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Fillet steak with bone marrow butter (2 of 6)

Let’s face facts. Not everybody who looks in the mirror likes what they see. Some of us are just sub-standard, below average and generally crappy. That’s the way of the world. If the advertising slogan of l’Oreal was true of us all, it would fail in it’s prime objective, to make the user feel special. If we are all ‘worth it’ then what we are worth is not worth much. But, I didn’t start writing this to have a go at the haircare market. No, I want to show you some real luxury, some delightful, upmarket beef with some very special and rare bone marrow butter. Be honest with yourself. Look yourself square in the mirror. Put away the hair products and decide if you are really “Worth it.”

Black Bean Beef (1 of 3)Back in 2011, I posted a 30 minute recipe for Beef in Black Bean Sauce. Back in 2011, not many of ye paid any attention to anything I cooked or posted about. Shame on you. But, now that you are older and, obviously, wiser (You are reading this are you not?), I am very happy to present you with a simpler, even faster to prepare, Beef in Black Bean Sauce.

Bacon loin (9 of 12)I should have got most of you with the fifth word “bacon”. It seems to excite such passions. How often have we heard “Everything tastes better with bacon” Sadly, I have bad news for most of you. Yes, you are labouring under a misconception. What you think is great bacon is not. It pales into insignificance next to this. I know, I have eaten both. Let me tell you why.

Asian Lamb Riblets (1 of 3)It’s a very long time since I studied economics. One of its cornerstones is the law of supply and demand. Simply put, it states that as demand increases the price does likewise. This then encourages new market entrants which increase supply, bringing the price back to where it started. In macroeconomic terms, this works pretty well. In the tiny world of retail that I occupy, this law doesn’t apply. So often, I have my enquiries rebuffed by slovenly sales staff with “No, there’s no demand for them.” or the one that really boils my ageing blood “No, there’s no demand for them any more.”. If I were looking for something like a set of E-180 cassettes or a pair of long johns with a trapdoor, I might not find this so upsetting. But, when I’m looking for lamb ribs in a butcher’s shop, I get pretty irate. “We used to sell them but it’s only the Chinese who eat them now.” was what the spotty youth in fancy dress said to me. 

Bone Marrow Burger (9 of 10)I thought I had it right. I was pretty sure that I couldn’t do any better. When I got my hands on some (rare breed, grass fed) Belted Galloway, coarse ground beef and made burgers with three ingredients, I knew that I had created burger patty perfection. That was another one ticked off the bucket list. I had eaten the perfect burger. Or, at least I thought I had.

Rack of Lamb

It really needs little fecking about.

Sorry for the blunt headline. But, I need your attention. If you are lucky enough to be able to get your hands on a delicious rack of genuine Irish spring lamb, don’t go messing around with it. Cook it simply and serve it with other nice simple fare. Don’t go overboard, spicing, adding heat or generally fecking around with it. The flavour is delicious, delicate and doesn’t need much else. 

Lamb Chump with Cumin (13 of 13)Working in an office, as I do, I observe all kinds of hierarchies. There is the obvious boss, manager, worker that has stood the test of time in most organisations. In this digital age, there is the techno pyramid, with a black clad Head of IT ruling supreme, the workings of the organisation totally dependant on him and his code punching underlings. Outriders to these are the maverick rainmakers. These are guys who write their own rules. They can afford to ignore corporate standards, run up big expenses and never work on Fridays. They bring in business and can do pretty much as they please. While they bring in the business, they don’t bring in their lunch so we can forget them for this exercise.

Beef Short Ribs with Anise (7 of 9)Around these parts, having one’s cake and eating it is deemed not to be possible. The same goes in Italy where they say “Volere la botte piena e la moglie ubriaca” – to want the barrel full and the wife drunk. In Hungary, they say “Egy fenékkel nem lehet két lovat megülni” – It is impossible to ride two horses with one butt. I take issue with this defeatism. You can have the best of both worlds, if beef short ribs with a little Oriental twist is your thing. 

Daub of Beef (3 of 10)The very mention of the ‘Last Chance Saloon’ brings up imagery of gnarled and grizzled old men leaning their heavy elbows on the greasy bar of despair as they reflect on wasted lives and opportunity forgone. Thankfully, I’m not one of those, at least not yet. There is a double whammy of last chance about this recipe all the same. But, that’s no reason to not cook it. (That was a double negative about a double whammy BTW.)

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