DOS HERMANOS SUNDAY: RAAN AND ROSE
It’s probably fair to say I’m not particularly adventurous when it comes to cooking guided as I am by the principle of Primum non nocere. In other words once I’ve got the best possible ingredients I try and do as little to them as possible. That doesn’t necessarily mean a quick meal or a lack of care - I lavish as much time on the preparation and cooking of a Steak as some people might on a three course meal – just that I prefer to leave more complex creations to the professionals.
It does mean, however, that my repertoire is a bit limited . Eat with me on anything like a regular basis and you will have had enough Pork Loins for one lifetime, although they will have been the best you’ve ever tasted. Fact.
HS was busy working this weekend (when you work for yourself do you ever get a holiday, I wonder ?) so I offered to do the honours for Sunday lunch. Marine Biologists Sienna Miller and Sting have been telling us not to eat Bluefin Tuna so that was out and Macca has been telling us not to eat meat. So Leg of Lamb it was.
I decided to attempt something I’d never tried before: a Raan. HS does a very fine rendition of this dish and usually I leave the Asian cookery to him but I needed something other than "Roasted with Mint Sauce".
Recipes for Raan vary a lot so I decided to make the most of what I already had in the cupboard and fridge. For the marinade I mixed up some Yoghurt, Saffron, grated Ginger, Garlic, Chilli Powder and Salt. I also constructed a rudimentary Garam Masala from the bottles of spices that were knocking around and added that as well. I made lots of deep slashes in the Lamb (quite enjoyable, but not overly so you understand), then massaged the marinade into the Lamb (very enjoyable, but took a little longer than was strictly necessary). The prepped Lamb then went into the fridge for 24 hours although I believe some people leave it to marinate for longer.
The next day after letting it come to room temperature it went into a medium oven, loosely covered in foil for a few hours with a little basting from time to time. For the last twenty minutes or so I took the foil off and whacked up the heat to give it a bit of colour. After that all it needed was a little rest. Needless to say the smell emanating from the oven was bloody fantastic.
The taste was excellent and not so overpowered by the spicing that you couldn’t taste the Lamb. The top section of the Lamb was a little dry (next time I’ll give it the sizzle at the beginning rather than at the end) but the bottom was wonderfully moist.
We’re cutting out the carbs at the moment (remember kids: as Uncle HS so eloquently puts it CARBS = DEATH) so I just did a little Raita and to keep Macca happy a bit of Spinach cooked down with some Mustard Seeds. A bottle of Rosé in the fridge was a good accompaniment.
So going off piste was a qualified success and I look forward to refining and improving the dish but it has given me the confidence to try something different from time to time. Now where’s that copy of The Fat Duck Cookbook ?