Sunday, 22 February 2015
The Year of the Sheep
The majority of symbols in the Chinese zodiac aren't particularly appetising. While I don't mind a bit of pig or rooster; snake, dragon and tiger meat is not my cup of tea. I don't know if dire misfortune is supposed to befall you if you eat the year's symbol, but welcoming the lunar new year with lamb seemed like a good idea.
The two best Chinese lamb dishes I have had are a crisp one, served like Peking duck, with pancakes, and one densely crusted in cumin. I decided to make a sort of hybrid - first braising breast of lamb slowly in master stock until tender, then coating it in a mixture of sesame seeds, cumin seeds and chilli powder before finishing it in a hot oven to crisp. I also made a dipping sauce of grated ginger, chilli, garlic, soy sauce and rice vinegar. It wasn't quite as cumin-y or as crisp as I had intended, but it was extremely delicious.
We had it with edamame flavoured with five spice and szechuan pepper.