Friday, 23 July 2010

A Good Wife Always Forgives Her Husband When She's Wrong.

When it comes to cooking a meal, you really can take inspiration from almost anywhere. And if you enjoy food, the inner tinkerings of your mind are forever engaged. What can I have a go at next? What should I try out this time? What haven't I done yet? These questions in turn are governed by a myriad of influences. The seasons, the weather, recipe books, articles, blog posts, trends, the contents of your fridge etc etc. As a culinary adventurer, a gourmand, an epicurean artiste who devotes his life to the pursuit of eating, the journey from field to plate is joyful and boundless. Truly, what a wonderful thing it is to cook.

Except for when you are trying to create a dish that you have seen on the TV.

Now I have done this sort of thing before but to fully appreciate the most recent 'journey' I had, this really is the best way to communicate my first experience with cooking breast of lamb. Or at least this is how I came across this brilliantly cheap and simple recipe by Tristan Welch. And how I very nearly got it wrong. So this was the conversation that I had with my good wife the other day, leading with my first line:

Oooh I saw this great looking dish on telly the other day.

Oh yeah?

Yeah, Tristan Welch did it. It was breast of lamb, it looked lovely.

Oh right, what did he do then?

Well, you get some breast of lamb, lay it out, rub chopped herbs and garlic into it....oh and some rapeseed oil, roll it back up, tie it and then you pan fry it....oh and then you slice it into rounds and then fry both sides. He served it up with crushed potatoes and mint sauce, it looked beautiful.

Hmm that does sound good, we've never tried breast of lamb before have we?

No, shall we get some for Sunday? wait, hang on a minute, he just did all that and rolled it up and fried it? He didn't cook it first.

What do you mean? No, he just put it in a pan with some butter....

But did he do anything else to it first, I think you have to slow cook breast of lamb don't you?

Well he just fried it.

No but Dan (slowly) did he do anything to it first?

No I'm bloody telling you he just fried it. I should know I watched the bloody programme.

What programme was he on? I can't remember.

Well shall we have a look online and check the recipe, what was it Saturday Kitchen?

I don't know but listen I watched the fucking programme right, he just pan fried it, believe me....

Hmm doesn't seem to be on BBC website.

No listen, you don't have to look on the poxy pc, it's very simple, you just take the lamb, season it and roll it up and then fry it (under breath) for fuck's sake

Dan! I am only checking, why do you have to get so precious about things?

Because I saw him fucking cooking it!!!!

Is this it? Rolled lamb breast with Jersey royals and mint sauce?

Yes! Probably! I don't know...

On Market Kitchen?

Yes! That's it! He did it on Market Kitchen, he fried it on fucking Market Kitchen!

Recipe says to poach lamb in chicken stock for 3 hours first.

Does it?


(deafening silence of shattered male pride)

And so after a period at the bottom of the garden, I decided that this was still worth trying out. We had this last Sunday and it tasted just as delicious as it looked on the telly. This cut cost just £3.60 and could have easily served 4 people, served up with allotment Charlottes dug up a few hours earlier and roasted and some frozen peas (boiled naturalment). The mint for the sauce came from our garden. It is probably even fattier a cut than pork belly and could have benefited from properly cooling as per the recipe for the joint to firm up properly. But time just didn't allow, when it came to the 'frying' part, it was still lukewarm (if only you really could cook as quick as they do on the square box eh). However, a superdooper meal to try at the end of the month when the pennies are running low. Just remember that you do indeed have to slow cook the joint first.

Breast of Lamb

Slather meat with chopped thyme, rosemary, garlic, salt, pepper and rapeseed oil.

Poach in chicken stock with onion, celery and herb bouquet garni

Cool, wrap in foil to keep shape (my idea) and leave in fridge to cool completely. Seriously let it cool completely

Charlotte Potatoes

See, I told you Tristan f***ing fried it!

Breast of Lamb (cooked correctly)

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