Tuesday, August 30, 2011

More salty than spicy

Lamb satay (p151) is a recipe I've been meaning to make for some time. If the Edmonds book has one failing, it's a tendency for the recipes to err slightly on the bland side. Of course, generally you can adjust the recipes to suit your own tastes, but I'm obliged to stay pretty close to the recipe. I'm not hugely into spicy food, but it was still a welcome change to see a recipe with a bit of chilli in it.

Though the recipe uses four lamb steaks, I used just one - after all, I'm only feeding myself, and lamb's expensive. Though I was using one-quarter of the meat, I only halved the marinade and sauce ingredients, as the required quantities for a quarter recipe would have been too small to work with easily.

The marinade is made up of chopped coriander, oil, and sambal oelek (chilli paste). You chop the lamb steak into cubes, stir through the marinade, and leave it for half an hour.

At the end of the marinating time, you thread the cubes of lamb onto soaked bamboo skewers, and put them under the grill (or on a grill plate, I guess) and make up the sauce during the 8 minutes' cooking time.

The sauce is a simple combination of soy sauce, chopped spring onions, more sambal oelek and lemon juice. I'd also cooked some rice, so when the lamb skewers came out of the oven, I placed a couple on a bed of rice and poured over some sauce.

I have to admit I was slightly disappointed. Lamb's my favourite meat, so when I fork out for some, I want to taste the lamb itself. Instead, the meat mostly tasted of coriander, and the soy-based sauce was strongly salty with a sharp background flavour of lemon. Not at all what I expected.

For all that, eight minutes under the grill gave me nicely cooked lamb with a little pinkness in the centre, and if taken separately from the salty sauce, the coriander/lamb flavour was quite pleasant: I had the leftover lamb cold for lunch today and enjoyed it. Possibly with a little experimentation, this dish could become very tasty - but as it stands, I'm not a fan.

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