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eG Foodblog: Sheepish (2012) - Eating and drinking in a Welsh farmhous

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#61 sheepish

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 03:00 PM

"Mutt on" "Sheepish." I can see this going for another generation with "Lamb e" but what happens then?

Enjoying your blog.


OK. Here's Lamb-E. Eifion.

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Edited by sheepish, 08 February 2012 - 03:01 PM.


#62 Anna N

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 03:33 PM

I grew up in the Midlands where breast of lamb made a frequent appearance on the menu but here in Ontario our sheep are genetically modified - they come sans breast, neck, loin. :laugh: We can easily find leg of lamb, very occasionally shoulder of lamb, chops and extremely expensive shanks. :laugh: A trip to a specialty butcher might provide the rest of the lamb but certainly not my usual shopping haunts. I envy you.
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#63 Kim Shook

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 05:11 PM

That lamb is gorgeous! I bet that my butcher shop could come up with a breast. And Lamb-E is adorable. You are sounding a bit like a hip-hop group!

#64 Okanagancook

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 06:41 PM

We get organic lamb from Armstrong area in the north Okanagan area here in British Columbia, Canada. We get them whole and butcher them up ourselves....my favourite thing to do. So, I do have some lovely lamb breast which I now know what to do with...can't wait to try it. Thanks for the wonderful idea. Also enjoying your stories of life 'in the sticks'....well at least it's not 'life in the weeds'! Cheers, and keep it coming.

#65 LindaK

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 07:23 PM

A most excellent blog. I'm in awe of your farm as a hobby, it looks like a lot of work to me. I must try baking some of that "spotted bread", it's just the kind of thing I like with my morning coffee.

I'm curious about other Welsh food traditions and specialties. Any local cheeses?


 


#66 sheepish

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 07:50 AM

Quick update from last night. Mrs S at it again. Chocolate brownie in a frying pan. Or in this case a blini pan. And just for Blether, topped with Mackies ice-cream from sunny Aberdeenshire.

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#67 sheepish

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 08:00 AM

Some people have asked to see a bit more countryside. I had to take some feeding troughs to the higher part of the farm at lunchtime so took the opportunity to snap these.

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The house...
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My cider orchard. Only planted a few weeks ago. Come back in a few years.
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#68 Blether

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 08:13 AM

.. just for Blether...


Yikes. Keep those Aberdonians and their strange confections awa' frae me !

Your animals sure look healthy. What kind of apples did you plant ?

#69 Hassouni

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 09:51 AM

Good heavens that's beautiful. I really need to get out of London when I'm in the UK, I almost never leave......

#70 andiesenji

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 11:24 AM

Beautiful country and your sheep are very handsome. Have you ever tried milking the ewes?
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#71 Kouign Aman

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 12:13 PM

And there's the lead-in to more names: "not ewe", "ewe two" "wether (or not)"

Why are they ribs from pigs and cattle but 'breast' from lamb?
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#72 sheepish

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 12:17 PM

I'm curious about other Welsh food traditions and specialties. Any local cheeses?


Caerphilly would be the famous cheese. White, hard cheese. A few small goat's milk cheese producers about. There's a cheese shop in Cardiff, and I'm there tomorrow. I'll see what I can find.

Other Welsh specials. Cawl is a lamb stew. Not unlike Irish Stew but with more different veg.

Glamorganshire Sausages are cheese and leek "sausages'.

Faggots I shall look for tomorrow if I can remember. They are pig liver, heart and possibly other bits, wrapped in cawl fat. Served with peas and gravy.

And of course laverbread (boiled seaweed) which I will definitely get round to showing before the week is out.

#73 sheepish

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 12:19 PM

What kind of apples did you plant ?


Various cider apples. Black Dabinett, Kingston Black, Michelin. 10 different varieties. Plus a couple of victoria plum. Commice pear. And a quince.

#74 sheepish

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 12:22 PM

Have you ever tried milking the ewes?


Only to check they have milk if a lamb isn't looking too good. I see no reason why you couldn't. Milk sheep in the UK tend to be a dutch breed, Zwartbles. I assume mountain sheep would yield OK. Plenty of alpine sheep and goats' cheeses.

#75 sheepish

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 12:27 PM

Why are they ribs from pigs and cattle but 'breast' from lamb?


Maybe a dialect thing, but I'd say lamb breast is equivalent to pork belly. Ribs, or at least the pork ribs I use are from around the loin. I make back bacon from pork loin. Lamb loin I always leave on the bone. I'd leave pork loin on the bone if I was going to cook it without curing too.

