Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Carton House Braised Shoulder of Lamb

Recently I made the long way to the Food Festival in Kilkenny to join a food producer tour - which was cancelled (I didn't know). I wasn't much interested in anything else, so I took the time to walk the streets of Kilkenny (and giving it some strong thought of organising a food producer tour myself - watch this space). On my way, I saw a lovely bookshop (I can never resist to pop into one) and after some browsing found the cookbook of Carton House. Never been to Carton House but after reading this book, it is on my to-do-list for 2012.

Anyway, I can never leave a lonely cookbook behind, so I adopted it nicely and last Saturday I actually tried one of the recipes which I thought looked just amazing: Caraway Braised Shoulder of Lamb - Ok, I have to stop here a bit, I didn't find any caraway seeds in the area of Blarney and Blackpool, so I basically I made braised shoulder of lamb.

The 2 best butchers in Cork are O'Flynns in Marborough Street and Bresnans in the English Market - my first stop is always O'Flynns. I called them up at the start of the week and ordered the meat with the request to debone the beauty. Picked it up on Thursday and it was as I wanted it - Thank you Mr O'Flynn.

Came home and marinated the meat in some spices (cumin, coriander, ginger, cloves and olive oil) - recipe states to marinate it for 4 hours - I am a slowcook - so it stayed in overnight. Next day I put the meat into a baking tin and poured in hot chicken stock halfway up and cooked in a a low oven for 4.5 hours (covered). Took it out and put it on a plate - layered another plate on top and put a nice weight on it. The next day, it was cut in even portions and pan-fried in olive oil and butter. The smell was amazing and the meat was tender and falling apart (no one wondered about the missing caraway). I served it with steamed baby potatoes and green beans. As I love sauce, I made a mustardy gravy that went well with the spuds and the meat - no mint needed :-) ( the original recipe calls for aubergine puree and mint emulsion).

For the wine I went to Curious Wines (Turner's Cross, Cork) and asked Matt and Julian (former of Bubble Brothers) what they thought would go nicely with the dish (I was thinking of a Bordeaux and Matt agreed - phew). We decided in the end on Chateau Bauduc 2008 Clos des Quinze. There is nothing better than professional advice of people who have actually tasted the wine - not like your supermarket clerk (yeah, dat is grand).

Aged in oak it has a lovely acidity with spicy fruit. It held up nicely to the meat and the cheese after.

My next attempt from this book will be Stuffed Filet of Pork (as much as I follow recipes LOL)

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