Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Braised Lamb, Take two.

Should I have any close followers, you may remember that I didn't end up eating the braised lamb with fennel and olives. Tonight I needed something that I could eat curled up on the sofa with just a spoon- I've hit the midweek slump. Here's what I did:

Slowly reheat the entire dish, with the lid on. When it starts to simmer, throw in a handful of soup pasta, in this case, orzo. Let it cook uncovered until the pasta is cooked through. Pick out any flavourings, and discard (bay leaf, lemon peel), or eat (carrot). Ladle the soup-stew into a bowl, grate over a little Parmesan and sprinkle with some extra chopped oregano leaves.

The creation of tonight's meal was somewhat organic, but I liked the end result so much I would make something similar again. Probably not using lamb shank, more likely something I wouldn't feel extravagant shredding and bulking out with starch, such as some bony cuts from the neck. If you like, you go about making this the same way I did, maybe in a more direct fashion, however think of this as more of a blueprint. Use any soup pasta shape you like, or not. Throw in some rice, or cubed potatoes, or lentils. If you braise a larger joint of lamb (shoulder would be perfect), save the cooking juices and give it a similar treatment. It's not the prettiest dish, but it manages to be both comforting and restorative, and certainly worth eating.

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