The Cottage Smallholder


stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

Culinary disaster

lamb muckWe’d had a bag of lamb knocking about for so long in the freezer that I finally decided to cook it. It was a bit of a sacrifice as the bag had been useful. It was the perfect side prop to stop more precious things dropping out.
“What cut of lamb is it?”
I had no idea, even when I examined the four long lengths.
“Why don’t we give it The Beastley Treatment? It always seems to work with elderly frozen meat.”

So I did. The slow cooker bubbled away and it smelt delicious for hours.

Therein lies the rub. I overcooked the lamb. After five hours the meat had a pre-digested texture. Danny reached for a fork to savour the dish. There was silence and then he pronounced.
“It has the texture of dog food.”
“Don’t worry, I think I can pull it round.”
Secretly I wondered how he knew what the texture of dog food was like.

It sat in the fridge for a couple of days and I began to hate the sight of the bowl. Tonight I sifted out the meat and liquidised it – now it had the texture of Shippham’s meat paste (the stuff in jars). I stirred it into the vegetables and sauce and discovered that I had made a nasty pink baby food. Even though D made encouraging noises, I knew that I had a disaster on my hands.

I added a handful of soya mince to a coupe of portions of the sloppy mess and suddenly was on a slippery slope. The soya mince added a sort of plastic texture that underlined the hideous liquefied meat. It would have been better to remove the meat completely and use the tomato sauce as a base for other dishes.

Served with spaghetti and lashings of parmesan we managed to force down a few mouthfuls before pushing our plates aside.


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17 Comments

  1. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Sylvie

    It was maddening. But I have now learnt never to liquidise meat…

    Hi Kate(uk)

    I expect that your disasters are rare.

    Hello Jacqui

    What a shame. Her recipes usually work for me.

    Hi Pat

    As far as I can remember, we had egg and chips instead.

    Hello Lynn

    Danny was disappointed. He™d been smelling the dish wafting up to the Rat Room for hours. It did smell good.

    Hi Paul

    Great to hear from you! Miss you guys.

    Hi Sam

    Very wise to give this one a miss!

    Hello Veronica

    Great that you enjoyed the post. The sad thing was that there was so much of it “ at least 12 portions.

    Hi Fabienne

    Really pleased that this made you giggle.

    Hi Magic Cochin

    It was yucky and became steadily worse.

    Hello Casalba

    I try and mark stuff in the freezer these days. But some things just seem to slip under the net.

    Hi Pamela

    No he hasn™t but he laughed at your lost cause comment.

    Hi Diane

    It was the same with this. It was a big mistake liquidising the meat and pouring it back in. Same lurking texture.

    Hi Elizabethm

    Ditto. Happens to me a lot when I don™t bother to check the recipe and discover that I have left out a vital ingredient.

    Hello JoycB

    Rachel Allen always comes across as a nice person. Good that she emailed you back!

  2. Just found your blog-site whilst looking for celery soup recipe. How reassuring to know even the prof’s can sometimes get it wrong. I once followed a recipe of Rachel Allen [disaster!] but I emailed her and she very kindly came back and showed me where I had gone wrong! Result – a perfect cake!!! It’s nice to know they really do listen.

  3. elizabethm

    Don’t these disasters come out of the blue? and quite often mine happen with such tried and tested recipes I think I can do them with my eyes shut and suddenly, from nowhere, they go quite pear shaped. I love cooking and flatter myself that I am quite good but I managed a disaster with a crumble with the other day! How can that be?

  4. Oh I’ve done that with lamb. It tasted fantastic in a stew but the strips of meat were just the wrong texture. It was gross to eat it and without knowing what dog food was like it was something I’d have compared it too.
    If you just ate the rest of it and fished the meat out it was lovely. I think even the cats rejected the meat too.

  5. The “lost cause” in this case being the culinary disaster not Danny. Thought I should just clarify that! I’d hate to cause offense.

  6. So has Danny confessed yet to how he knows so much about dog food? Just occasionally there is no hope for a lost cause.

  7. casalba

    In an ideal world we’d all label and date our freezer goods, but…hey, who’s lives in an ideal world? And, wouldn’t it be boring if it was full of ‘Stepford Wives’?

    I liked Veronica’s comment.

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