Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Meals from the market

Monday dinner was the slow roast hoggett, with plenty of market veggies. The hoggett was beautiful - meltingly tender. As mint sauce is traditional with lamb, and red currant jelly with mutton, I offered both. Neither were made by me: the mint was from a market stall sometime, and the jelly made by B2 from her home grown currants. I made the gravy. B1 brought us a wonderful dried fruit & booze compote, heavy on the oranges, and some good vanilla icecream. Houseguests P&R bought a cherry pie from Kingston market. A good feed was had by all.

I did a tray of roast fennel and beetroot, another tray of roast pumpkin and potato, and I steamed some broccolini. It was a little tricky and the timing didn't quite work right for the potato/pumpkin tray. The pumpkin was a tad overdone and the spuds were a little underdone. I cut the pumpkin too small, and the start with the 125 degree slow roast, followed by half an hour on 180 wasn't quite enough for the spuds. Oh well. The smallest ones were OK and the rest have been cut up and tossed in the soup.

What soup? The leftover roast soup, of course. I used the shank to make stock for the gravy, and then topped it up with the bone - there wasn't much meat left on it after feeding six. I'm having it for lunch now, in between typing this. I also chucked in the leftover stock and the soaked porcinis from the risotto.

What risotto? Tuesday's dinner was a mushroom risotto using the truffle scented rice, with swiss brown mushrooms, and a stock made from Monday dinner's leftover white wine (thanks, M), some frozen homemade chicken stock and soakings from a few dried porcini. Mushrooms and the accompanying salad were from the market.

And tonight I've got a baked egg & silverbeet thingy in mind, perhaps with a side of baked cauliflower. I need to use up the last four truffled eggs ASAP, while they're still good.

Recipe: Slow roast hoggett
1 leg hoggett
500ml red wine
bay leaf
mixed herb/salt rub

Sprinkle the hoggett all over with the herb rub.
Put the hoggett on a rack over a baking pan, with the wine and bayleaf in the pan.
Cover well with foil.
Put into a 125 degree oven. Leave for 5 hours, removing foil and basting once an hour or so. Top up liquid with water if running dry.
Take foil off and return to oven for another hour.
Remove from oven and wrap well in foil to rest in a warm place for half an hour.

Notes: It will fall apart when carved; I prefer to present it in a bowl for people to serve themselves. No neat slices. For the herbs, I used a native herb & salt rub that I bought in Byron Bay. It has lemon myrtle and mountain pepperleaf, among other things. You could make up your own - I was thinking of a lemon zest, garlic & rosemary one, but I was out of garlic. The rich wine and meat juice mix makes excellent pan gravy.

Recipe: Mushroom risotto

180g truffle-infused arborio rice
1.5 litres liquid (see notes)
1 medium onion
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
200g swiss brown mushrooms
75g grated parmesan

Heat the oil and butter in a large pan.
Saute the finely chopped onion gently until just barely golden.
Add the finely chopped garlic and sliced mushrooms.
Saute until mushrooms are wilted, then add the rice.
Stir around for a couple of minutes until it begins to look a little translucent around the edges.
Add a ladleful of warmed liquid, and stir well.
Continue to add the stock mix a ladle at a time until the risotto is done to your taste. This will take 20-25 minutes.
Turn off the heat, stir through the grated parmesan, and let it sit for 2-3 minutes before serving.

Notes: In this case I had 400ml white wine, 500ml chicken stock (at a guess, I had condensed it before freezing), and 600ml water in which I had soaked a handful of dried porcinis. For a veggie version, just use veggie stock. But it's best to taste it as you go, and if it seems too strong or salty at the 15 minute mark, add some water instead. You may not use all the liquids - I chucked my leftovers in the soup.

This was another stealth truffle dish. It's not strong, but it just makes everything that bit better. The Bloke loved it. There's more rice left, so I'll probably repeat this soonish.

Not Recipe:

A variation on leftover roast something soup.
This is a standard use-up, irreproducible, and this one came out brilliantly good. I must have another bowlful.

This variation:
* Stock made from the hoggett shank, leg bone and veggie trimmings, bayleaves and parsley stalks.
* Leftover gravy from the hoggett roast dinner. I couldn't deglaze the roasting tin into the stock, because I'd already used it to make the gravy.
* Stock made from a previous roast lamb dinner, from the freezer.
* Stock, wine and porcini left over from the risotto dinner
* a good handful of pearl barley
* a diced carrot, some frozen green beans, and diced leftover roast potatoes
* the few shards of meat from the shank and bone.

So simple: simmer the barley & carrot in the mixed stocks for half an hour, add the other veggies and meat, simmer until veg all cooked. Eat. Yum. Tragically I have to eat it all myself since the Bloke objects to soup with bits in. But he got the leftover risotto, so he's not suffering.

1 comment:

infoaddict said...

We must have been sharing a brain last night because I also made truffle-infused risotto ... with, as it happened, swiss brown mushrooms. (And speck for statutory saltiness). And home-made chicken stock, which I had de-fatted before freezing but still had quite a lot hanging around, which made for an amazingly sticky, lusciously gluggy risotto. I hadn't realised how much the animal fats contributed to the lushness of a really good risotto.

I cooked the swiss browns with almost the last of the truffle, which was drying out quite interestingly but still very usable, and popped some in the stock as well.

The flavour was very distinct; that sort of rich earthy hollow mushroomy flavour/scent was actually intensified and improved by being added to the ordinary mushrooms. I'm definitely impressed - I wasn't really with the truffled eggs, but I'm pleased I truffled so much risotto rice, because I'll be able to have MORE of that elusive flavour.

Oh, wait; I've got it for lunch. Yum.

I added some persian fetta (from one of the fruit'n'veggie shops at Belco Markets - Tom's, I think) which is delicious but, as I suspect, just a LITTLE too much for the dish. I'm out of parmesan and needed something. It was good; just too intense.

btw, can I put in a vote for the new Wiffens f'n'v shop at Belco? Best-quality veggies I've seen, and cheaper, while being Australian. Excellent local organic garlic, for eg. Most impressive!