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Seven recipes to cook in March

7 recipes to cook in March

by Great British Chefs 05 March 2018

March is a bit of an in-between month; not quite spring but definitely not winter. Here are seven of our favourite recipes to cook during it, from some of the UK's best chefs.

With the worst of winter now behind us, March is the month when we can start looking forward to brighter days and more vibrant meals. British favourites like wild garlic and sprouting broccoli really get into their stride this month, and whilst the latter is readily available in supermarkets and greengrocers, the former can be easily foraged in woodland areas – look out for bright green leaves, a strong garlic aroma and beautiful white flowers.

The end of March brings Easter with it too, and Easter Sunday wouldn’t be the same without a joint of roast lamb adorning the table. Spring lamb starts to appear around Easter-time and though it costs a little more money, it has a beautiful delicate flavour that makes it highly prized. Read on and you’ll see we’ve rounded up some of our favourite dishes that make the most of this month’s bounty.

1. Parmesan and wild garlic tart

Frances Atkins’ neat tartlets are perfect for March – she uses wild garlic for colour and flavour in her tart filling, which is at its best at the very beginning of spring. The tarts themselves require a really delicate touch – Frances rolls her pastry out to 2mm before lining her tart cases, filling them with a silky mixture of celeriac, Parmesan and wild garlic before baking in the oven. Served with a sprightly side salad of chicory, pea sprouts and preserved lemon, these are sure to impress any dinner guests, whether as a starter or a canapé.

2. Slow-cooked beef shin with quinoa, wild garlic and Parmesan

For those who aren’t quite ready to let go of their winter comfort food just yet, Alyn Williams is here with a slow-cooked beef shin to die for. Alyn’s treatment of the beef is classical technique at its very best – he sears the shin all over then sweats his mirepoix in the rendered beef fat, before deglazing the pan with good red wine and braising his beef with chicken and veal stock for eight hours. Served alongside a quinoa risotto, wild garlic oil, wilted wild garlic and shavings of Parmesan, this is the perfect dish get you through the last few wintry nights.

3. Purple sprouting broccoli with hazelnuts

Josh Eggleton is a master of classic British cooking, and this purple sprouting broccoli recipe really brings a brilliant British ingredient to the fore. It’s straightforward stuff – Josh gives his broccoli a quick blanching before charring it under a hot grill for a couple of minutes, toasting his hazelnuts and mixing them with hazelnut oil. The deep earthy hazelnut plays beautifully with the natural sweetness of seasonal sprouting broccoli, making this a perfect accompaniment to a roast dinner or a simple vegetarian lunch.

4. Pork belly with apple purée and sprouting broccoli

Speaking of classics, Simon Hulstone pairs some quintessentially British ingredients for his pork belly, apple and broccoli dish. It looks and sounds simple enough, but Simon cooks with incredible depth and flavour and this plate of food is no different. The pork belly alone needs two days of attention, from curing to braising to pressing to finally searing before it gets to the plate alongside an apple puree, a rich pork jus and some blanched purple sprouting broccoli. Two days might seem a long time to prepare a dish, but this one is more than worth the wait.

5. Duck breast with chicory and potato dauphinoise

Another fantastic offering from Josh Eggleton, this duck breast, chicory and dauphinoise dish is a dinner party stunner, combining classic cookery with interesting flavours. His pan-roast duck, dauphinoise potatoes and red wine sauce are straight out of the textbook, but he takes a little tangent for the chicory, caramelising it in soy sauce and orange. The flavours all marry beautifully together – the orange goes well with the duck and the soy adds an extra hint of umami – and chicory is at its very best in March, so there’s never been a better time to try it yourself.

6. Barbecued leg of spring lamb

If you’re on the hunt for a roast lamb recipe to leave your lunch guests gobsmacked, this is the one. Emily Watkins cures her leg of lamb with classic herbs and spices – juniper berries, bay leaves, rosemary, peppercorns and more – which firms up the meat and gives it bags of extra flavour, before cooking it over coals for a smoky finish. Spring lamb is especially tender and delicate, and this is the perfect recipe to make the most of it for Easter. Serve alongside your usual roast accompaniments, or even with Josh Eggleton’s purple sprouting broccoli with hazelnuts.

7. Grilled razor clams with chilli, fennel and thyme

Razor clams aren’t always easy to find, but a good fishmonger should be able to get hold of them for you, especially in March when they’re plentiful. Adam Byatt’s clam dish is simple and sustainable – he steams his clams in an aromatic mix of vegetables, garlic and lemon thyme, and dices them up with fennel, onion, leek and celery, serving the mixture in the shells. He finishes the dish with a gratin topping of breadcrumbs and Parmesan, running the razor clams under the grill under the top is golden.

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