Sunday, 23 January 2011

Ginger Pig lamb shanks


Delicious, succulent, foil baked lamb shanks with a sage, thyme and garlic butter, leeks, carrots and half a glass of white wine.

The shanks are from The Ginger Pig at Greensmiths in Lower Marsh. Tom, the most amiable of butchers, is always happy to share recipes and suggestions and is particularly keen on forgotten cuts of meat that require slower methods of cooking. Slow food is a euphemistic term for food that is often associated with peasant/poor peoples food. Why does even writing this present itself as a faux pas? It is my cultural heritage and one of which I am proud. Whilst food writers eulogise over the merits of southern Mediterranean cookery, or a return to austerity cuisine the truth is that these food choices come from a mixture of necessity and tradition. 

Recipes are passed down and treasured from one generation to the next - the quality of the ingredients is the guiding principle. Food is undoubtedly a commodity but not one set at an impossible height as to be out of reach to mere mortals such as you or I. The mystique of food is its limitless potential for diversity. Real cooked food is rarely the same twice as ambient conditions, the mood of the cook and the food itself always differ. Its time to debunk the mystique around good tasty food being the preserve of the privileged few and start talking to people, sharing information, asking questions. The next time you are in the butchers ask them how to cook that strange yet beautiful cut of meat - don't shy away from bones and fat this is the missing ingredient that will make that meat beyond tender and all for a fraction of the price of that bloody piece of sirloin.

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