Spring is officially here, and the first new season lamb is available at the butcher’s shop. It’s tender and sweet, but also pretty pricey.

If you fancy cooking up a lamb dish, don’t worry if the new arrivals hit the pocket too hard, the compensation is that the older lamb has more flavour.

Hogget, or autumn lamb, which has had more time to graze, has a much deeper flavour.

And a mutton stew, with a flavour that’s almost gamey, is superb. Mutton is at least two years old, and therefore has the depth of taste to match. Just make sure that you cook it long and slow.

UK lamb is superior in flavour to any other, in my opinion, and it’s produced on our doorstep, and buying it helps our farmers survive. So it’s win, win all the way!

The recipe below makes excellent use of a delicate loin of lamb, matched with comforting and delicious celeriac.

Roast loin of lamb with celeriac puree

Serves 4

Loin of lamb approx. half a pound per person

Sea salt such as Halen Mon and pepper – to taste

Whole celeriac, peeled and chopped into small pieces

10g butter

10mls milk (preferably whole)

Pinch of paprika

Preheat the oven to 160C/Gas mark 3

Season the lamb with salt and pepper to taste

In a saucepan, soften the pieces of celeriac in the butter for approx. 10 minutes. Add a dash of oil if needed, and keep the lid on.

Once the celeriac is soft, add the milk and seasoning, and cook over a low heat for a further 10 minutes until the celeriac is completely soft.

Put the celeriac in a food blender with some of the milk and blend until smooth. Keep warm.

Heat a large frying pan and colour the lamb evenly. Transfer to a roasting tin and cook for 10 minutes (or longer if you like your meat less pink).

Serve the lamb with the celeriac puree, baby spinach, or any other seasonal vegetables of your choice.