Sunday, November 20, 2011

Guinness and Marmalade Land Shanks

It was late one night. Mr I was (again) engrossed in Dark Souls.
I (again) was engrossed in food shows. 

Jamie's Great Britain showed a lovely lamb shank recipe. 
I had to have it. I had to have lamb slow cooked. I had to have the little flat smell of lamb slowly turning into something quite wonderful. 

Mr I, needless to say, happened to approve as well. 

I think this marks a turning point. For a long time, I liked my lamb firmly medium. I did not appreciate the magic of slow and tender lamb, falling off the bone. I often found a bit dull. 

But this - this was not dull. It was in a sweet and caramelised sauce. With mint oil. And lovingly vinegar-ified spring onions. 

This is my take of Jamie's lamb shanks. Recreated for my little kitchen. For two. 

Guinness and Marmalade Land Shanks

1 red onion, peeled and finely chopped
Raisins, one of those little snack boxes - or a good handful
4 tablespoons thick-cut marmalade
A splash of ketchup
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
300 ml Guinness
2 lamb shanks
5 sprigs rosemary, stripped
Water and an organic stock cube (or the real thing)
Mint leaves
Spring onions
Cider vinegar

Take a large stock pot, heat some olive oil at the bottom, caramelise the onions.

Add the raisins, wait 20 seconds, take off the heat and add the marmalade. Swirl the marmalade so it starts to break up. 

Put back on a medium heat, add the ketchup, Worcestershire sauce - swirl. Finally, add the Guinness. Put on a low heat. Add the rosemary now as well.

Brown the lamb shanks and add to the stock pot. Top up with stock until the stock covers the lamb shanks and add seasoning. 

Leave on medium-low heat with the lid just barely perched onwards. Leave for two hours - make sure to top up with water and swirl around so the lamb shanks cook evenly and the bottom doesn't burn. 

Now crush some mint with some olive oil, leave to rest. Take the spring onions, cut them up, tear a few pieces of mint, finish with some cider vinegar. Leave to rest.

After two hours, pick the heat up slightly, stand over the pot, let the sauce reduce. The lamb shanks will then be lovingly glazed.

Take the lamb shanks out, liquidize the sauce (reduce more if necessary). Serve with sauce, drizzled with mint oil and spring onion. 

Jamie claims the spring onions and mint oil make all the difference. They do, but make sure to let them rest a few hours while the lamb is cooking so the flavours can really infuse. 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Eating Off Edgware: Satay House

Mr I whisked me away today to somewhere along the backroads of Edgware Road. 

After the buzz of a double-apple shisha - always at Slemani - my hand (and the rest of me) was forcibly steered  away from our natural course. Along fallen autumn leaves in crescents and streets. Skirting post-boxes and families. Arriving at Satay House. 

I won't cheat. I won't deny you that this was not my first visit. 
But, oh, I have not been in a while. I have not had the Malaysian curries and the coconut rice and the fun drinks! 

And Mr I decided I should have my fun drinks and my coconut rice as I have been working very hard today. So I got a treat. Naturally - food. 

Satay House had a different idea. Satay House thought we should come back in an hour with a-really-its-a-Saturday-night sort of air. Which considering their standard of curry is forgiveable. Even, maybe, sitting on little leather footstools for another 15 minutes is forgiveable. Because I knew that we would be satisfied.

As a warning, do not go to Satay House for a quick bite. A fast dinner. A stop-over lunch. No, you must linger over the food as we did. Wait for the food, steal greedy looks at tables nearby. Because this is Satay House and service isn't, what one might call, the fastest. 

But then, all of a sudden, your drinks might arrive. Ours did. They had exotic (!) names and were delicious and sweet and not the usual sparkling water that I order. Mr I had rose syrup with milk (oh, yes.) and I had rose syrup with grass jelly (which is for lovers of boba and slurping and little bits of fun in drinks). 

And then....

Little morsels of lamb and potato cooked in an eggy delightful batter. Homey and delicious and dipped in a bright red sweet chilli sauce. 

And, before we could take a breath...

satay. Chicken satay tender with delicious peanut sauce and served with the most tender (and fun!) little rice cubes which I just dipped and dipped into a peanuty-sweet satay sauce. The chicken was tender and Mr I stole a skewer before I took a photo. But five minutes later everything was gone. 

And we were left to contemplate the food at the tables around us. We lapsed into silence not because I didn't have anything to talk about (I did: Dark Souls and holidays and newspaper columns). But because we were in staunch anticipation.

The coconut rice. Which we drenched with ayam percik. Which is the most delicious chicken curry. Tender chicken swimming in an aromatic coconut, rich and creamy without heaviness it is a delight. The sort of delight that I, stealing glances around me, try to scrape every last morsel of sauce from the plate. 

Mr I ordered another serving of the begedil. Whilst I indulged in dessert. (I have a feeling Mr I believes that dessert is a waste when there is meat to be had...)

This was warm, black (sort of) glutinous rice in coconut-based broth and sugar. I often find East Asian desserts too sweet. However this was warm and rich and complex. It was not too sweet and the rice was starchy and earthy and the coconut delicious. I felt that I would give up any amount of meat for this rich and delicious dessert.


The go-to place in London for Malaysian. Rich, delicious curries, well-balanced flavours. And so much fun.

13 Sale Place
W2 1PX

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