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J Baker's Meat & Aromatic Herb Pairing Guide

Blog • April 26th 2016
Gardening in summer - happy woman with different kind of fresh herbs

Part of the skill of a chef is to know how to use the aroma and flavour of herbs to bring out the natural qualities of meat, to enhance flavour and eating quality.

Here's my tips to getting the best out of classic cuts for fantastic feasts, and sprucing up your spring kitchen for some tasty dishes. By using fresh herbs and the heritage breed meat of Farmison & Co, you can be sure of a treat.

Herb Encrusted Lamb Rack

To enhance the sweet, aromatic rack of lamb infuse your lamb gravy with plenty of classic English herbs. Rosemary, and lemon thyme work perfectly together gently simmered in the sauce before serving.

Lamb Shoulder Chop

Serves 4: Mint is the all time favourite for pairing with lamb. Simply make a salsa with aged sherry vinegar, a little muscavado sugar, finely cut red onions and diced mint leaves, and add a little red chilli if you like extra spice.

Trimmed Rib of Beef

Serves 4: Paired best with traditional English herbs, thyme works well. Simply rub into the meat and roast on the joint for big flavours.

Beef Fillet Tail Medallions

A great cut to dice up and stir fry, finish at the very last minute with a mix of coriander, (including stalks) and sweet basil leaves

Pigs Cheeks

Serves 4: Cook with lots of aromatic vegetables in a good, local cider until meltingly tender and finish with freshly cut lovage or celery leaves for a savoury classic.

Mutton Shoulder Joint

Rosemary is just the ticket to getting the best flavour out of mutton. Pop it in and around the joint for a long and slow roast, with plenty of authentic flavour.

Duck Breast

Serve Mediterranean style and serve the breast with black olives, burnt orange, and fresh lavender laced through with a sherry vinaigrette.

Flat Pork Loin

Sage is my personal favourite to serve with pork. Lay the joint on the stalks before cooking, and mix the leaves through a rich onion stuffing for the perfect roast.

Veal Escalope

As very delicate in flavour and texture, you need to take care to preserve the meat's integrity. I'd recommend pairing with Chervil rubbed onto the meat, to preserve the veal's integrity.

Wild Venison Haunch Steak

Serves 2: Make a rub with juniper, black pepper, garlic, bay leaf, thyme and orange peel, and marinade the meat overnight before cooking over high heat

Spatchcock Chicken

BBQ or Roast the chicken then finish with a herb butter including parsley, chived, tarragon, garlic, and loads of freshly zested to drizzle over at the end of cooking.

Diced Kid Goat

This complex meat is suited to a medley of spices and herbs. Add curry leaves to begin with as part of a classic masala paste, before adding chopped coriander leaves at the last minute of cooking.