Monday, 15 June 2009

Lamb legs are the new lamb shanks

I know I've been banging on incessantly about how cheap cuts are no longer cheap but here's a perfect illustration. Incited by my recent observations that men aren't as frugal as women when it comes to food shopping, my husband picked up a half price leg of lamb for £8.99 in Somerfield the other day.

I never really fancy a full English roast in this sort of weather so decided to make an old recipe I haven't made for years from Madhur Jaffrey's Indian Cookery which you can find (the recipe, not the book) online here

There was a time when I would have conscientiously trotted down to the shops and bought every ingredient in the recipe but apart from picking up a large pot of yoghurt made do with what I had from an admittedly well-stocked spice cupboard. I scaled down the spicing slightly reducing the garlic from 8 cloves to 4 and replacing the recommended 4 green chillies with 1 red one and also omitted the blanched almonds which was perhaps a mistake as the marinade split making the dish initially look as if it was covered in cat sick - as my husband somewhat tactlessly pointed out.

In the end I poured off the marinade, skimmed off the fat (a good move) and strained it then whizzed the solids in a food processor and added enough of the liquid back to make a thin - and delicious - sauce.

We had it with friends on Friday with a dry cauliflower and potato curry and some green beans with tomato and garam masala and have been scoffing the leftovers over the weekend. With seconds at I reckon we got 10 servings out of it which comes to less than £1 a head. Which is more than you can say for lamb shanks these days.

5 comments:

fran39 said...

There must have been something in the air this weekend - I cooked a lamb leg joint too! And by heavens, how shanks have gone up in price. Just back from Skiathos, I gave my leggy the old lemon/oregano/potato treatment. Lovely cold the next day in a yoghurt dressing with cous cous.

ginger@dinnerdiary.org said...

Stephen and I shared a half leg a couple of weeks ago, with just enough left over for a sandwich for him the next day. We must have bigger appetites than I realised as I don't think we'd ever get 10 servings from a leg of lamb :(

local lass said...

That Madhur Jaffrey recipe is one of the best ever; never can make up my mind between that and Simon Hopkinson classic in Roast Chicken and other Stories. Lamb shanks ridiculous price now, I agree. The MJ recipe also works well for turkey legs which are pretty darn cheap and distinctly better value than lamb shanks.

Fiona Beckett said...

Well perhaps I'm just mean, Ginger. I suppose the top-ups were probably slightly less than a full helping so perhaps I should say 8 helpings. Still pretty good . . .

I like the sound of the lemon/oregano/potato combo, Fran. The Greeks really know how to cook lamb.

Hadn't thought of applying the MJ marinade to turkey legs local lass. They are good value but always look a bit scary. Worth trying . . .

katty said...

Oh, i love to cook lamb specially when my boyfriend visit me, i like when i see him very happy. In fact i am trying to get some recipes because i want to cook varieties. i think this blog is perfect because show many new ideas and is sure i will prove it. this blog is wonderful.

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