So, here I am. I succumbed to the commercial marketing and bought a lump of lamb to cook and eat on the gazetted public holiday officially known as Australia Day.
Boneless rolled lamb shoulder
Whole black peppercorns
White refined sugar
Gravox instant gravy
The night before, or the morning of cooking, remove the lamb from the plastic vacuum wrapping. Dry the surfaces with a towel. Season the outer surfaces with salt and put the lamb back into the refrigerator to dry brine.
Turn on the oven and set the thermostat to 180 °C.
With a pestle, grind out some salt, pepper, sugar, and chilli flakes within the mortar chamber.
Rub the ground salt, pepper, sugar, and chilli onto the lamb flesh and fat. Don’t be gentle, really rub it in.
Heat a skillet to be smoking hot.
Sear the outer surfaces of the lamb in the skillet. There’s no need for any extra oil. The sugar and the rendered fat from the lamb will caramelise the outer surfaces of the lamb.
Insert a wireless thermometer probe deep within the flesh of the lamb. You want the tip of your temperature probe to hit the perfect spot.
Smear some cooking oil onto a baking sheet and place the seared lamb on it.
Rub leftover salt, pepper, sugar, and chilli onto the surface of a wedge of pumpkin and place it next to the lamb.
Top and tail the brown onion.
Put the lamb, onion, and pumpkin into the oven and cook according to the app connected to the wireless thermometer probe you’ve inserted deep into the flesh. The aim is to get an internal temperature of 54 °C.
While the lamb and pumpkin are roasting, steam the frozen broccoli florets and allow the florets to cool a little.
Put the broccoli florets into a mixing bowl and season with salt and add a splash of extra virgin olive oil. Toss the broccoli florets in the salt and oil. When the app suggests 20 minutes are remaining for the lamb, add the broccoli florets to the baking sheet.
According to the app, observe the resting time to ensure a succulent, juicy piece of meat.
Make the gravy according to the instructions for use on the tin.
Carve enough of the lamb with a sharp knife for the meal.
Wrap the remaining lamb and refrigerate for lunches and dinners throughout the week.
I was cooking dinner and received a telephone call from work.
I couldn’t not answer and the call came through after I had added some mushrooms and spring onions to a hot frypan. I could barely hear the caller so I couldn’t attend to a noisy frypan and induction hob while on the telephone.
The result was a burnt dinner. I did manage to fix it a little. It tasted okay.
The great thing about weekend cooking is the leftover meat which can be used cold from the refrigerator as a source of protein for lunch.
If you’re eschewing excessive carbohydrates in the form of bread, noodles, pasta, and rice; then a little bit of meat is a good way to keep hunger at bay.
Leftover lamb shoulder with blue cheese on Cos lettuce with dates drizzled with truffle honey
Rollup of lettuce, lamb, cheese, dates, and honey
Leftover slice of lamb shoulder meat
Cos lettuce leaf
Wash a leaf of lettuce.
Dry the leaf by flicking it so you get water all over the place.
Lay the slice of lamb shoulder meat on the lettuce leaf.
Put some crumbly blue cheese on the meat and flatten it with your thumb to try to spread it out a bit (make sure you have clean hands and under your fingernails, you don’t want anything nasty getting on your food after you’ve been scratching about…).
Press some chopped dates into the blue cheese.
Drizzle some truffle honey over the meat and cheese and dates.
Roll up and eat.
Today is a public holiday and I’m working from home. The modern availability of broadband Internet is great. I can participate in international teleconferences and do other work without having to be in the office (and wear shoes).
It’s Monday so there will be salmon for tea while for breakfast I splurged and had two steamed eggs rather than one with my wilted spinach and melted cheese.
Last night I went to Sichuan Papa at Everton Plaza in Brisbane’s north side.
Sichuan Papa has just opened a week or so ago. The people working are quickly developing their work flow. It wasn’t distractingly evident that the people working were getting into the swing of working in a new space.
The menu is broad, descriptive, and relatively easy to understand. What is lacking is a telephone number to make reservations for the future. I had to visit the restaurant in the afternoon to make a table reservation.
The restaurant’s Instagram account is open but messages are NOT answered. The menu suggests a Facebook page but I’m yet to find it. The website is also a fail (as of Monday 30 December 2019).