Jess Mur­phy

We have the most amaz­ing lamb, from the bogs and moun­tains of Con­nemara to the lush pas­tures of Roscommon

The Irish Times Magazine - - CONTENTS - JESS MUR­PHY

It’s now com­ing to the point where I have been liv­ing in Ire­land al­most the same amount of time as I lived in New Zealand. It is a strange feel­ing, sit­ting there, back in New Zealand, vis­it­ing the folks, when you re­alise you are miss­ing the but­ter, the “craic” and your pals at home.

When I say home, now I most def­i­nitely mean Gal­way. I can’t ac­tu­ally think of an­other place I’d pre­fer to live. Over the years, I have be­come a staunch Gal­we­gian. Con­nacht is my team and I know more rugby play­ers here than I do from the All Blacks.

There are a few ques­tions that are put to me reg­u­larly. The most com­mon is “what part of Aus­tralia are you from?” The sec­ond most pop­u­lar is “which is bet­ter, Ir­ish or New Zealand lamb?” Lads, the an­swer is Ir­ish, of course!

They are very dif­fer­ent from each other, but in my opinion, we have the most amaz­ing lamb here, from the bogs and moun­tains of Con­nemara to Achill and the lush pas­tures of Roscommon.

I’ve pretty much vis­ited and sam­pled them all. Test­ing the recipe on these pages, we roasted the finest leg of lamb from Maam Cross. The grand stretch ap­pear­ing in the evenings means the emails from our farm sup­pli­ers have started to come in reg­u­larly. It is ever chang­ing from week to week. See­ing peas, radishes and the other early fruit and veg­eta­bles on an or­der list again re­ally gets my imag­i­na­tion go­ing.

Af­ter a long win­ter of hearty roots, it is like find­ing your best lip­stick in an old hand­bag, buried in the back of a press.

The change of the sea­sons also means that the soft an­nual herbs are plen­ti­ful again. Mint sauce is one of my all time favourites. Some­times I de­lib­er­ately don’t list it on our menu, just so peo­ple will ask, “was that mint sauce with the lamb chops?” I just smile know­ingly and say yes … yes, my friend, that was mint sauce.

Serves 6- 8

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