Sometime ago food was not widely available and was not relatively cheap people were not wasting any bits i.e. after slaughtering a cow, only because some bits were less tasty than others or needed more effort to cook. It is not only the industrial revolution age that I am writing about when some people's only dinner were cheap eat cuts or offal; the food was rationed in Britain until mid fifties. People in age of fifty or so do not remember those days but older generation still remember times when some product were difficult to get hold of.
The food market has changed and in general the food is widely available and relatively cheep nowadays for most western societies. Some of the old times dishes are nearly forgotten now. You still can see some offal on the menu in traditional pubs or some good restaurants, but these are not very popular in many homes. It is similar with some cheap cuts such as belly pork that I showed you on this blog and lamb breast that I am showing today.
Both cuts are very cheap and I have to admit that they are not extremely meaty but fatty. However fat makes them really tasty, aromatic and meet underneath is very tender. Coked in low temperature for long time will provide lovely crispy skin and the centre that melts in your mouth. All they need is bit more time to cook and few culinary tricks.
Today the recipe for lamb breast stuffed with apricots. There are not many recipes on-line so I have asked my butcher how to cook it and I have improvised with the stuffing. The result was amazing and I going to cook this cheap, tasty, forgotten cut more often.
ok. 700g lamb breast
1 onion, peeled and chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
handful of dried apricots
2 slices of stale baguette, diced
4 tbsp olive oil
small handful fresh mint
freshly ground black pepper
lemon & thyme salt (or sea salt)
cup of vegetable stock
3/4 cup of dry rd wine
Fry the onion in the 3 tbsp olive oil until soft but not browned. Add the garlic and fry for another minute or so. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool down slightly.
Place diced baguette, apricots, mint, some salt and pepper in the food processor. Add fried onions with garlic making sure you scrap as much olive oil as possible - it will help the stuffing come together. Process, but not until very smooth, but some little pieces of fruit are left.
Smear the stuffing over lamb breast, roll it and secure with a string. Heat the remaining olive oil in the pan that you have used for frying the onion and brown the meat on each side over a high heat.
Place the meat in an ovenproof dish, add wine and half of the stock, cover with piece of tin foil and place in the oven preheated to 140 C. Roast for about 3 hours, then uncover, add the remaining stock, turn the heat up to 180 C and roast for another 40 minutes (uncovered).
Remove from the oven, place on a chopping board, cover with piece of foil and leave it to rest for about 10 minutes.
Cut into slices and serve. We had it with potatoes, carrots, parsnips roasted in goose fat with garlic.