Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Nuckle of Lamb

Knuckle of Lamb... I ate it many times in islamic resturants in Cairo. It is an awesome sight to have a chunk of meat like this braized to perfection and falling off the bone placed in front of you.

There is something very special about the way lamb is cooked in North africa or the middle east, that makes it so different from the roast lamb that you would get in England.

Perhaps it has something to do with the lamb itself in that it is not deep frozen stuff from New Zealand. Whatever it is freshness, spices, cooking method, it sure is tasty.

In marocco they will add to the casserole apricots, dates, almonds, sultanas or raisins, honey, saffron mixture, tomato juice and lamb or chicken stock, and I guess all that fruitiness gives a sweetness to the dish that you do not usually associate with lamb

The spices that I added were freshly sliced ginger. Don't use that powdered stuff it may give ginger flavour, but there is nothing so satisfying than to bite into a bit of ginger that has been cooked. It does something for the appetite.

Then there is Bay leaves, and rosemary and thyme which are traditional herbs to go along with lamb. In addition Rose Pepper and Black Peppercorns give the casserole some extra bite.

Whack the whole thing in a cast iron pot and add a couple of onions quartered and a large carrot diced. Add a stock cube and water, clap on the lid and cook in the oven for 2-3 hours at 180 C

It is read whn the meat falls off the bone and all the marrow has dissolved from inside the bone. at it with either rice or couscous.

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