How do you cook-melt-in-your-mouth, falling-off-the-bone meat??
Beats the hell outta me!
After years and years and YEARS of fighting with my oven and overcooking every cut of meat ever invented, I was about to give up. I really was. I felt all those TV chefs, who I have spent most of the Saturday mornings of my adult life watching, were lying to me. Cheaper cuts my arse, they worked no better than the expensive ones. I just didn’t get it.
Sometimes I blamed my lack of roasting prowess on the fact I was (am) normally quite hungover for my Saturday Kitchen Live marathons, and hence found (find) it difficult to absorb many, or in fact, any details beyond thinking stuff looks yummo. Then, for a while I went through a phase of blaming my oven, stupid oven.
Now I realise patience is the key. Lots and lots and lots of patience. And not being hungry when you start, that’s also important. If you begin to feel peckish, resist the urge to turn up the oven; instead pour a glass of wine and go stalk someone on Facebook, or whatever it is you usually do to distract yourself. Temperature knob twiddling will not yield melt in your mouth meat, no sir.
This recipe is from Tessa Kiros’ wonderful book Falling Cloudberries. I heart her style of cooking so much; it’s simple, totally unpretentious, and unbelievably delicious.
Tava – Cypriot baked lamb and potatoes with cumin and tomatoes
I’ve never been mad about traditional roast dinners, I don’t really know why. I know thousands of people think a roast dinner is what makes a Sunday, not me; perhaps I’m abnormal? Oh dear.
But there is something pretty cool about them all the same, and this lamb is not only yum but also looks seriously impressive to boot. And it’s much less effort than you’d think, always a plus in my book. I would definitely consider making it the next time the in-laws are due around, and hopefully they will be mucho-impressedo.
I work full time. My dreams of becoming a yummie-mummie and staying home all day baking fabulous cupcakes and rearing my own chickens will just have to wait until I win the lotto. So, sometimes it’s hard to find time to spend in the kitchen. Much as I enjoy cooking, on weekday evenings it can be exhausting and weekends can sometimes be super hectic. Plus I hate cleaning up, life is just too short for cleaning up.
But a few years ago, while flipping through The Guardian, I found a recipe by Hugh Ferning-Whittingdale that changed everything . I duly clipped it out, and boy has it served me well on many a lazy (read hungover) Sunday afternoon. It’s as simple as throwing everything in a roasting dish and popping into the oven, but it tastes as good as if you had slaved over a hot stove for hours. And, there’s very little cleaning up to be done afterwards. Brilliant.