Monday, 30 June 2008

This Won't Hurt a Bit!

A couple of weeks ago we had the opportunity to cook a suckling lamb from Meredith Dairy and I wanted to do it in the wood oven. Lamb of this age is very delicate and does not have a lot of fat as it’s so young. The skin comes up a treat in a masonry oven. In order to keep the meat moist inside and the skin crisp I had to reach for the gun. A big surgical syringe is an extremely useful tool in the kitchen to baste from the inside.
It can also be used to sneak a few flavours into places that are hard to reach.
Try a warm chocolate and cardamom sauce injected into a freshly baked brioche?
A few delicate jabs of lime essence into a coconut custard?
Or a little truffle emulsion into a few turkey livers before slow cooking?
How about a little shot of Madeira into a beef rib while it’s resting?
Or a hit of goose fat into that home made sausage.
Garlic oil spiked into the spuds before roasting?
Why not disperse a little liquid fresh truffle essence under the skin of that roast chook as it comes out of the oven?

Any suggestions? Please keep it clean.

You would be right in thinking I have a one track mind at the moment, yes its black smelly and another kilo was unearthed today.


t h e - g o b b l e r said...

I know what you mean George, jabbing with an oil or liquid syringe can be fun!
I find young lamb & goat particularly unctious when slow cooked for hours. I like to let the meat 'settle' & rest before breaking it up & lubricating it with a heavy dose of the remaining caremelized cooking liquids-is there any better way to enjoy meat?
An old dab hand once imparted these sage words in relation to slow cooking meat:'If the bone twists out white, clean & pure you know you've done the job'.

Thermomixer said...

Hi George

You may have to do these sorts of things while patting Di's cats, listening to Wagner and having essence of Valencia wafting into the room, but...

I like the idea of being able to suprise the diner with something that they have to think - "how did he/she do that?" So, ideas like injecting jelly/flavoured cream into cooked long peppers with the stalk still attached. A blob of chocolate that will harden inside a strawberry that has not been hulled. Some flavoured oils - preferably with colour (saffron/chilli?)into a zucchini centre before cooking.

Agree about marinades and oils for meat. Hd a great pork loin done sous vide with slabs of butter in the bag - could have injected down the centre with melted butter to improve penetration.

It is easier to inject with smaller syrnges - better mechanical advantage. I will send you some to try.

PS Congrats on the "Unexpected" (I don't think so) demand - we've been waiting

stickyfingers said...

I've been through a lot of syringes - God they're fun! I used to shoot up everything and anything - liquer in desserts and oranges, papaya enzyme or pineapple juice to tenderise cheap and tough cuts of meat, truffle oil wherever, sausages with Chinese rose spirit, marinade into Chinese roast meats etc. But now that I buy my produce direct from the farmer, that's changed. The syringes lie forlornly in a drawer under other utensils.

Shooting up mass produced supermarket meat with infused oils and grog was for me a desperate and easy way to bump up the flavour. Now thankfully with restaurant quality produce, I can enjoy a roasts and other dishes without needing complicated spice rubs, infusions or marinades and allowing me to finally appreciate what slow grown does to produce the flavours I've been searching for.

Perhaps I'll get adventurous again, but for now I'm wallowing in simplicity ;) Enjoy the pricking!

Anonymous said...

Hi George,

The syringe is a wonderful kitchen implement. I use it to feed Christmas cakes. And I'm glad I'm not the only one "shooting up" lamb...remember Gigot de la Clinique?