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


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Those duck necks would be my dish! I'd take a dish of it, sit infront of the telly and pick 'em clean with my fingers and teeth! :wub: I do that with chicken necks.

Really enjoying the blog so far. Lamb is one of our favourite meats. Kids can't afford to buy it - not really because of the price, but due to the humongus amounts they want to eat!

Mrs. Sheepish's baking looks great. Would she post the recipe?

And the kitchen...that's exactly the way it should look when it use!

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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Nice work. Lots of colour on the duck necks - are they spice-tossed or finished with a browning or something ?

Great-looking cake from Mrs. S, too. Funnily enough back home in Scotland we had a home-baked tea-soaked-raisins fruit bread we called a "Dublin loaf".

QUIET!  People are trying to pontificate.

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Just joined eGullet after Mrs S directed me to Sheepish's blog. Of course this is a wonderfully creative blog, and not just because Rob has inherited many of his father's communication skills. Coincidentally Rob is also my son so I can testify to the exceptional quality of his (and Mrs S's) cooking, although with such a long trek from one side of the UK to the other we don't get to enjoy it as much as we'd like.

We've yet to savour any of the Sichuan meals that Rob has already displayed here, so we better start planning our next trip!

As for the kitchen photo, it really does look like that all the time. Mr & Mrs S's kitchen is half the size of ours but they turn out food at least twice as good!

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Nice work. Lots of colour on the duck necks - are they spice-tossed or finished with a browning or something ?

The stock they cook in has added soy sauce and is created by simmering with a muslin bag full of star anise, fennel seeds and sichuan peppercorns. It taste pretty strong and quite bitter, but makes what simmers in it delicious. If I make pork spare ribs in it then they get deep fried after and dressed with chilli and garlic.

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Bit of a catch up here.

Last night the lamb breast finished simmering after 4 hours. I took it from the pan, pulled out the ribs, which happens very easily once cooked, laid once piece on the other and set it under a weighted sheet. Big books work well here.

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Back to today and lunch courtesy of Mrs S. Umm, tinned tuna and cheese and salad. You know if I'd been cooking lunch it would have involved frying. I managed to consume it while contributing little to a conference call about getting some emergency SAN provisioned (computer stuff).

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I forgot to buy polenta for tonight's lamb, so after work I popped to the supermarket. I know everyone else's blogs are full of wonderful pictures of local markets. I don't really have a local market. Perils of living in the sticks. This is what the outside of the supermarket looks like. In the UK possession of an SLR in public is a terrorist offence (probably) so here's my covert picture. The fella in the Fiat is on to me. I'm expecting a call from MI5 tonight.

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Another peril of living in the sticks. When it gets very cold our water supply freezes up. So today we're on jerry cans I've lugged up from the spring.

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With water at a premium we had little option but to raid the climate controlled wine cellar. Not sure where this bottle comes from. I've never been keen on a blend with Mouvedre. Apologies if anyone now reading this bought it for me.

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Cracking on with tonight's dinner. Lamb, unpressed.

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And lamb simmering liquid strained and ready to be reduced.

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Update later when I'll bring exciting news about what it tasted like.

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And a little later. I cooked the polenta with chicken stock and garlic. Let it set and fried in olive oil. Fried the lamb in butter - everything tastes better fried in butter.

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Veg is betroot, carrots and celeriac. Carrots and celeriac finished in butter, of course.

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The lamb is really tender. For me this is the best thing you can do with lamb breast. It' OK roast with a dry stuffing, but not this good.

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And just because "mutt on" has popped up to sing my praises, here's the decanter he bought me for Christmas. That wine was a bit tanic straight from a just opened bottle. Not too bad after the first glass :-)

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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.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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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.

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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?


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

"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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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?

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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