Lamb has always been a sticking point in my education. As an ex-vegetarian, the transformation from Quorn to chicken was an easy one. Textures are similar and with a bit more attention to food poisoning the cooking process is much the same. Mycoprotein also puts in a good effort masquerading as red meat. So without too many battles Mr H. had me eating sausages, mince and roast beef.
The same can not be said for lamb. Yes there has been the occasional taste of Mr Hospitality’s dishes. And times when as a guest I have politely eaten it. But I can’t seem to get past the powerful taste, strong and ever so slightly tainted by images of frolicking bundles of wool in springtime.
This weekend an unmistakable rich smell was wafting through the flat. Mr H had lamb shanks on the go. Slowly bubbling away for 3 hours in sweet gravy of ale, raisins, rosemary and marmalade (inspired by a Jamie Oliver recipe http://tinyurl.com/dynrheh), I can’t say I was excited.
I was to be surprised. The meat was tender, juicy and slipped off the bone more easily than clothes at a strip club. It was a beautiful dish. The embodiment of something truly British. Executed with aplomb.
Did I like it? More than I thought.
Did I finish it? Not exactly.
There are some foods where you are willing to sacrifice a few notches on your belt. Dishes that are so divine that you ignore your full stomach groaning with greed. Courses that tastes so good that you power through the pain.
This was not one of them.
I did, however, go back for more gravy which packed serious lamby punch. Small steps. The process from enduring to enjoying it is not always immediate, so watch this space.