Lamb meal #8 was a fairly straightforward affair with lamb chops for four (meals 31-34). It was a welcome home meal for daughter number two who has been in France for the last few months. She just wanted some straight home cooking with mash.. Job done!
Meal #9 though has been a while in the making. I like to scan the weekend newspapers and literally scan recipes I like into Evernote. It makes retrieving and searching a doddle. A while back i saw a recipe by Olivia Andrews in The Times for Northern Chinese Lamb and grabbed it. I liked the sound of the spices but I just never had the right occasion for it.
I used one a bone-in shoulder and prepared the rub which includes cumin, fennel, Szechuan peppercorns, dried chilli, malt vinegar, honey to replace raw sugar, fresh ginger to replace ground ginger, three garlic cloves, salt and turmeric. I added some five spice (to boost the Chinese elements while recognising I would be duplicating some) and a little olive oil. In hindsight I could have left the oil out. It seemed a very dry rub but, even after trimming as best I could, the rendered fat more than replaced it. I sliced through the joint to the bone and rubbed the mixture right in and then used a roasting bag rather than the recommended foil cover. I added the onion wedges and a chopped yellow rather than green pepper before tying the bag and cooking it at 160 degrees for two hours thirty minutes. This is effectively a pulled lamb recipe so low and slow is in order and I let it stand for a further twenty minutes. A couple of forks pulled it apart easily.
I served with steamed broccoli and some noodles with diced carrot which I had boiled in orange juice and soy sauce and a dash of sesame oil before serving.
The lamb was fabulous. It has enough flavour to deal with the very deep and very rich seasoning. The use of the roasting bag keeps it all in and the underlying chilli leaves the mouth pleasantly singing. I could have had plain noodles and broccoli quite happily because the flavour is fantastic.
This provided meals 35-40 comfortably. it made me realise that ‘pulled’ anything is economic eating. All the waste from a roast is around the bones. A pulled recipe cooks the meat so it is falling off the bone and parts of the joint that would otherwise be left are now edible. It’s the same with boning a chicken. It’s a pain to do but it increases the edible amount of meat by at least 20% in my opinion.
Anyhow, this recipe is fantastic. It produces shreds of powerfully spiced meat… think crispy duck with Hoi Sin sauce or one of those deeply rich tagines. The second meal is just wraps with iceberg lettuce.