One Man's Meat

lamb-and-aubergene-curry-16-of-16“I’m a mild-mannered man.” Or so said one of my Holy Ghost Father teachers before knocking seven levels of hell out of us with a stiff black leather.  Primary school education back in 1960’s Ireland was not what it is today. I well remember a dozen of us being punished for cycling in the yard after school. The punishment was “six of  the best”, with the leather, on each hand. I was moved for my secondary education to the Christian Brothers in Monkstown. That is another oxymoronic story altogether and probably has no place here, not today anyway. So, with mild manners in mind, here’s a delicious recipe for Mild Lamb and Aubergine Curry. Just like that Holy Ghost father, it too has the appearance of mildness yet packs a bit of a punch.

poached-peaches-1-of-8I tend to do our weekly shopping. The Wife likes to have a kiwi fruit with her morning muesli. I like to deliver a week’s supply of perfect kiwis to preserve her good humour and to avoid waste. While in the supermarket, I behave like an old woman with a wheeled shopping basket, squeezing the fruit to find what I want and what I don’t. If my thumb goes through the skin, leave it behind. If it’s like rubbing my chin with three day old stubble, I leave it there too. Getting fruit at the correct ripeness is not easy. So, I get upset with the retail fruit marketing baloney I read. There is a stand out phrase “ripen at home’. What this means is the fruit is at the three day stubble stage and you can take a flyer on it. It may ripen or it may just go mouldy. So, when I inadvertently picked up a pack of ‘ripen at home’ peaches, I needed a plan.

Stir fried beef with chinese spice and chilli (1 of 10)

…but, not quite. No, I thought I had done all I needed to do but, I have a bit to learn just yet.  Let me give you a little back story. I had been glued to the computer for a long morning’s work. When I looked up, it was nearly 2:00 PM and I had a growing headache. Hunger had come, been ignored and gone away. I decided that a walk around the Sandyford business district was needed to clear my head. 

Rabbit and apricot stew (1 of 12)

It’s time I gave the lot of you a good tongue lashing. I can’t abide conservatism (that’s with a little ‘c’, not an accusation of a political nature). I particularly can’t abide the general unwillingness to mix meat and fruit. I know there are the few exceptions to your reluctance, such as duck and orange, pork and apple and such like. These tend to be bittersweet fruits and don’t really qualify as sweet, sweet. I’m here to tell you to get over yourself. Try having a sweet stew. You probably won’t regret doing so. If you are willing to liberate your taste buds, this Rabbit and Apricot Stew is a great starting point.

belted-galloway-rib-2-of-10Dutch Courage – I know, I know. You will be assuming that I’ve been at the wine again. Perhaps having a couple of ‘swifties’ while the beef cooks. That warm glow of a nice glass or three of red while a meal cooks can be a delight. But, no, on this occasion, it was not me gathering the Dutch Courage. 

fillet-steak-with-orange-and-chili-1-of-11Did I mention that I won Best Food and Drink Blog in the 2016 Littlewoods Ireland Blog Awards? If I didn’t then, my bad. I should keep you better informed as to what’s gong on. If I did, then my bad too. I should be more humble about this stuff and not go celebrating and getting excited about what I do here. Speaking of the stuff I do here, I have been wrestling with doing something with beef and orange for a while now. Whenever I mentioned it to friends or family, I got a pretty frosty reception. So, I decided to use the period while my star is in the ascendency to prepare Beef Fillet with Orange, Chilli, Sichuan Pepper and Ginger.

Walnut risotto with pigeon (19 of 20)This happens to me most weeks. I wonder what I’m going to cook for the Wife and myself on the weekend. I usually get my ideas by perving the windows of butcher shops and fishmongers.  I’ve even been asked to leave one butcher’s shop when I explained, in response to his “What can I get you?” that I was “just looking”. This approach works most of the time but, like any creative process one can’t time the arrival of ideas to coincide with the warming of the saucepans. A couple of weeks back, I had done my window gazing, I had thumbed the couple of yards of cookery books that live in my ‘blog room’ and even spent some time Googling everything from cheese sandwiches to filet mignon. Then I had a look through the Irish Food Bloggers page on Facebook. 

Beef Rendang (16 of 16)The poor Irish weather is responsible for this recipe. In the same way as one is guaranteed to have a return of rain here on the Emerald Isle, you will return to this recipe. You will do so again, and again and again.  “Wow”, you muse. “Can this recipe be all that good?” It is but, that’s not exactly what I mean.

Asparagus Risotto (1 of 1)I usually don’t do restaurant reviews. There are a number of reasons. The ‘Great Unwashed’ get to leave their reviews, for what they’re worth, on Trip Advisor. This is a good place  for a slighted diner to vent their swollen spleen and to force some standards on offending eateries. Some counter by sneaking a positive review or ten into the Trip Advisor system to get what they believe to be a semblance of balance.  Perfect it is not. In my opinion, it’s corrupt and undependable.

Belted Galloway Burger (1 of 8)

The use (or misuse) of the English language to promote food provenance makes it hard to choose. Is that chicken ‘barn raised’ or ‘free range’? Why is my pork not ‘Dry Aged’? Where is the Local of ‘Locally Produced’? What does ‘Natural’ mean? Do you really want my beef to be ‘Grain Finished’?… What do all these terms mean? Do they mean anything?

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