August 30, 2006

By popular demand!

Okay, that’s a gross exaggeration … only demanded by one person, and even then it was a passing and innocent suggestion, rather than a demand, and no threats were made, but James is very popular at his local 7/11 store, so we’d best just cooperate.


Serves 4

Degree of difficulty: Medium (if trying to do this with a half-pike turn with a triple twist at the end, degree of difficulty increases to “high”. Probability of injury increases to “very high”.)

Preparation Time: 25 mins

Cooking Time: 1 hour

1.5kg lamb leg or hind quarter of capretto
(Capretto is meat from very young, milk fed goats between 4 and 8 weeks of age.)
100gm pancetta or smoky bacon
18 button mushrooms
12 baby potatoes
12 pickling onions
12 cloves of garlic
2 cups dry white wine
Juice of 2 oranges
3tbs olive oil
Salt and pepper
Bouquet garni: sprig of rosemary, 3 sprigs of parsley and celery leaves – tied in a parcel

Heat 2 tbsps of oil in a large, heavy ovenproof casserole. Braise onions and potatoes.
Remove onions and potatoes and lightly saute mushrooms.
Remove mushrooms and fry lamb/capretto until golden.
Remove lamb/capretto and saute garlic and pancetta for 1 minute in remaining oil.
Pour in wine and orange juice. Allow to simmer for 1 minute.
Place lamb in centre of pot and arrange onions and potatoes around. Add bouquet garni. Season with salt and pepper.
Put lid on pot and place in a pre-heated oven at 190 C. and cook for forty minutes.
Return mushrooms to pot and cook for a further 20 minutes.
Remove meat, potatoes, onions and mushrooms. Discard bouquet garni.
Crush garlic and reduce sauce on cooktop.

Serving Suggestion
Slice lamb or capretto and place on a platter. Arrange the onions, potatoes and mushrooms around the meat. Pour sauce over. Serve at table – or at muffet, or at couch in front of teevee.


  1. Yuu-uuu-uuummmm!

    Two quibbles, however.

    1) Recipe requires an oven.

    2) Shouldn't this be running on Goat Friday?

  2. *sniff* - Jacob is the Goat-person James, not me!

    I'm Ducks.

    Cubicle is Cats.

    You'll have to bags an animal of your own one of these days.

    As for the oven, INNOVATE, INNOVATE! You're the man who can successfully thicken a stew with a roux base - you can do anything!

  3. Anonymous8:46 PM

    Hmmm. Baby sheep Friday coming right up. Or maybe baby sheep Thursday.

    2kg of rack of lamb in fridge. Or maybe lack of ram. All other ingredients on hand.

    Either way I'll let you know how it goes.

  4. Anonymous9:19 PM

    I think perhaps James may be
    roux-ted.... Caz. Hmmm.

    James, can't you get yourself an oven man!!

  5. Geoff - it does sound tasty doesn't it, well worth giving it a go. Bring the kids, bring the wife, bring the trailer ... er, sorry, should say bring the children, lest anyone misunderstand.

  6. Roux or noux, I'll see if I can whip this on the weekend.

    This blog is fast becoming the one-stop shop for everything! Ducks, naked nerds, venomous fish, and now recipes, too!

  7. Tim, are you suggesting that my blog, lovely as it is (as lovely as me, really), lacks thematic coherence, or consistent semantic narrative signifiers?

  8. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  9. Kath - well, I'm guessing the oven packed it in many moons ago, and our landlord decided to replace it with a convection microwave - which is definitely a poor substitute. Especially so, since it happens to be buggered. But even when it did work, it was shite.

    There are, however, compensating factors to living where I do. I'm in one of the best suburbs in Perth, and I pay $70 a week rent.

    Any hardship is thus peripheral.

  10. Yum!

    BTW eclectic is a good word for your blog.

  11. I wasn't paying attention at uni when they were talking about semantic signifiers, but anyway, 'eclectic' and 'comprehensive' are better ways of describing this blog.

  12. PS. that whole "Bouquet garni" business sounds a bit girly. Tie it up in a pretty parcel - pop it here, pop it there, discard it - ugh! There must be a solution that is more in keeping with my macho reputation.

  13. Cooking for Men:

    "Right, fellers, it's like this. Yerse all take a bunch of this green stuff here, and these sticks here, and you mash it all up together - that's the way, boys! - and now, we need to secure it. Anybody got a rope? Come on, fellers! Right, so you hold it down by sittin' on it, until your arse mashes it all up and secures it - that's it! - and now, if I can just get this rope all around it, and lash it up good 'n' tight ... that's the way!

    And what's this called? The BUCKET GANNY, boys! Bonzer meal! Bloody bonzer!"

  14. James - there ya go, the bucket ganny!

    Don't think of it as being tied in a pretty parcel, it's more of a tiny knapsack, made of hessian and tied with a butch piece of rope, as Tim so ruggedly suggests.

  15. Of course, instead of using a fancy-named parcel, you can manfully throw your herbs in and then pick them out, one by one ;-)

  16. Hrm. I'll pay that - reluctantly.

    Still not nearly as macho as a cold tin of baked beans (opened with your teeth).

  17. We had a lady in later middle-age who used to work with us, Rhonda, who spent most of her weekends volunteering at flower shows ... when people got their lunch breaks, they used to go down the street or to the kitchen, or wherever, but she'd just get out a tin of baked beans and sit at the computer with a spoon and work her way through it.

    The strange thing was, I don't think she ever made a 'gaseous emission' in my presence, though she must have gone through a lot of tins.