Sometimes, a failure makes a success even more satisfying and this was the case for me recently. On the very same day that I experienced the great schichttorte failure, I also managed to make a dish that did hit the spot. After four hours of hard work (from me and the oven!) we were presented with a delightful dish that was inspired by delicious magazine and brought to life by an amazing Weetons cut of lamb shoulder that had been beautifully shaped.
With proper Sunday dinners a high point of our week, I wanted to try to find an option that was a little bit original whilst enabling me to cook a piece of lamb to perfection. It also obviously had to suit the plate of potatoes and gravy that naturally have to occur on a Sunday!
When I first saw this dish, I had initially assumed that the salt dough needed to encase the lamb would not be a challenge to make. Fortunately, I was right; you may end up needing to re-stock your cupboards with more cooking salt but it is both simple and fun to make. It is also a cheap way to help you slow cook meats.
That said, do not try to eat salt dough! Even when it smells succulent and appears to have taken on the flavour of what has been cooking inside it, it will be one of the most repulsive things you could ever eat (Charlotte described it as like seawater gone wrong!).
Although you do effectively have to blind bake this dish and hope that the resting period at the end will allow it to become the dish you dreamed of, it is certainly not an expensive dish to make. The primary cost should only be the lamb (provided you have a herb garden) and between the four of us it cost far less than it would have cost to eat out at a decent local pub.
For those of you who enjoy the process there was something very satisfying about covering the lamb joint in butter and then placing the garlic and rosemary into the lamb but I would say that a sharp knife is a must to help this process along.
The flavor of the dish was amazing – the salt obviously added a satisfying salty element to the lamb which brought out the rest of the flavours of rosemary and garlic, but somehow it also made the meat quite sweet, but not in a sickly way. The balance between sweet and salty that the lamb had isn’t something I’ve experienced with a normal roast, so this technique obviously has its benefits.
The dish is a fun one as the enjoyment of cutting open the parcel to reveal your aromatic surprise has a nice theatrical element to it. I will be making this dish again in the future!
Categories: Cooking Experiences