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e_moon60

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Food: Lamb with "accidental" sauce [Oct. 24th, 2009|09:18 am]
e_moon60
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Yesterday, before heading out into the wet and wild 80 acres, I put a loin of lamb in the oven, on very low heat at first (raised, when I came back in, and it was thoroughly defrosted.)    But I came back in very, very tired, because hiking around the place and through the rushing water of two creeks, in rubber boots that don't fit anymore (they're 30 years old, and we've both aged ungracefully) had worn me out.  So I was not in shape to do anything energetic to convert the lamb into a full supper...by the time it was supper time I was still draggy.

So I opted for fast instead of proper cooking, and for once lucked out.

I'd had a vague idea of trying something like the sauce I had on fish at a Greek restaurant in NYC on the lamb, but we didn't have all the ingredients...and I wanted potatoes, but time had run out.   What we had was a can of chipotle diced tomatoes, a can of sliced new potatoes, and the  last tablespoon or two of capers in an almost-empty bottle.   I took the lamb out at the medium-rare stage, and while it rested on top of the stove I combined the above ingredients in a saucepan and heated them up.

Lamb slices with potatoes,  the chipotle diced tomatoes (which, according to the can, also had onions and garlic in the mix) , and capers was...incredible.  Lamb was tender and pink, the sauce complemented it amazingly well and the potatoes had taken up some of that flavor. 

This will happen again.

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Comments:
[User Picture]From: hugh_mannity
2009-10-24 02:33 pm (UTC)
Oh that does sound yummy. I might have to try that (or some variant of it) myself. I've got a fair bit of lamb in the freezer.

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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2009-10-24 02:51 pm (UTC)
I think adding sliced olives (black or green) might also add something to it. Starting from scratch, you could do the same thing with fresh or other canned components...saute the onions and garlic, use cherry tomatoes, cook into a sauce (I don't *want* to try roasting or charring the peppers on my stove--I would make a mess of it, I know!)

E.
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[User Picture]From: hugh_mannity
2009-10-24 03:10 pm (UTC)
I've roasted bell peppers in the oven. I washed them, patted them dry, then rubbed them with an olive oil soaked paper towel so they had just the faintest sheen of oil. Stuck them in a baking dish and put them in the oven alongside a chicken I was roasting. They came out very delicious and didn't make a mess.

For charring, I use the gas grill outside. :D

I've been living on ratatouille variants lately. The local farmers' market runs through next week and I've been buying all sorts of heirloom tomatoes, coloured bell peppers, onions, hot peppers, leeks, and eggplant. They've also had some amazing little green/yellow/white striped things they call Brazilian Eggplant. Unfortunately next week is the last week. It's getting too cold for them to be selling from a market stall in the town parking lot for one thing and the produce season is pretty much over for the year. One farm is doing a less frequent market for November and December a couple of towns over. They'll mostly have things like chard, kale, potatoes, turnips and onions.

I'm very sad that it's back to the grocery store for my produce. Next year I'm going to try to grow some of my own.
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2009-10-24 05:41 pm (UTC)
Yeah, we're hoping for a bigger garden next year, too. If we can just have *ehough* rain and *not too much* rain...
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[User Picture]From: fair_witness
2009-10-24 05:51 pm (UTC)
Now I'm hungry for lamb.
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2009-10-24 09:45 pm (UTC)
You know...we're now processing lamb ourselves. The cuts aren't elegant (yet--I have hopes of improving) but my farrier just told me he may have two lambs for us this year.
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[User Picture]From: fair_witness
2009-10-25 01:18 am (UTC)
You are? Too cool!
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2009-10-25 06:05 am (UTC)
More messy than cool. But if you are in need of a hunk o' lamb and aren't too fussy about the appearance (though the new meat saw makes a much neater cut than what we used before), I'll let you know when the next date approaches.
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[User Picture]From: fair_witness
2009-10-25 02:16 pm (UTC)
I would never turn down a hunk o'lamb. Thanks, Elizabeth!
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[User Picture]From: delicious_irony
2009-10-25 11:39 am (UTC)
I want to make this now.

After a long day at work with only a punnet of strawberries since breakfast, it sounds really good...

:9
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2009-10-25 05:17 pm (UTC)
I'm not a complete local-foods person (I love apples and they do not grow anywhere near here. I had a blast in upstate NY, having hit full apple harvest, and chomped my way through a bunch there.)

However, for those who can (afford it, find sources, etc.) I really do recommend looking for locally sourced foods, including meats. Small farmers can benefit and so can you. More suppliers are offering locally sourced foods as demand grows. So hunt around and see if you can find someone who is raising sheep, or even showing lambs (FFA or 4-H) and consider doing a deal with them. The show lambs we've processed have produced ~50 pounds of meat & bone each (one large one produced more like 70.) In fact, except for the top winners in the shows, you can probably find pigs and beef cattle for sale (the losers in a class aren't worth the gas to haul them to the next show.) For a reasonable fee to cover the gas, and the price/pound of the animal, you can probably get it taken to a processor and turned into neat packages for your freezer. On the gory side of life, a lamb or goat carcass is pretty easy to handle (compared to a beef carcass or a big hog) and you can DYI. If your neighbors don't have a hissy fit. OTOH, unless you're also skilled at tanning, and possessed of enough land for safe disposal, you're then stuck with the hide and the offal.
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[User Picture]From: delicious_irony
2009-10-26 02:09 am (UTC)
I shall look for local meat, meaning meat raised within a five hour drive of here.

Alas I am stuck in suburbia, and thus the peripheral phenomena of livestock processing in my small, weedy backyard may be a little too much for the neighbours.

Would like to though. *wistful face*
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2009-10-26 03:22 am (UTC)

Gory details (squick warning)

I have friends who've lived in neighborhoods where that happened, and they were not into it...so yeah, for the sake of your neighborly relationships, better not be caught gutting a goat in the back yard, at least unless you can claim religious necessity or all your neighbors are deer hunters who use the venison. (Should you be in that fortunate situation, consider a communal meat processing arrangement, whereby you share a good quality meat grinder (not hideously expensive) and a good meat saw (which is, but boy does it make life easier.) You do not want to know what happens when you dismember...er, the correct term is "fabricate"...a carcass with a reciprocating saw. Or an axe. Pieces come apart, but they don't look anything like what you find in a supermarket. And you, even if not actually operating the saw, will look like something out of a CSI demo on blood spatter. And bone spatter. It gets to be funny (and you gain real respect for our ancestors who managed this with stone tools) but it's not tidy. With a real meat saw, it's easy-peasey except for cleaning the saw.

Back to the professional processing. Your best bet, unless there's a farmer's market that handles meat as well, would probably be to find a farmer who raises what you want to eat, and can take care of the processing end--ideally at a certified facility, since those really know what they're doing. Having participated in the learning curve of home butchery...we're still not expert...there's a reason people study this stuff, especially meat cutting for markets. The local school has classes for ag students in meat cutting, but I'm an adult and can't take them (sigh.)



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