SUNDAY LUNCH: WHAT'S YOUR SIGNATURE?
So, what's your signature dish?
Indeed, you may have more than one, dishes that you turn to very time you want to make a "no chance of failure meal" or dishes that other people beg you to cook for them whenever it's your turn to play host.
Mine? well, I don't have many. I tend to leave cooking to those with a lot more skill than me in the kitchen, while I just make appreciative noises at the end results. But, I do have a few. My LSD (Life Saving Dahl) is a thing of beauty, my pies draw sighs and I can make a steak & kidney pudding that should be put in a time capsule for future generations to marvel at.
However, when it comes ot my turn to cook Sunday lunch, HP's lower lip begins to shake a little if the word "mutton" is not used and, over the years, I have refined my method for stuffing and slow cooking a shoulder cut until the meat falls apart at the slightest fork pressure.
This time mutton from Farmer Sharp (a bargain with enough to feed four coming in at £11) was stuffed with ingredients from my chum, Mehmet at Embassy Electrical Supplies. He was touting his fine goods on a new stall at Whitecross Street Market and I came away with wild oregano and sweet paprika dried on the terraces of his farms in Cyprus and Turkey, preserved lemons and oil from the same to which I added lots of chopped garlic.
I rolled and marinaded the joint overnight and then sealed the roasting dish with a double layer of foil before low and slow cooking for nearly five hours with the foil being removed for the last half hour so I could skim off the fat and crisp up the skin.
It's a great dish, even if I do say so myself and with some simple wilted greens and some crushed cannelini beans mixed with more of Mehmet's oil and oregano, HP could hardly even muster a traditional Bengali criticism ("was the good butcher closed today?" etc etc)
I suspect I shall be doing this again sooner rather than later.
So, that's one of my signature dishes. What are yours?