So, Saturday before last I enjoyed a very productive day in the kitchen. I made lamb knuckles in tomato sauce, bulk bolognaise sauce, lemon and almond drizzle cakes and a Crostata (plain old jam tart but the Italians had to try and make it sound so fucking lah-dee-dah!) for Sir.
All done, the kitchen was sparkling again, and I was finishing up wiping down the scullery counter, when I heard the cloth rip. I looked down, puzzled, only to see blood streaming merrily from my ring finger. It wasn’t the cloth ripping, it was flesh. Then I noticed the food processor’s blade (yes that Klap-a-Mall purchase!) sticking out of the drying rack. The dishwasher was full so a few things had to be washed the old-fashioned way – by hand. So I lovingly wash said blade, and the fucker thanks me by ripping a nice big slit in the top of my finger. Let me tell you that bastard is as sharp as my tongue when I comment on fucktardian drivers on the roads. It ripped through my flesh with ease, severing a small vein which resulted in beautiful squirts of crimson flowing freely from my finger.
I should have gone for a stitch or two, but…….. doctors…….. needles….. no thanks. I considered Superglue. In the end I put a plaster on it, but every time I bent my finger, or bumped it, that little vein spewed more blood everywhere. It was a bloody mess. Errrgggghhh. For the next week my finger was blue and bruised and really sore but as long as the tip remained pink and perky, medical attention was not necessary.
Then, last Wednesday, my friend Sniffing Wetfart came to visit for the day, and I decided to escape the house and run some errands / troll shops, because sitting around listening to sniffing and frequent wet farts just falling out of her arse was not my idea of a day well spent. I suspect she makes a lot of those ‘berefts’ Sir wrote about here…. Enough talk about unsinkable Molly Browns…..
We popped into AMC to get a new pot lid knob since Sir melted one when he left it on a gas burner flame, and then I went to get him his favourite copper polish, because I’d hate for him to have nothing to do at 2 in the morning! At least when he’s polishing copper pots he’s not modifying appliances to ‘turbo boost’ their performance. It also means I sometimes wake up to REALLY shiny things, like half the prep basin – he will meticulously polish half of the basin, get bored and go and do some work on his PC.
I digress. Sniffing Wetfart and I finished the day with lunch at Tasha’s and a spot of shopping at Nicolway. As I waited to pay for some purchases at @Home, I noticed that they had small serrated Wusthof knives at the counter, on special. I picked one up, removed the sheath, and whilst running the blade against my thumb I told Sniffing Wetfart that this particular brand is Sir’s favourite, and that they’re super-sharp knives…….. and then I promptly sliced into my thumb. Seriously??!! Am I becoming a closeted wannabe cutter now?
And on that bloody note, it’s time to knuckle down to this week’s recipe – Lamb knuckles in Italian style tomato Sauce…. It is really good winter comfort food, and is delicious served with polenta, mash or rice.
LAMB KNUCKLES IN TOMATO SAUCE
- 1.3kg Lamb Knuckles
- 1 Medium Onion
- 3 Celery Fingers excl leaves
- 2 Medium Carrots
- 3 Garlic Cloves, Crushed
- 3 Tins Peeled Italian Tomatoes (About 425g each)
- 1 Can Water
- 1 Heaped Tablespoon Tomato Paste
- Handful of Basil
- Handful of Oregano
- Salt and Pepper to Taste
Flour for dredging meat
- Finely chop all the vegetables and fry in olive oil over low heat until just starting to brown around the edges. Add the garlic separately towards the end so that it does not overcook and turn bitter. Be careful not to brown the veggies too much. Pay attention. I find chopping veggies quite therapeutic, so enjoy this part of the prep, but, if you don’t care to invest the time – toss it all into a food processor, and the let the blades do their work – it’s best to keep your fingers out of the way.
- Meanwhile, dust the meat with seasoned flour (just add salt and pepper to the flour – not necessary to sprinkle in some summer rain and autumn leaves).
- Brown the meat pieces on each side. Do not crowd the pan. I hate this part of the recipe the most, because browning meat is boring. AND I always start off not crowding the pan and doing a sterling job, then getting bored shitless and just dumping all the meat into the pan at once and hoping for the best.
- Transfer the browned meat to the veggies pot, add the Italian tomatoes, tomato paste, a can of water, about a tablespoon of coarse salt and a good grinding of black pepper.
- Stir to mix all the ingredients together, bring to the boil, and then turn the temperature down and simmer over low heat for about 2 hours.
- Toss in the basil and oregano (I prefer to do this early on so that the flavour really infuses into the meat and sauce), stir through, and leave to simmer for another hour.
- Serve with polenta or mash or rice. I love dipping chunks of ciabatta into the sauce for a really tasty snack.
This dish is even better if you eat it the day after it’s made.
You can increase the quantities, and add a tin of cherry tomatoes as well, and freeze half for a later date.
The Baron recommends:
The lamb knuckles will be beautifully complemented by a full-bodied shiraz from the New World. The best local exponent of the varietal I have had the pleasure to taste is the Kevin Arnold Shiraz from the Waterford estate. Sheer heaven, but even a Zandvliet will cope admirably with knuckling down to some serious lamb scoffing.