This Christmas, we were lucky to receive a Lake District Farmers Steak Box as a gift from some relatives. At a cost of around £85, this is a big treat and we were excited to receive some quality meat and try some new cuts.
It was thoughtfully delivered on 8th January, just when freezer stocks were starting to run low.
It means the start to this year will be a little different to last, when we successful completely Veggie January (giving up dairy for Veganuary was a step too far…)
The box arrived as promised in a one-hour delivery slot. It was packaged well, with each portion of meat wrapped in plastic and clearly labelled, meaning it was easy to put all of it straight into the freezer.
Our steak box contained:
- 4x lamb leg steaks (in 2 packs of 2)
- 4x pork loin steaks (in 2 packs of 2)
- 2x beef bavette steaks
- 2x beef sirloin steak
- 2x beef rump steaks
- 2x pork escalopes
- 1x veal escalope (large enough to serve 2)
- 2x venison haunch steaks
The meat is all from farms and farmers in the Lake District, and the company has a goal to produce a sustainable future for fell farming in Cumbria.
Like many, we’ve made a concerted effort to cut down on our meat consumption for environmental reasons, and in 2021 we want to continue our efforts by cutting down the quantity of what we eat, but not what we spend. That might mean spending twice as much on a steak but having it once a month instead of every fortnight. This box is a fantastic way to start!
So far, we’ve only tried one of the cuts – we had a couple of the lamb leg steaks for a Saturday night dinner. I used a favourite recipe, albeit one that I haven’t cooked for a few years.
It’s for ‘Lamb steaks with butternut squash, pecorino and pine nuts’, from Jason Atherton’s 2010 cookbook ‘Gourmet Food for a Fiver’.
I don’t see this book talked about options but it’s actually one of my most well used, with loads of delicious recipes that feel a bit ‘cheffy’ without getting overcomplicated or too expensive, as the title suggests.
I’ve made the lamb and butternut recipe a few times over the years but never actually with lamb leg steaks – I’ve always used a rack of lamb or another easy to get hold of cut – although this doesn’t really fit with the budget angle of the book!
This dish is lovely – sweet and salty and warming and just a little unexpected, with the combination of lamb, squash, pine nuts and salty cheese. I’ve shared the recipe below and will post more recipes and pictures using more of the Lake District Farmers Steak Box as I make them over the coming weeks.
Making it with actual lamb leg steaks was a definite improvement so I’d recommend seeking them out. Coincidentally, after making this dish, I now see Jason Atherton has collaborated with Lake District Farmers for his ‘At Home’ food boxes, which include meat, fish and veggie options serving two people for £140.
The meat box is prepared with LDF’s Lancashire Pork in Jason’s Pollen Street Kitchen restaurant in London and includes 3 courses of restaurant quality food. Perhaps one to add to my wishlist of lockdown-fine-dining…
Lamb Steaks with Butternut Squash, Pecorino and Pine Nuts Recipe
To serve 4
- 4 lamb steaks
- Sea salt
- 1 butternut squash, halved and deseeded
- Olive oil
- 20g pecorino cheese, grated (in a pinch, substitute parmesan)
- 25g pine nuts
- 20g butter
- 150ml lamb stock
- 1 tbsp chopped parsley
- Fine grated zest of ½ lemon
- Rosemary leaves to garnish (I like to chop and add some to the sauce instead)
- Trim the lamb steaks of any excess fat, season with salt and set aside to come to room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 180. Cut the butternut squash lengthways into long wedges. Jason suggests searing them in a pan and then roasting, but I find roasting alone works fine. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt, and pop in the oven for around 30 minutes to roast. Check on them and turnover if browning too much.
- Toast your pine nuts. Jason advises doing this in the oven, but I think a dry frying pan works just as well and is easier to control. Once they are golden, tip onto a chopping board and roughly chop.
- When your squash is nearly cooked, it’s time to cook your lamb. Put your steaks into a hot frying pan with butter and olive oil. They’ll take about 3 or 4 minutes on each side, depending on thickness. You want them brown and caremelised on the outside but pink in the middle. Put on a warm plate and cover with foil and leave them to rest – around 10 minutes is fine.
- Now sprinkle about half of your cheese over the butternut squash and pop back in the oven.
- To make your sauce, pour your lamb stock into the hot, lamb-y frying pan and let it bubble until reduced by a third. Take off the heat and add your pine nuts, chopped parsley (and rosemary, if you wish), lemon zest, and the rest of your cheese.
- Now you are ready to serve! Put your lamb steaks and squash on a warm plate in – ideally – a stylish Jason Atherton way – and pour your sauce over the top.