Lamb Steak with Wild Garlic, Kale and Butter Beans

The wild garlic is back once again, folks. And once again, off I spin into ever more devious ways as to how I can make some money out of this freely foraged plant.

Initially, I did ponder upon building up some loose ponzi/pyramid scheme, where I could contact people to become distribution partners in various parts of the UK and grant them a licence to pick the free wild garlic, to sell on in their specific area. All in exchange for a commission on weight sold - plus all of my administration costs and fees for marketing materials and concepts (cash only).

It was also brought to my attention that whilst wild garlic is commonly used as a seasonal garnish for your main meal, it is very rarely used at breakfast time. Which led me to research the possibilities of collecting it, gratis, and then turning it into a cereal for children, nuns and vegans. Initial development has focused around desiccation and weaving to create a 'shredded wheat-like' block. But it needs tweaking. Primarily because it keeps turning the milk green.

And lastly, I have been making some calls across the channel to see what opportunities lie in Europe for wild garlic tourism, as it is pretty abundant over there too; and I could see some great cross-over potential for naturalists to combine their love of nature and the possibility of bringing back wild garlic for me to sell on. All dependent of course on border controls, certain restrictions surrounding certification, and um...the 'Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora'.

I even sent my mate, Colin, who is very much a keen nature-lover, over to Germany to do a recce. Sadly, he was recently found dead and quite naked in a leafy corner of the Eifel National Park, having had his head bitten off. Turns out in Deutschland, wild garlic is often known as 'bear garlic' due to the proximity of bears to where it often freely grows. 

It also turns out that Colin was actually a naturist - which was my mistake and I do sort of feel bad about putting the idea into his missing head now.

Still, the heady world of entrepreneurship is all about risks and I will continue to take them. 

There's money in that all free 'Green Gold'. I can feel it.

Meanwhile, try this recipe out.

Lamb Steak with Wild Garlic, Kale and Butterbeans - serves 4

4 lamb rumps or half a leg, boned and portioned
1 large bunch of wild garlic, washed and roughly chopped
1 lemon, juiced and zested
1 tbsp of fennel seed, crushed
100ml olive oil
Sea salt and cracked black pepper

For the beans
3 tins of butter beans, drained
1 onion, finely chopped
1 red chilli, sliced with seeds kept in
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
200g kale or Cavolo Nero, sliced up
½ lemon, juiced and zested
Olive oil
Sea salt and cracked black pepper


First, place half of the chopped wild garlic, lemon juice and zest, fennel and olive oil and mix together. Place the lamb in a tray or shallow bowl and pour over the marinade and massage well into the meat. Cover with cling and leave in the refrigerator for two hours.

For the butterbeans, place a large saucepan on the hob over a medium heat and add a good glug over olive oil. Add the chopped onion and chilli and sauté for 15 minutes, until the onion is soft. Add the garlic cloves and stir through for another couple of minutes (try not to brown the garlic too much) and then add the kale and a touch of water to steam. Turn the heat down and place a lid on top and leave to simmer for another 5 min. 

Now add the beans, remaining chopped wild garlic, lemon juice and zest, and cook through for another 5 minutes. Season at the end to taste and keep warm.

Before grilling the lamb, bring it back out of the fridge and leave to come to room temperature. Place a frying pan or griddle on the hob over a high heat and season the meat with sea salt and cracked black pepper.

Brown the lamb all over in the pan and then reduce the heat to medium, turning the steaks every so often for 10-12 minutes. This will cook it medium-rare, so if you like a little less pink, give it another 3 minutes.

Take the lamb out and leave it to rest, before carving into slices. Heat through the beans and add them to the centre of the plate and topped with the slice lamb and a drizzle of the juice from the pan.


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