating cuts of lamb like this at all…

For the mashed potatoes, we boiled up all of our random leftover potatoes, the big ones cut into pieces.  Once tender, we drained them.  We also prepared two bunches of ramps, cutting the greens from the red stem/white bulb part.  We broiled both parts, separately, giving the stem/bulb parts a bit longer to soften.  These were then mashed into the potatoes along with some butter and milk, until starting to get creamy, but still chunky in texture.  The greens were broiled and used as a bed for the lamb.

While I’m often a sauce person, I didn’t miss any sauce with this preparation—the lamb and ramp flavors were bold and complementary and the lamb stayed quite moist through all of our cooking.  Could be interesting to see if other flavors would add in well (balsamic?), but might be best left at its simple flavors of lamb and ramp.

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