I have a conundrum. My problem is literary rather than culinary. I caused today’s difficulty when I wrote about The Man Who Wasn’t There. It was pretty straightforward writing about something that didn’t happen and somebody who wasn’t there to see it not occur. All that was easy enough. My issues started when I was handed this note by my friend who may, or may not, have made his second trip home from Australia since Christmas. Continue reading
It seems like every day somebody asks me “How do you make prawn stock, Conor?” or “I was thinking of making some prawn stock, how would you do it?” Given that I am a pretty average type of guy, I know that you too must be harassed on a regular basis with prawn stock conundrums. So I am going to tell you how to do it.
Sorry about the long headline but I have been talking to my butcher. He tells me that beef short ribs or Jacob’s Ladder, as it is known in trendier spots, is becoming quite chique. If the normal rules of economics prevail, prices will rise as popularity increases. So, don’t cook it. We want to avoid inflation here in Ireland. Things are bad enough. It is not as nice as it looks so don’t cook it. Please. Continue reading
One of the excellent things about writing this blog is that I can do what I like, unbound by convention. One standard would state that posting the same stuff twice is a no-no. To hell with that. If anyone can extract a second serving from one dish, I’m your man. One of my earliest posts was lamb shanks under the banner of How slow can you go? I now realise that I can go slower and lower, a lot slower and plenty lower. Hence, part one in my Meat Reheat series. Continue reading
They say that keeping pigs in the orchard is good both for pig and orchard. The pigs get to eat any fallen fruit while keeping the soil in good condition and keeping pests at bay. One side benefit of this practice is that the pork meat from the orchard kept pig takes on a subtle apple flavour (or so they say). Continue reading
People are so easily thrown off the real issue. Food people are the easiest of all. Suckers. Ask them about Shepherd’s Pie and it’s simple to move them away from the real deal and distract them with talk of “Beef or Lamb?”. A quick search of the internet will expose the great and the good arguing why it must be lamb. Others take the view that beef is essential. Some miserable scribes show their complete lack of moral fiber by suggesting that a mix of the two is the answer. Pathetic. Continue reading
“Bllllpppppp.” (The sound of me blowing my nose). Not the best way for you to start reading this post. Not the most pleasant way for me to be writing it. The Wife and the Mother both need feeding this evening and I am completely under the weather. It could even be the dreaded Man Flu. “Bllllpppppp. Uggghhhh.” I need to get plenty of garlic, lemon and rosemary into me to beat off the devastation that this Man Flu is wreaking on my system.
I love it when family and friends are pleased for me. Like when I announced we were off to the south of France for holidays. There was general approval from most people in my life. Then the trouble started. It began as a simple request from Matt, a colleague in work “Are you going near that place where you ge the garlic?” Like the gullible enthusiast that I am, I replied “Yes, I think we will head over to Lautrec one of the days.”
I remember as a young fellow being slightly flexible with the truth and having my late Dad pull me up on it with “Don’t come the raw prawn with me.” It seemed like a bizarre expression then and still seems like it now, over 40 years later. While I was thinking about an ‘angle’ for this simple barbecue recipe, the expression popped back into my head. That got me looking it up on Google. That took me to the Australian National University and their Meanings and origins of Australian words and idioms. There are some cracking expressions with which the Australians have enriched our language. Read on, Cobber… Continue reading
I have carried the weight of this around for more than a decade and now I have to clear my conscience. We had been holidaying in the Poitou‑Charentes region of France. We had made the short trip into Saintes for the weekly market. I was feeling ambitious and wanted to prepare a butterflied leg of lamb. I circled the market and located the lamb butcher, having previously tried to buy beef from a boucherie chevaline (horse butcher), causing much mirth for the butcher and embarrassment for me. In my dire French, I conveyed that I wanted the joint boned. With much smiling and what I thought was comprehension, the master craftsman set to work. Continue reading