Spiced lamb pittas with wild garlic, yoghurt and pickled cucumber

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Meat mains

Spiced lamb pittas with wild garlic, yoghurt and pickled cucumber

Main Serves 2 45 min
Wild garlic is a brief but abundant season. It carpets the woods surrounding the farm and on a warm spring day there is a palpable pungency in the air. It can be eaten raw, but a slight wilting in the pan mellows the taste.

Cook's notes

Don't overcrowd the pan when you're browning the lamb.

Ingredients

  • ½ cucumber
  • 2 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 300g minced lamb
  • oil for frying and roasting e.g. sunflower or light olive
  • lamb spice pot:
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp harissa
  • 100g wild garlic
  • 1 red onion, use ½ if large, all if small
  • 15g mint
  • 1 tsp poppy seeds
  • pack pitta breads
  • 2 dollops yoghurt
  • salt and pepper

Method

Prep time: 20 min
Cooking time: 25 min
  • Step 1

    Wash the cucumber and cut it in half. Keep half for another day. Split the other lengthways and remove the soft seedy core with the tip of a teaspoon. Cut into thin slices.
  • Step 2

    Mix the vinegar with the sugar and a generous pinch of salt. Mix until the sugar and salt dissolve. In a shallow tray or bowl mix the cucumber with the vinegar. Leave to marinate, turning occasionally.
  • Step 3

    Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in the frying pan until nearly smoking hot. Season the lamb with salt and pepper and add it to the pan. Fry for 5 minutes until it is nicely coloured and browned. Add the spice pot to the lamb and fry for a further 2 minutes.
  • Step 4

    Tip in the chopped tomatoes and harissa, bring to a simmer and cook gently for 20 minutes. Add a dash of water if it looks like it may dry out too much and start to catch and burn.