Let’s talk for a second about meat. The common conception among people is that there are good and bad cuts of meat in an animal. Untrue, there are just very different cuts. For instance there’s leg, shoulder, thigh, neck, fillet, rib, the list goes on. The main difference between all of these is the amount of fat running through it. The more work a body part does the more fat it will have and the longer it will need to be cooked for.
Knowing this we can now be a bit of a better meat shopper. When most people think of roast lamb we think of leg. Lamb leg doesn’t have much fat as it hasn’t had to do too much work so it is a good deal more expensive in a butchers shop (I’ll talk more about why to buy at a butcher not a supermarket another day kids) as it is quicker to cook. However a great alternative and personal favourite of mine is Shoulder. It is often less than a third of the price of a leg and even tastier. The compromise is that it must be cooked long and slow to melt all of that b-e-a-utiful fat out of it. By the end you will have fantastically moist and melt in your mouth meat that will make you never go back to leg again.
These principles apply to any meat; ask your butcher for lesser cuts that just need a bit more TLC and you, your pocket and your taste buds will definitely be rewarded. And just to get you started here’s a simple recipe for lamb shoulder.
1 lamb shoulder,
Stalk of rosemary,
Salt and pepper,
-Preheat your oven as high as it’ll go (turn it up to 11)
-In a pestle and mortar grind up about a tsp of fennel seeds.
-Take the rosemary off the stalk and give it a quick rough chop then add it to the pestle.
-Add a pinch of salt and pepper, give it another grind and add some sunflower oil.
-Once you have your flavoured oil done, put your meat into a small baking tray and pour the oil over it.
-This is where the fun begins, work the oil into the meat with your hands, making sure to get it in all the cracks and crevices. It ain’t pretty but flavour isn’t an accident, it’s got to be earned!
-Wrap the tray in tin foil and bung it in the oven for four hours. The meat is ready when it can be pulled apart with a fork.