#76 Alcuin

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 12:50 PM

Why are they ribs from pigs and cattle but 'breast' from lamb?


My guess would be that a lamb is small enough to sell the entire breast whole, as with veal, but with pork this is not done because the resulting breast would be too big (same with veal breast to cow ribs). The reason's probably practical: the breasts of bigger animals like pigs and cows are broken down into more manageable pieces, the ribs. Both "breost" and "ribb" are solid Old English words used very generally across dialects throughout Middle English as far as I know (used the MED), so I'd be surprised if the reason were dialectical.

(Oh boy sorry for the geeked-out overkill there, but sometimes I can't resist, especially when it makes for such great procrastination...)

Great blog by the way, really enjoying following along. I love those shots of the countryside, and its a bit of a dream to have a farm like you do.
nunc est bibendum...

#77 rlibkind

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 01:06 PM

Great blog! Reminds me of a trip to North Wales -- primarily Anglesey -- 10 years ago. Saw lots of sheep and drooled like Pavlov's dog each time.

Lamb breast is a fav of mine. It's quite good finished on the grill with a BBQ sauce after braising, served on the bone. Lately I've taken to low temperature slow roasting, tightly covered in foil then, after cooling, stripping meat off ribs and shredding. At that point you've got any number of possibilities: treat it like North Carolina pulled pork by finishing in a mustard base sauce, shepherd's pie, eat in soft tacos with Mexican condiments, Sichuan stir fry with cumin. Yum!
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#78 sheepish

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 02:12 PM

This evenings update. I'm making a hare casserole. I ordered a whole hare. They sent me a jointed one. No biggie, I was going to joint it anyway. Plus what I think is streaky bacon I made earlier in the year.

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Hare jointed

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Mise, mised.6847899611_5777f7c025_z.jpg

Floured hare in the pan. Note my clever overfilling of the pan to prevent that pesky even browning.

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And time for a spoon or four of nutritious Scottish ice cream

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Water still out so fluid intake vital. I had the other bottle of this 2 years ago with mallard duck and it was lovely. High expectations generally lead to disappointment. We'll see.

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Also finally making a start on Saturday's birthday dinner. I'm going to need some fish stock. Luckily I have a stash of fish bones.

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And another lot of mise, mised.

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#79 sheepish

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 02:14 PM

Lamb breast is a fav of mine. It's quite good finished on the grill with a BBQ sauce after braising, served on the bone. Lately I've taken to low temperature slow roasting, tightly covered in foil then, after cooling, stripping meat off ribs and shredding. At that point you've got any number of possibilities: treat it like North Carolina pulled pork by finishing in a mustard base sauce, shepherd's pie, eat in soft tacos with Mexican condiments, Sichuan stir fry with cumin. Yum!


Thanks! Now that's a lot of options to try for a cut I admit does often get left to last in the freezer as I have demonstrated.

#80 sheepish

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 02:18 PM

Obligatory recipe book collection in eGullet blog time.

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And because it looks like several days after the earthquake and the Red Cross have been in tidying up, a couple of shots of the other side of the kitchen.

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#81 johnnyd

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 02:45 PM

God Bless The Red Cross, I always say. They seem to show up and take care of things when my lobster bakes get out of control.

Sheepish: I note some savvy use of ingredients and deft mise prep with a gourmet bent in mind. Was this gleaned from your 20 year stint there inquiring among locals, or was it self-taught through cook books, or have you spent some time in a commercial kitchen? Better put I suppose, from where did your choices of culinary direction come from?

Outstanding blog, Ser. It's an honour tagging along this week :cool:
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#82 sheepish

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 03:27 PM

Last update today. So cracking on with Saturday dinner. I'm attempting the Jerusalem Artichoke dish from EMP. I call it EMP now I've seen Ulterior Epicure refer to it as such on Twitter. I'm down with the movers and shakers. And by the way, Sunchokes. I really should have Googled them before. I assumed they were some kind of exotic root veg we didn't get here. So one element of this dish is the pickled JERUSALEM ARTICHOKES. And that needs white balsamic. Seems Sainsbury's have had a run in with the Balsamic AOC lawyers.

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Here's a picture of some JERUSALEM ARTICHOKES for the dish.

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Look. I chopped them so fine. A mandoline may have been involved.

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And back to dinner. I made pan haggerty. It's a dish from the north of England. Grated veg, onions and Wensleydale cheese. Sort of like a rosti, with a bit of cheese. And thyme.

