Give peas a chance...

The 90’s heralded a huge revolution in food and dining.  We had celebrity chefs, nouvelle cuisine, and not to mention I started catering college in 1991!  It also saw a huge growth in casual dining.  Where once the choice was between Berni or Toby, the era saw a wealth of options open up.  One such casual dining chain with a French lilt, used to offer steak frites on a £10 fixed price menu, with a choice of side dish.  I always chose the same; petit pois á la Francis.Francaise?  Peas, baby onions and lashings of cream.  Alas the side dish faded from the menu, and the prix fixe is now significantly more than £10!

With crops around the country ready to harvest, the joy of podding and enjoying the fantastic fresh flavours, which are only available for a few weeks each year, this week marks British Pea Week.  To celebrate I have taken a twist on my old favourite and married it with some of our new season’s Southdown lamb chump chops.  It is a simple quick meal with just a few ingredients.

Ingredients – Serves 4

200g baby onions

200g of podded peas

2 tablespoons of Aldhurst Farm Cream

4 Hill House Southdown Lamb Chumps

2 baby gem lettuce

Fresh mint leaves, cut into fine strips English butter

Seasoning & Cold Pressed English Rapeseed oil 


Firstly boil the kettle, and then pour the boiling water onto your baby onions, this allows the skins to come off far easier.  Leave them for 2 – 3 minutes then carefully skin onions, the skins are paper thin and should come away easily leaving the onion shape intact.  Then in an oven proof frying pan, heat some oil and butter, place the onions in the pan and begin to brown them on the hob.  Then place them in the oven at 200c for 4 – 6 minutes until they brown and go beautifully soft, but still retain their shape.

Pod the peas and steam them until cooked, then place the cooked peas in with the onions and leave on the side.  Meanwhile cook off the lamb.  The lamb chumps griddle beautifully, I recommend plenty of seasoning, a little rub of cold pressed English rapeseed oil and 3 – 5 minutes each side in a hot griddle pan.  Once cooked wrap in food wrap and rest for 5 minutes.

Halve the baby gem lettuce, and place in the hot griddle pan for a few minutes to wilt the lettuce slightly and bar mark them with the griddle.  At the same time, return the peas and onions to the heat, add the cream, once heated through taste for seasoning and add salt if required.


To bring it all together place the baby gem on the plate, lamb on top of it then spoon the peas and onions onto the lamb.  Garnish with a little shredded mint leaf.

A simple supper, using the seasonal flavours of fellow Surrey Hills suppliers.

This week to celebrate British Pea Week we will include peas and baby onions in all of our vegetable box deliveries.  As they once said in certain faux-French chain restaurants – ‘bon appetite’.

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