Don’t roast it. Braise it! That’s Lenny’s new mantra after discovering the pleasurable results of cooking less-than-choice cuts very slowly in a tasty stock or sauce.
It’s not really stewing – you carve the cooked joint or piece of meat as you would a roast, rather than chopping it up beforehand.
This episode is also a lesson in the hidden perils of pyrex-style cookware. Well, if we’d just googled it beforehand, we would have known the risks of exposing it to a naked flame.
Lamb is available fairly cheaply where we live, so Lenny went on the hunt for value and got a boned-out shoulder for about six quid. She sent me hunting for “kitchen string” so she could roll it up, and I managed to scrounge a couple of metres from a butcher. I must say, she does a fine job of binding a very ordinary looking piece of meat into something that looks like “a bought one”.
Really basic ingredients for this one. Lamb, carrots, onions, celery and simple spices. But that’s the beauty of it.
We reckon the key to braising, as with making a slow-cooked curry, stew, casserole, whatever, is to use meat that is not a select, expensive cut. If you start off with a piece of flesh that is already super-tender, surely it will just fall apart in the cooking process. You want it to end up “fork tender” – that is, you can tear it apart easily with a fork, but otherwise it stays intact.
We must warn anyone attempting this recipe to watch the whole episode first. The aftermath for our kitchenware was rather unfortunate, but it could have been a lot worse and potentially dangerous if things had gone wrong during the cooking process.
The recipe for this episode came from The Joy of Cooking,
sent to us by publisher Simon and Schuster. The 75th annniversary edition of Joy comes out later this year and we plan to have some fun and prizes on offer at Crash Test Kitchen to celebrate the occasion, so keep watching us for details.
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