Monday, February 19, 2007

New Tricks for the New Year

I've never been good with meat. (Except chicken. I'm good at chicken. Unfortunately, this is probably more because of the easiness of chicken than any lurking prowess in me.) Usually I labor for hours and wind up with something bland (hello, pork roast of doom), or dry, or just stringy as hell. Regardless, I have decided to forge on and Improve Myself in spite of genetic discouragements - my mother isn't good with meat, either. (I can't believe I just said that in public. Hej mamma!)

Twice-cooked five-spice lamb

I think we were all pretty astonished to find ourselves seeing in the Lunar New Year with tender, flavorful, succulent morsels of twice-cooked five-spice lamb (recipe at Epicurious). No-one more so than I, knowing that this wasn't the lamb shanks called for in the recipe, but a large hunk of unspecified mutton. Apparently if you cook anything for fifteen minutes in a lot of boiling water and then braise it for almost four hours in a mixture of simple syrup, ginger, soy, garlic, chilies and five-spice, it will turn out OK.

(My only gripe here would be that for something containing the word chiles in its title, this isn't very hot. Not everything needs to be, of course, but next time I'll up the chili a bit.)

We also had these pot stickers (first dumplings ever!), but they were all gone by the time I got to the picture-taking stage. As was an alarming amount of the lamb. I think that qualifies as a definite YAY.


Freya said...

I love Pot Stickers!

deinin said...

Freya, me too! I'm not that wild about dumplings in general, but the crispy parts make pot stickers super-fabulous. In fact, I made a double batch and still have some in the freezer...

Anonymous said...

I've been poking around your blog (got here via LJ somehow, but I don't remember how), and wow, you take SUCH good photos!