About Me
I'm a Melbourne boy, hailing from St Kilda with one ex, one current wife and four kids. Love the outdoors and making new discoveries. I cook a lot at home (cheers from wife) and do some preserving, mostly jams, pickles and fruit liqueurs. This is the diary of a cooking journey.

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Monday, January 23, 2006
Desert Island Dreaming
If I were to be suddenly marooned on a desert island, what, besides my Tom Hanks approved soccer ball, would I want to have with me? Easy enough to think of things I couldn't do without, but if my ship sunk or my plane crashed and there was no time to save life's essentials, like a case of Dom Perignon and a large tin of beluga caviar, what is the one thing to eat that would make life better on my island? Something to make life more tolerable. What is the one thing to choose if I could.

The problem with choosing one thing, is it can become boring after a while, so for the sake of this post, my island has a few things growing already. Things like onions, garlic, tomatoes and potatoes, maybe a few herbs. So what I really need is protein and being a good Australian lad, I choose to have a couple of sheep with me.

From this ark like beginning, my sheep would go forth and multiply, until I had a whole flock. Then the possibilities become endless. There are lamb cuts which are sweet and tender, two tooth with more flavour, then mutton with more flavour again and the structure suitable for stews, curries and tagines.

In Australia, the common cuts of lamb are loin chops, forequarter chops and legs of lamb, but there is one cut that I favour above all the others. The cut that pushes all the buttons for me is the shoulder or forequarter of lamb. Barry from Ormond Meat & Smallgoods tells me that in Australia, the forequarter or shoulder also includes part of the neck. What it really includes is all the flavour and texture that makes lamb so great. Because this cut is from the shoulder, it is a working muscle. That means it has structure, and because it's from a lamb, it hasn't had time to toughen. So the meat from this one part of the animal is suitable for frying or grilling, roasting and stewing. It really is the complete package.

It was my wife D's. and sister-in-law's birthday last week, so on Saturday we had a combined barbecue for them. We made D's. lamb shashliks to bring. I mentioned them in my very first post, with no recipe, so here it is.

D's. Lamb Shashliks

1 boned lamb forequarter(shoulder)
1/2 kg(1lb) raw kaiser fleisch or bacon, sliced thin and cut in 2.5cm(1") squares
4 green capsicums, cut in 2.5cm(1") squares
1/2 kg(1lb) small onions, peeled and cut in thin rings
vegeta (vegetable spice) or other dry spice blend
skewers, about twenty

Cut the lamb into chunks about 2.5cm(1") square and 1cm(1/2") thick. Thread a piece of lamb onto a skewer, followed by a piece of bacon, green capsicum then an onion ring. Repeat until there is five of everything, then finish with a piece of lamb. Season with spice mix and barbecue or grill skewers until done to your liking.

I promise that every last one will be eaten.

Back to my island, could I have a bottle of pinot noir mysteriously wash up on the shore? Oh, and a visit from my wife, the soccer ball is driving me mad.
  posted at 11:14 am


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