OK, ok. I give in. I'm now a card-carrying member of the AGA fan club.
Yesterday I had an amazing late afternoon shopping raid on our local Somerfield which turns out to be frugal nirvana (being a noted student haunt). When we arrived at about quarter to five they were marking meat down and I picked up 350g of lambs liver for 41p and a 1.75kg pork joint for just £1.64 - both reduced by 75%.
Problem was both needed to be used by the end of yesterday. I was going to marinate the pork but reckoned, on unwrapping it, it needed to be cooked straight away. So I thought I'd risk cooking it overnight in what's called the simmering oven.
I smashed up a teaspoon each of coarse salt, black peppercorns and fennel seeds and 1/2 teaspoon ground chillies with my mortar and pestle then added 3 chopped cloves of garlic to make a coarse paste. I rubbed the joint with olive oil and smeared the paste into the meat and skin then rubbed in a bit of lemon juice (yes, messy, but fun). Then I put the joint in a roasting tin with a slosh of white wine and water, gave the meat 10 minutes in the hot oven then transferred it to the simmering oven.
I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I took it out this morning, 9 hours later - or whether we'd be woken by the fire alarm in the middle of the night - but it was utterly fantastic. No crackling but just fabulous, fragrant, spicy meat and loads of gorgeous pan juices which are settling as I write. Unbelievable!
The only downside was that we couldn't really eat it hot at that time of the morning though we did manage a few greedy slivers for breakfast but it will make great cold cuts and sandwiches for a couple of days. If you haven't got an Aga you could equally well do this in a very low oven - about 130°C/250°F/Gas 1/2, I would think, having given it a bit of a blast first to get it going.
Oh and the liver was good too. I made a Turkish recipe called Kebda which is simply sliced lambs' liver dusted in flour (2 tbsp) mixed with 1/2 a teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon each of ground cumin and sweet paprika, quickly fried and seasoned with lemon juice. It's nice with a dollop of yoghurt and some chopped coriander but we didn't have either and were certainly not going to spoil our feeling of smug satisfaction by buying overpriced herbs . . .