Thursday, August 27, 2009

One Man’s Meat

I had a really good ‘living here is wicked’ moment the other day. I was shopping for a dinner I was having in order to get two people who make wine here on the island to meet each other. I wanted lamb shoulder cos I was too tired to do anything but stick something in the oven and let time and low heat do the work.

All the shops were closed cos it was the afternoon. Siesta time. Jesus dies every afternoon round about 3.30. The only shops open are the appalling Eroski (what a name – love, winter sports and supermarket hell all in one word) and the ever excellent Spar. The meat counter in Notso Eroski is generally full of prepacked cuts of nearly off meat. The Spar has a proper butcher counter so I went there. When all the shops are open Jesus boasts five butchery outlets and 2 more with meat counters. That is a lot meat for a town no longer than 250 metres from start to finish.

Anyway I went up to the counter in the spar and asked for a shoulder of lamb. The ladybutcher pointed at a leg. All we got, she says. She’s lying. I know she is. I tell her to open up the meat locker and see if there are any inside. She opens and there hanging is a lovely whole lamb.” Aha,” I say. “So you do have lamb.”” Yes we do but I don’t know how to cut it up.” “Then let me assist you gentle butcherladywoman." She says yes, so round the counter I go and pick out the least blunt knife I can find. I flash my finest smile at her and she, as they always do, weakens at the knee. The lamb is still hanging in the cold room - long, dry and bloodless. I cut in to it around the scapula and then up and then down and then off. Bizarre. Lamb, along with rabbits do not have their shoulders attached to their bodies by ball and socket joints. The are simply attached. Not that unlikely in a rabbit given that all it has to do with its cuddly paws is eat lettuce and be lucky. But a lamb? Man that thing gotta stand on them legs. How do they do it?

So any way, le recipe:

If shoulder is frozen, remove it from freezer, kill someone you don’t like or who is causing you trouble by beating them repeatedly over the head, defrost it, then:

Rub shoulder of lamb with garlic, salt, pepper, olive oil and rosemary. Splash that mother with wine. Lay it in a tray on a pile of sliced potatoes with a finger’s depth of water and bake it at 100ºC without fan for 6 hours.


Theresa said...

Hello, we have found out that your blog is one of the top 20 blogs in "chef blog" keyword/category. We are doing an article on the top 20 chef blogs and we are wondering if you would be willing to provide us with information about your blog - how it started, its niche, etc.

Our blog is

We are hoping you would be able to help us out and you could provide us with the information we need for the article. Thank you very much.

La Grande Bouffe said...

Hi Theresa

Thanks for your mail.

My blog started cos my SEO guy told me I had to do one to raise my ranking. I didn’t want to get involved in the whole cranky internet etherworld, but he instisted. He even wrote the first one himself but then complained he didn’t know nothing about food so I would have to.

It was off season I was cooking for the staff of an oil sheik and thought why not just keep a diary of the food I was cooking as I had no budget and no restrictions.

I wrote one and was hooked. For years I had wanted to write but had never found my subject. Now I have.

The blog is about anything and everything to do with food. I post recipes in comic form called Recipix, Oddcast Cooking Course videos, short stories, critiques of restaurants…… Anything, anything if it has to do with food

Its niche? No idea. The thing I love about it other than it has given me a subject about which I can say just what the fuck I like about just what the fuck I like