Have you ever pulled a wrapped piece of meat out of your freezer and had no idea what it was? Yeah. That was last night for me. I have promised myself that I will not buy one more animal, or one more case of fruit, or one more *fill in the blank* to go in the freezer until we empty just ONE of the freezers we have. EMPTY. Like to the point of defrosting and wiping out the spilled freezer jam. So I grabbed said hunk o’ meat and trusted the one label I saw: LAMB: NOT FOR INDIVIDUAL SALE. For those of you who haven’t seen that label, that just means that we bought it directly from the farmer, and the butcher cuts it, wraps it, and you pick it up. We do our best to buy our meat in this way, so that we know how it was raised, what it ate, and who took care of it. It also keeps farmers around us in business.
All I knew is that we were having lamb for dinner. By its size I knew it wasn’t a few chops, and it wasn’t the shape for two racks stacked together. And it wasn’t a loin, because I’m not lucky enough to have ever gotten a loin when we have a lamb butchered. It was definitely a roast. Not sure what part of the lamb it was from, but how bad could I mess it up?
Ok…this is where I typically lose people. I don’t think I can screw up a lamb roast. I don’t think I can really screw up any roast because it is so easy (to me…a cult of one in my social circles.) Most people don’t have that confidence, and it makes me sad. I want everyone to know how to not screw up a roast…that they can’t identify…quite possibly from 2009…for a Saturday night meal. I’m going to teach a roast class. And a braising class. And I need to teach everyone that will listen how to cook different parts of an animal in different ways based on what the animal does with that part of its body (which makes me think I need to work out more, because there is not one part of my body at this point that is exercised enough to require braising. Although I would be considered Prime by the USDA because of all of my marbling, but I digress….)
With a roast it is all about breaking down connective tissue to make it “fork tender”, meaning it falls away from the bone. It just needs to cook for a while to get tender. If is tough when you check it, cook it longer. So I braised the lamb. I browned it in dutch oven, tossed in a few chopped onions, some garlic, a tired looking sprig of over-wintered rosemary from the garden, a box of chicken stock and the last glass of wine in a bottle from 3 nights ago and let it cook for about 4 hours buy atorvastatin online. At some point in the cooking process I remembered that I should have used some salt and pepper, so I added some. At 4 hours, I turned the oven off and started the process of bedtime with the girls. An hour and a half later we ate an incredibly rich flavored stew of sorts with some precooked brown rice and a few handfuls of baby kale from Costco. It was so good we decided it deserved opening a bottle of Pinot Noir. I looked like a hero, and all I could think about is that I needed to teach everyone I knew how to be this confident with meat. She said meat.