So yes, the meat is the main part of barbecue or a slow-cook fest, but the sides are equally as important! Especially when the meat dish is so hearty with lots of spices and a delicious sauce, what to pair them with to ensure the whole meal is flavorful yet not too heavy?

We recently cookedΒ some lamb leg and shanks, and tried and tested these recipes! Give them a try with the easiest ingredients ever and elevate your next bbq, dinner or lunch to a whole new tastastic level.

1. The Easiest Lemon Herb Couscous

Picture by BBCΒ UK

We paired this with a 3-hour slow-cooked lamb leg and it was just the most amazing pairing! Fresh herbs are a must for this salad and go so well with just about any protein, making it so good as leftovers.

Ingredients:

- Equal parts fine couscous and chicken or veg stock

- 1/2 cup dried cranberries, sultanas or raisins (alternatively you could omit this and top with fresh pomegranate leaves)

- Handful of finely chopped parsley and mint

- extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste

Method:

- In a bowl, place cranberries and couscous. Pour in stock and cover with cling wrap for 10 mins.

- Fluff with fork then add the herbs and season with olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper. Bon appetit!

Recipe by Nagi of Recipetineats

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2. Spiced Chickpea Salad

This chickpea salad is out of this world. I don't use spices regularly, but after making the lamb and this salad, I'm totally converted into a spice-lover!

Ingredients:

CHICKPEAS

- 400g can of chickpeas, drained

- 1 tsp ground cumin

- 1.5 tsp of all spice

- 1/4 tsp salt

SALAD

- 2 cucumbers, diced

- 2 tomatoes, diced

- 1 small red onion, diced

- 1/4 cup coriander leaves, roughly chopped

- 1/4 cup parsley, roughly chopped

DRESSING

- 1.5 tbsp apple cider vinegar

- zest of half a lemon

- 2 tbsp lemon juice

- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

- 2 squeezes of agave/1 tsp honey

- 1 garlic clove, smashed

- salt and pepper

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Method:

- Combine dressing ingredients in a jar and shake. Set aside for flavors to develop.

- Place chickpea in a large bowl, scatter with spices to coat.Β 

- Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large pan over high heat and fry the chickpeas until toasty and fragrant. Set aside and cool slightly.

- Add all salad ingredients to a bowl and drizzle with a bit of dressing to toss.

- Top salad with the chickpeas at room temp. Toss gently to keep the spices on the chickpeas. Serve with your favorite bbq!

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Recipe adapted fromΒ Nagi of Recipetineats.

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3. Carrot Cauliflower PurΓ©e

This is for those dishes that have an incredible jus that needs to be sopped up by something creamy and comforting. Like when you make braised short ribs or a slow cooked lamb shank! This recipe was so easy, fulfilling and delicious, we were amazed by the simplicity! Plus you get your veggie ratio in for the day :)

Ingredients:

- 500g Cauliflower, rinsed and cut into florets

- 1 carrot, cut into half moons same size as the florets

- 1/4 cup water

- 50g unsalted butter

- 1/2 cup heavy cream

- salt and pepper

*Requires a blender or any liquid food processor*

Method:

- In a large pot, melt butter. On medium heat, add the cauliflower and carrot until coated in the butter. Add water and cover to steam the veg.

- Once veg is cooked, add heavy cream. Mixture should be a bit watery. Season with salt and pepper.

- In batches if necessary, blitz in a blender until smooth or your preferred consistency. Serve underneath a slow-cooked beef or lamb dish, or aside your next bbq!

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We hope you enjoyed our side suggestions for your next meals with friends and family. Keep safe, healthy and most of all, have fun!

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Meaty regards,

Joan

Head of Marketing at La Carne