Saturday, February 5, 2011

Gastronomic pleasures I: marinated mutton

Dear all,

as I have promised a friend of mine lately, here is a post about what you can make from a piece of meat.

I'm really into Jamie Oliver's American Road Trip, have watched most of it lately, and I find his search for genuine flavour and for people's warmth and unity through food such an inspiring message. I myself am constantly seeking for more and more flavour mixtures to satisfy my interest for the culinary art and to check its and my borders.

Still, my country, as I see it, with all the culinary influences it has gotton over the time through invaders and people who went abroad and brought back new stuff, is not tasteless but rather gentle in taste and not daring. Basically salp and pepper are not missing and we might use parsley and dill, seldom some mint, but that sums it all up. Then there are the regional variotions, Transilvania for example uses quite a lot of tarragon while some other regions use a juice made of fermented bran (tarate) or sour cream to modify the taste. For steaks cooked in the oven there are also bay leaves used and the garlic is also one of the few taste-givers of the food. (Hopefully the EU won't go through with its idea of banning the garlic.)
The meat used in Romania is basically pork. French people might suffer here, as veal is not so often found, but on the other hand, people such as Germans or Swiss might be delighted with our food. Apart from pork, chicken is the most common.

Now, you can imagine my delight when few days back I came across some mutton muscle in a hypermarket. Even if it was a bit pricey, I took the oportunity. On my way home I thought that mutton would not be as tender as you would expect lamb meat to be so I had to make a marinade and let the meat in it for a few hours. My first thought went to some red wine...I had a good one at home which would offer a finger-licking aroma,...and then I made the mistake of watching Jamie Oliver again. Now he is so passionate about cooking (as am I) that he transfers his delight through the screen of your PC easily. And there I was, having 3 mutton pieces...and inventing 3 marinades.

Nr. 1 - The Wine Marinade

Nr.2 - The Herb Butter Marinade

(Meat in marinade paste rolled up in foil)

Nr.3 - The Asian Inspiration Marinade

After a few hours of letting the meat rest in the fridge in its marinade, it was ready to be grilled. I chose to do it medium, as it would be to hard to chew if it would be well done.

The result was mouth-watering. 3 delicious was of making tender mutton. I have used for the marinades the following: wine, garlic, bay leaves, salt, black pepper, thyme, herb butter, parsley, basil, curry, yoghurt, mustard, cloves. As a small tipp, for the third marindade, which included curry and cloves among others, I left the spice mixture in a frying pan for half a minute after I grinded the components, just that the aroma develops even more through the heat. Then I mixed in the yoghurt and the other components. Hope I have inspired you for your spice ventures.


  1. hi!thanks for your comment!if you want we can follow each other!kisses


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