A leek and lamb cobbler is the perfect dinner for a cold spring day. Leave the lamb and root vegetables cooking slowly in the oven until you are ready to eat.
Eating food when it is in season is the best way to get tasty flavoursome dishes at a reasonable price. During the winter and early spring many vegetables are unable to cope with the frost and wet. A few hardy cold weather vegetables are able to survive whatever the weather throws at them. They also add taste and flavour to winter dishes. One of the stars of the season is the flavoursome leek. It is a tough but tender plant that grows happily from Autumn into the Spring.
For many years leeks have been grown on allotments in North East England. The mining heritage of the area led to many pitmen owning an allotment. It gave them a chance to get outside in the fresh air whilst growing their own vegetables to eat. In the Autumn pubs and clubs would hold leek growing contests. Rivalry was fierce and people went to great lengths in the quest to gain the ribbon for the best leek in show. Secret fertiliser recipes were close family secrets. As the show day got closer men would sleep in their allotments overnight to protect the leeks. Sadly the tradition of leek shows is dying out now but many regional recipes use leeks. Leek pudding is one example, a filling dish where leeks make a statement.
Recently British leeks asked me if I would like to try and recreate one of their leek recipes. I was happy to give it a go. They have a great variety of leek dishes, something for every possible occasion. Given the recent cold snap we have been having I thought I would try making the leek and lamb cobbler. It was a great choice. Not only does it cook slowly in the oven allowing you to do other things, it is really warming and tasty. On a day when it had been repeatedly trying to snow it really did warm us up. The meal is lovely and filing as well, it only needs a few green vegetables by the side.
A cobbler is a variation on a pie that was born in the early days in the United States. On the pioneer trail and whilst taking cattle on long drives the chuckwagons produced the meal. During these long trips, the cooks often had to improvise, using whatever ingredients they had to hand. Instead of pastry, the pie topping was made from a scone like mix. This topping often resembled the cobbled streets of the early wild west towns, hence the name. Whilst most cobblers use fruit, this savoury version is a real treat. The combination of leeks, lamb and vegetables in a gravy with a herby scone topping will fill hungry tummies.
Why not pin the recipe to try later?
Do you have any favourite leek recipes? Let me know below.
I was sent the ingredients to make the meal at home but my opinions are my own.