Blackberries and Lamb

Babushka had been out all day among the brambles harvesting her yearly cache of blackberries.
There are some thirty six different varieties in Britain ranging from hard, rather bitter fruits, through to large sumptuous morsels every bit as good as mulberries. On the Isle of Bute the "brambles," as they're known, are rather winy, more like elderberries than mulberries, and as I discovered a perfect accompaniment to meat. Babushka was preparing to convert her black gold into jars of preserve for the winter months when I struck, and a large breakfast bowl of fruits were carried off to make this improvised lunch.

I cut two large slices of lamb from a leg to be roasted at the weekend, and chopped these into one inch cubes. These were thrown into a hot pan without oil, together with a chopped onion, a finely chopped piece of root ginger, and some chopped ready boiled carrots. In the high heat the meat was seared and the onions softened. After three minutes of pushing the mix around the pan to prevent it really burning, I threw in the blackberries. What a great combination! The intense black coloured the lamb and carrot, and the ginger root gave out its perfume. Another three minutes and I added some frozen peas to the mix, and just to moisten the dish, a glass of red wine. One glass for the pan, one for my throat: Old Russian Proverb!

So fifteen minutes after spying the mountain of blackberries, I was forking this wonderful combination onto my palate. It was so good I had to write this article to share it with you. No doubt you could substitute blueberries, bilberries or mulberries for Babushka's hoard, and I suspect pork or beef would be very good instead of lamb, but this is the lunch just as I prepared it, and I recommend it to you.

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About The Author, Susan Kensington
Olga Crawford at the Famous Russian Tavern on The Isle of Bute in Scotland.