Feeling Sheepish - eating half a hogget


This week I was able to source half a local hogget from one of my work colleagues, having thoroughly checked the provenance [“you are what you eat, eats” after all] and cleared out my freezer. It was much cleaner than I expected, the hogget not the freezer (which is full of brown bananas, festering ginger and frozen beer), with primals all portioned and packed. The only bits of offal in the box were the kidneys which I froze to devil when I’m feeling cowardly and the liver, already sliced, which was tentatively transformed into fegato all veneziana [delia is still rock and roll], a mountain slowly caramelised onions and flamed marsala, freshened and lifted with abundant finely chopped parsley served on a mountain of milky mashed potatoes, the ingredient that persuaded the children to chow down enthusiastically even though I had slightlt overcooked the liver towards grainy pastiness. 

The sweetbreads were missing which I really enjoy [only the neck thymus as the pancreas is a bit greasy], and to my great relief the pluck was nowhere to be found as I’m not a dab hand at Szechuan and won’t be making haggis anytime soon.

Partially cloudy Sunday begged for a roast and I happily obliged, using the remainder of a very bitter Kalamata tapenade [the olives were really small and took ages to stone] to season and marinate the leg which was hot roasted on Caponata. Our guests declared this "very nice and so easy to make" [as if tapenade and caponata created themselves].

A few glasses of wine stimulated the oft repeated all-time favourite children food windup which results in howling;

Me: “do you know what this is ?”
Kids: “No”
Me: [singing] “its Shaun the Sheep, he’s good to eat, with a bit of heat he just cooks up a treat” OR  “Timmy, it’s Timmy, he’s a little lamb with a lot of lean”
Kids: "NO!!!"

A couple of sheep free days followed until yesterday I found myself bored of meandering towards Menemen frying mixed peppers with onions and decided to prepare ‘Mongrolian’ minced lamb i.e. a 'mongrel' pan-Asian/European recipe; ginger, tamari, rice wine, plenty chilli [now using Eswatini Swazi fire sauce] , spring onions, coriander on top of garlic, tomato puree, balsamic vinegar and finally a bag of peas (always with the peas) which incidentally I can’t fit in freezer because its full of hogget.

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Olives, Recipes, Lifestyle, Wine