Sunday, May 27, 2007

Getting my goat.

Goats make great cheese. Or rather people do, from goats' milk. Now, kid meat isn't a usual site in most British butchers, so I jumped at a chance at my local farmer's market to try some from a local cheese maker. Now, maybe I was phased by the enormous price he'd put on it - some 6 quid or so for something near half a kilo of stewing meat, but I wasn't terribly impressed. There's much to recommend it - the meat was beautifully tender, and it's good to eat the by products of dairy production (e.g. veal), but it simply lacked in flavour.

So, I'm on a mission. To find out whether kid meat can be better. For a meat so lauded by the likes of Mr Blumenthal, there must be better. Maybe it wasn't hung for long enough? In the meantime, I won't be putting kid meat on the restaurant menu...the goat's cheese however is amazing and certainly will feature.

The search continues...

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Eat the Seasons...

That's what it's all about.

Or rather this is :

Eat the Seasons

A new site dedicated to seasonal eating. I need say no more. There's no excuse now. Even if you live in the middle of the concrete jungle.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Sticking my neck out...

I've got a thing about necks.

In this case, lamb necks. Or even better, hoggett necks.

In the rush for the shank that gripped the gastropub "revolution", plenty of other great animal bits were left behind. Such a fad for the shank has seen it appear on so many menus, that I think the country is getting a bit bored of it.

Well, if you've never tried it, then next time go for the neck. What you're after is pieces, bone in, cut straight through the vertibrae. They come out looking a bit like chunks of oxtail. Indeed, the result is fairly similar. You'll normally get three good chunks out of a neck.

What to do with them? Well. Any good braise is fine. With the bone in, you'll get plenty of flavour, but it won't hurt to bolster it up with a good stock. Seaon and sear them until nicely golden to get those caramelisations going, and then soften and colour your veg in the same pan. Deglaze and top up with stock and aromatics. Bring to boil and leave for as long as it takes. A couple of hours in the oven at 135C should do. The meat will fall off the bone just like oxtail, with succulent fibres of meat intertwined with those tremendously moreish sticky bits that are the hallmark of a good braise. Play with the ingredients to your hearts content. The method's always the same...

Happy slow cooking...