I am not too fond of lamb, dear reader. Or better said: I am extremely fond of lamb, but I am horridly repelled by the notion of eating a poor little animal which has been slaughtered after only a few weeks of miserable existence in a pitch dark pen.
Therefore: much as I am the proud owner of the secret recipe for the world famous Leg of Lamb ‘Che Guevara’, and although I learned to roast lamb chops nearly as well as that one brilliant 6 foot 7 Bantu chef of the Tangala Wildlife Park, just north of Graskop, RSA, I usually abstain from all forms of under-aged mutton.
The taste of lamb, however, is an altogether different story. It is something which I crave for almost every day. It is something which I dream of, with my eyes open and closed… Oh yes: I could become a shepherd in the noxious, arid wastes of La Provence, driven stark mad by loneliness and ample absinth like my ancestor Van Ghog, merely so as to partake daily of the riches I produce with the perfectly clean conscience of the ignorant toddler… This, of course, is not to be (at my age), so I had to find another solution. And it will not surprise the regular readers of this blog that Alfred B Mittington, once he set out and attacked a problem, vanquished, overcame and conquered it, as he always has.
So there. I found a recipe which gives you all the taste of lamb, while using only an extremely small slice of meat. It’s all a matter of the alchemy of the ingredients. This Secret Formula comes – strange to say – from Kiev, and was taken to these Lusitanian shores, then to the lower slopes of the valley I live in, and finally from there into my cookbook, by my dear friend Igor Velikov, father of the two errant children with whom I still have an ax to grind concerning that little matter of Hair Mayonnaise (Yukyukyuk!)
So here goes…
Igor Velikov’s Ukrainian Curry Rice Lamb Soup
Take two pans out of the cupboard and fill them both with fresh clean water.
Boil some 20 grams of rice per person in the smaller one.
Add to the bigger one (of about 1 to 1.5 l of water) the following ingredients: a small piece of lamb (preferably on the bone), a small clove of garlic, half a small onion (in one piece), a twig of rosemary and a couple of bay leaves. Bring to a boil, cover, lower the flame and let this simmer for however long it takes for the meat to drop off the bone. An hour ought to do it.
Fish all the ingredients out of the broth and select the meat. Throw the rest away. Add half a beef cube, one spoonful of quality vinegar, and a good spoonful of curry powder to the broth. Cut up the meat and return it to the pan.
When dinner time arrives, bring the soup to a boil again. Get out the plates. Put a spoonful of rice into each plate, and pour the soup over it. Serve as you say a prayer for the soul of the poor little lamb that died for your delight.
Oh, incidentally, talking about sheep: did I tell you my compatriots the French are stark raving mad??? Read here.