The Boy has been taunting me with this recipe for a few days now. While I've been slowly going mad eating off the same old hotel food menus, he's been (as usual) cooking up a storm. Sadly, he's still a bit shy when it comes to appearing (or even being named...) on Unbecoming, but I am very excited that he agreed to write the blog to go with this recipe. One that he will be cooking when I get home!
When Kat is dragged abroad by work, I more often than not take the opportunity to cook all the things that she doesn't like. For a few halcyon days a year I can eat my fill of pork, kidneys, liver, brain, sausages, fruit in main courses, shepherds pie, curry without rice etc. without the inevitable looks of disapproval because I have violated one of the dreaded 'food rules.' (Not that I don't miss her terribly of course).
I should explain. The set of injunctions that, much to her chagrin I have dubbed the, 'food rules,' is that list of culinary activities that are simply not the done thing. In the same was as Darcy dropping his britches and mooning the hostess in an Austen novel would have received a sternly raised eyebrow, my use of apricots in a lamb tagine is likely to receive similar treatment. Most of the time I cook happily under such injunctions, content in the knowledge that I receive so much more in return. It also helps that, as mentioned, when she's away all bets are off and I'm in hog heaven.
Sometimes when she is away though, I'm drawn to foods that she not only likes, but loves. Here I can get in trouble. The only strategy I've discovered that gets me out of this is to claim that I am experimenting. Trying new things out to see if they are any good before inflicting them on her. Such was the case with the recipe below. As is so often the case, this excuse is complete balderdash. How could this not work out well? Firstly, it's slow cooked lamb shoulder; a roast that is both unimaginably tasty and very difficult to balls up. Secondly, the marrow recipe is closely inspired by one from Moro East; a cookbook I can heartily recommend.
4 or 5 anchovy fillets with their oil
2 bulbs of new garlic
2 bay leaves
Sprig of Rosemary
1 preserved Lemon (fresh will do fine)
75g of butter
Teaspoon of cumin
150g of Greek Yoghurt, watered down with 2/3 tablespoons of water
Pre- heat oven to 230 C. Put the Bay and Rosemary in a dish and put the lamb on top. Squeze the juice of the preserved lemon over the lamb and throw the two halves into the pan as well. Chop the anchovy finely and smear over the lamb with its oil. Season the meat with salt and pepper. Put the lamb into the (very hot) oven and leave for 20-30 minutes to allow a nice crust to develop. Remove from the over and cover the lamb loosely with some foil and turn the oven down to 130 C (pretty low). Baste the lamb if you can be bothered, then return it to the oven for 3 hours or so until the meat is falling from the bone.
When the lamb is done. Bring it out and let it rest somewhere for half an hour or so.
Top and tail the marrow, half it length ways and scoop out the seeds. Then cut it into half moon shapes. Melt the butter in a large frying pan and let it caramelise (it starts to turn brown as the milk solids cook). Fry the marrow until golden and soft. You may have to do this in batches. Remove to a dish and keep warm. Fry the cumin in the pan carefully until they are slightly browned, then add to the watered down yoghurt. Squeeze the garlic pulp from the new garlic heads, mash and stir into the sauce. Season with salt and pepper to your taste.
carve hack inelegant hunks of meat from the shoulder, and plate up
with the marrow. Spoon some of the yoghurt dressing and juices from
the pan over. Then sprinkle with the finely chopped fresh mint.