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Darina Allen’s Forgotten Skills course
Sun 14-Feb-10
3:13 pm
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Danny
Scarborough, England
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Fiona’s March copy of Country Living magazine arrived on Friday. I am an unashamed fan and often grab it first!

It has an article called The Thrifty Cook by Darina Allen of Ballymaloe Cookery School in County Cork. She has started running her Forgotten Skills course. The article focussed on lamb with some handy table of definitions (suckling, spring lamb, lamb, hogget, mutton) a map of the various cuts and some succulent sounding recipes including Listowel mutton pies that are served in a bowl of broth. I must try those.

“Our mothers and grandmothers knew how to eke out a small budget to feed a family by cooking with cheap cuts and using up leftovers. Sadly, during the recent boom years, butchers found it difficult to sell anything apart from the expensive cuts, such as rack of lamb, cutlets or leg, and were often left with lots of the cheaper shoulder, scrag end and breat of lamb

People lost both the inclination and the skill of thrifty cooking with less-than-prime cuts, not realising that they are sweeter and more succulent. The cuts of the animal that have the most exercise are more muscular – these are the least expensive cuts and those that benefit from slower, gentler cooking. There’s no such thing as an inferior cut of meat. Every bit of lamb can be turned into something delicious with sympathetic cooking.”

Never knowingly underfed

Sun 14-Feb-10
4:22 pm
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JoannaS
Latvia

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Quite agree, I always managed on the cheaper cuts and eking out of meat dishes with pulses and veggies, that was how I managed to feed a family of five on just hubby's wage, and hospital technicians aren't renowned for their high pay. The only thing I don't like about some of the cuts is the amount of fat, not so much of a problem in the UK where they are bred for less fat but here in Latvia it is, they like their fat sandwiches Monster. Interestingly enough in our local butchers you can get half a pigs head, bones, and other unidentifyable parts that look like they might make some good stock - fine if you like pork but if you want meat from a different animal forget it it is the distant supermarkets for anything more exotic, except on the odd occasion when our local one has shock horror beef mince or chicken.Whistle

Sun 14-Feb-10
5:56 pm
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Toffeeapple
North Bucks

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I read that article too, Danny.  It was a trip down memory lane as my Mother used to use all the cheapest cuts of meat.  I liked the idea of the pie in gravy too.

I'll try that again!

Sun 14-Feb-10
6:14 pm
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Danny
Scarborough, England
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Ah yes, Joanna, it reminds me of 40 years ago when my mum used to prepare dishes like bran (I think it was bits of pig), ox tongue (homemade is the best by far) and so on.

She discovered that shin of beef made the nest casseroles and asked our butcher. He was surprised because they were usually disposed of as offal and sent away to be rendered into bone meal fertiliser or some such. So he just gave them to her for free . . . for a few months, and then he saw the light and began to charge.

A great staple in Ireland is bacon and cabbage. That's pork belly, boiled. Either by itself with cabbage on the side or with the cabbage added in the latter stages of cooking (yeuch - that's a marmite version - you either love it or hate it). I was backin Irl on my own a few years ago, driving east to west, and stopped off at a country hotel for lunch. Bacon and cabbage was on the menu. It was top notch, with a dab of parsley sauce poured over and English mustard (hot) as a condiment. Scrumptious. I have never cooked it in all my time here. Another "to do" dish this week.

Now there's one for you to experiment with, Toffeeapple. Create another memory lane on the highway of reminiscences. Smile

Never knowingly underfed

Sun 14-Feb-10
6:28 pm
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Toffeeapple
North Bucks

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Danny said:

Now there's one for you to experiment with, Toffeeapple. Create another memory lane on the highway of reminiscences. Smile


You wouldn't want that, we'd never get off line!

Danny what is the name of the potato dish that is ubiquitous in Ireland?  I think it begins with B, but I could very well be wrong.  I had it once and loved it but can't recall if it was in Norn Irn or Southern.

I'll try that again!

Sun 14-Feb-10
6:33 pm
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Danny
Scarborough, England
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There are two, really, TA: champ (with added spring onion) and colcannon (with cabbage). Maybe the B word at the back of your mind is Bastible?

Never knowingly underfed

Sun 14-Feb-10
6:38 pm
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Toffeeapple
North Bucks

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No, that's the cooking pot isn't it?  I wish I could remember but I know it wasn't either of those two you just gave.

I'll try that again!

Sun 14-Feb-10
6:40 pm
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Toffeeapple
North Bucks

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BOXTY!   That's what it was! Doh

I'll try that again!

Sun 14-Feb-10
9:50 pm
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Danny
Scarborough, England
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Oh goodness. We never had boxty because it was a dish of the northern counties, not just Ulster, and we loved way down south so it never travelled to our end.

But I remember now a restaurant ( or "eating house") somewhere that was named the Boxty House.

Don't think I ever tasted it though. Well done TA! WellDone

Never knowingly underfed

Mon 15-Feb-10
12:01 pm
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Ruthdigs
Devon

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What is Boxty please?

Aha - having just googled seems pancake related.  Appropriate as it's pancake day tommorrow - is it me or is that startlingly early this year?

Mon 15-Feb-10
3:43 pm
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Toffeeapple
North Bucks

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More of a potato cake really, very tasty where I ate it.   Pancake day does seem to be early, can't work out when Eater is though...Doh

I'll try that again!

Mon 15-Feb-10
4:18 pm
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Ruthdigs
Devon

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Easter is 2-4 April this year.  BST starts the weekend before - woo!!

Just been reading the Amazon reviews for Darina Allen's book and now I want it - damnit Danny and Fiona - my wishlist is groaning thanks to the recommendations of you guys!  Big_Laugh  For which I thank you though!  Big_Hug

Similar theme though not food is Monty Don's new series Mastercrafts.  I didn't see it on Friday but will utilise a lunch break and i-player to catch it this week.  Concentrates on dying out traditional crafts, looks interesting and I do like Monty. 

Mon 15-Feb-10
5:02 pm
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KateUK
uk

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Breast of lamb- so hard to find nowadays, most butchers look at you as if you are bonkers when you ask for it. BUT...it is a very common cut for middle eastern cookery, so if you go to a supermarket with a hal-al section/hal-al butcher you will find it. Asda sell it in their hal-al section AND in the normal meat section, so I'm delighted to be able to cook with it again after many years hiatus. Stuffed with apricots, fruits , spices and rice mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

And don't forget to try Ox Cheek...stupendous....and as for tongue.....but I do draw the line at heads and tails and trotters...too personal for me. Tongue is as far as I can go.

As the actress said to the Bishop.Wink

Kateuk makes things at http://www.etsy.com/shop/finkstuff and sometimes she does this too http://www54paintings.blogspot.com/ and also this http://finkstuff.weebly.com/

Tue 16-Feb-10
12:29 pm
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Ruthdigs
Devon

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I actually snorted out loud then!  Big_LaughCheersDoh

Tue 16-Feb-10
6:26 pm
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Toffeeapple
North Bucks

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Doh And there was I thinking that you were a lady!Surprised

I'll try that again!

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