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“What on earth is Lardo?”, I hear you ask. Only because I was in the “What is Lardo?” camp myself until my friend Katia brought me a piece back from a trip to Rome. Lardo is the cured back-fat of a pig. This may cause some of you to recoil in horror. Get over yourselves if you do. If you use butter, oil or margarine, you are using fat in your cooking. Lardo is fat. Lardo is not the sort of thing you should eat by the block. But, Lardo is a true delight when used correctly.

I am a very lucky guy in lots of ways. Both professionally and socially, I know more than my fair (or should that be fare) share of chefs and restauranteurs. Over the last few years, they have all, in various ways, been inspirational for me in developing my blog and the food that I prepare here. Kevin Hui, the affable and talented owner of China Sichuan here in Dublin is one such person. Recently, I told him that I planned to prepare Bao, the delicious steamed Chinese buns. I was surprised by Kevin’s reaction; “Don’t prepare the buns yourself. They are a pain to make. I’ll give you some.” This, of course had the opposite effect to that intended by Kevin. I had to make them.

Stuffed Aubergine (1 of 3)

The clue is in the name of the blog; One man’s Meat. The women who tried to get me off the case are my eldest daughter and Linda Booth. Eldest got me a wonderful present of an Indian cookery course at Linda’s excellent Dublin Cookery School. I had a great day at the school, learning lots of new things and cooking some truly delicious Indian meals. For me, the absolute stand-out dish of the day was this recipe for stuffed aubergine (eggplant). It might just get me away from meat for a while. If every vegetarian dish was as flavourful as this, I might just give up the meat altogether. The only thing stopping me is the blog. I just couldn’t bear to be the author of “One Man’s Cabbage” or anything like it. Nice try ladies but no. 

We aren’t having lamb for Easter this year. That puts us in a minority here in Ireland. Roast leg of lamb is a traditional favourite. I could cite the icy weather that has meant a lot of the new season lamb is not ready for an early Easter. But I won’t. It’s not because Easter falls on April Fools Day either. No, we are not having lamb because we had it last Sunday instead. I was looking forward to preparing it and having a traditional Easter Sunday dinner. But the Wife suggested that I prepare something new with a leg of lamb and put it here for you to see. So, I prepared Roast Leg of Lamb with Mustard and Honey. If the religious amongst you need an excuse to say “Praise the Lord”, this is it.

Beef and Mushroom Stew (1 of 2)

We live in a rapidly polarising and intolerant world. More and more of us have no room to share with anybody who has different views, different religion, different nationality, different colour or different sexuality to ourselves. It’s kind of easy for me to take a stand on this as I don’t have a religion, have very few views on anything of importance, am a citizen of the world, in my underwear, I am a pasty colour that is best kept covered up and you can mind your own business on the sexuality bit.

Fillet Steak with Stilton (1 of 9)Here we go again. A nice photo or two to convince you of the efficacy of my approach combined with a little bit of alliteration in the headline and you are already a few lines into the story. I can’t and won’t pretend that this is a recipe. It isn’t. It is, however, a truly sensational way to serve a top quality, dry aged, Irish fillet steak. 

Feather blade sous vide (10 of 11)

Customers would ask me “What’s our secret sauce Conor?” “How can you make our business stand out from all the others out there?” I would evade the questions, preferring to maintain the curtain of mystique around what I do, like the Wizard of Oz pulling on the levers of deception and subterfuge as I wrestled with the brand image of various entities. Ultimately, we would define the brand and expose the “secret sauce” that really made the difference for the company in question. However, this is not marketing and the sauce I want to mention is less of a secret than it used to be. 

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