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And dinner ready. Hare casserole with pan haggerty. Recipes lifted from 'Loose Birds and Game' and excellent book from Andrew Pern.

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Edited by sheepish, 09 February 2012 - 03:29 PM.


#83 sheepish

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 03:32 PM

Sheepish: I note some savvy use of ingredients and deft mise prep with a gourmet bent in mind. Was this gleaned from your 20 year stint there inquiring among locals, or was it self-taught through cook books, or have you spent some time in a commercial kitchen? Better put I suppose, from where did your choices of culinary direction come from?


Thank you for the kind words. I think I just like food. It's way more interesting than computers. If I've learned stuff from anywhere it's books. And Mrs S for deep frying tips. In fact I don't deep fry. Dangerous to let me near hot fat. Not sure the mise is very deft though :-)

#84 JeanneCake

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 03:34 PM

What a wonderful blog! Thank you for taking the time; looking forward to the next installment.

#85 andiesenji

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 03:50 PM


Why are they ribs from pigs and cattle but 'breast' from lamb?


My guess would be that a lamb is small enough to sell the entire breast whole, as with veal, but with pork this is not done because the resulting breast would be too big (same with veal breast to cow ribs). The reason's probably practical: the breasts of bigger animals like pigs and cows are broken down into more manageable pieces, the ribs. Both "breost" and "ribb" are solid Old English words used very generally across dialects throughout Middle English as far as I know (used the MED), so I'd be surprised if the reason were dialectical.

(Oh boy sorry for the geeked-out overkill there, but sometimes I can't resist, especially when it makes for such great procrastination...)

Great blog by the way, really enjoying following along. I love those shots of the countryside, and its a bit of a dream to have a farm like you do.


Sometimes there are unique regional terms for certain parts of an animal and some of the terms in my medieval (facsimile) cookbooks are downright incomprehensible without the translations.
I'm not a huge fan of lamb, except when I drive up to a favorite Basque restaurant. They roast a stuffed saddle of lamb that is so much tastier than most lamb dishes. They marinate it in a "secret" process before it is stuffed and while roasting is basted with something that leaves a residual flavor reminiscent of pomegranate syrup. They will not divulge any of the "secrets" of preparation.
When I was still catering, I ordered a saddle of lamb as requested by a client - it cost $95.00 ordered from a specialty butcher and was very well received and the client was happy.
I used essentially the same technique as with a saddle of venison.

However you do it, your results are beautiful and certainly look tasty.

At one time I had a cookbook, "Traditional Food from Wales" that I lent to someone who promptly lost it some ten years ago. From time to time I've thought about replacing it but until reading your blog, I simply haven't had enough reason. Currently checking availability...

Edited by andiesenji, 09 February 2012 - 03:51 PM.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett
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#86 onrushpam

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 06:59 PM

Sheepish, as one who enjoys coursing my dogs on hare, I'm curious about yours... Is it wild hare or farmed? (I know hare are notoriously difficult to farm, yet turn into pests left to their own devices on farms where they are unwanted!) I've only eaten hare two ways... just the little back strap marinated and then grilled, sliced and served as an appetizer, and chopped up with other game (partridge and venison) in a game pie.

Edited to say, the few hare the dogs ever catch usually go into a pot, bones and all, to cook for a long time and then are fed to the dogs that made the catch.

Edited by onrushpam, 09 February 2012 - 07:00 PM.


#87 SylviaLovegren

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 07:23 PM

Sigh, this is just wonderful. Love it.

#88 sheepish

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 02:40 AM

For the first time this week, breakfast that isn't black coffee. And my very favourite breakfast. Devilled lamb's kidneys.

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Kidneys need the cores removing and cutting into three or four pieces.

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Fry in butter until they colour. Throw in a small glass of port and let it bubble. Add a teaspoon of redcurrant jelly and let it dissolve. Add a good teaspoon of English mustard, a pinch of cayenne and a good glug of Worcestershire sauce.

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Then good grind of black pepper and a pinch of salt. Finally a dribble of cream to mollify what is a pretty assertive sauce.

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Serve on toast

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#89 Anna N

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 03:18 AM

....
And my very favourite breakfast. Devilled lamb's kidneys.

....


Now that is the REAL Breakfast of Champions. Looks delicious.
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#90 Blether

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 03:39 AM

Now I have a Jones going for kidneys. I feel like Hannibal Lecter. Seriously speaking, those do look good and it's been a long time since I had them devilled.





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