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Roasting with Hay
Fri 12-Mar-10
8:16 pm
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SumpRat
Reading

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I have always wanted to roast a joint, probably lamb, encased in hay.

There are lots of recipes on the net and in various cook books.

What I am after is tips, opinions and experiences.  
I have heard that you should dampen the hay before use so that is doesn't
catch fire. Also make sure that no strands are open to the elements.

My friends in North Devon have horses  so they have lots of free good hay on hand.
And they are lovely to cuddle up to on a cold morning Whistle

So, have you  ever cooked in hay?  How disd it turn out?
How was the flavour, good or just too weird?

Thanks
Sumprat

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Sat 13-Mar-10
12:42 am
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danast
Argyll, Scotland

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I have never done it, but I too would be interested to hear of other's experiences   Wink

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Sat 13-Mar-10
6:14 am
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JoannaS
Latvia

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Not heard of that technique, only heard of using hay in a box to do slow cooking ie you heat something hot in the oven or on the stove and then put it in a box of hay to retain the heat and keep it cooking, long and slow. 

Sat 13-Mar-10
8:43 am
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SumpRat
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JoannaS said:Not heard of that technique, only heard of using hay in a box to do slow cooking ie you heat something hot in the oven or on the stove and then put it in a box of hay to retain the heat and keep it cooking, long and slow. 


Done that with the Scouts.They wouldn't believe it would work but were very impressed with the stew some 10 hours later.

S.R.

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Sat 13-Mar-10
9:00 am
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JoannaS
Latvia

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Glad it worked, never actually tried it but have put a casserole into a cool box wrapped in towels to keep it warm and cooking but not for 10 hours

Sun 14-Mar-10
5:24 pm
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Shereen
Near Belfast, Northen Ireland

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I think I've a Hugh F-W lamb baked in hay recipe in one of the River Cottage books if you want me to dig it out, but it's not one I've tried for myself.

Sun 14-Mar-10
5:53 pm
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SumpRat
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Yeas I did see that but can't remember his comments. Would appreciate it.

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Sun 14-Mar-10
8:17 pm
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mike.
Coventry

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Someone cooked Lamb in Hay the other week on Come Dine With Me on channel 4. This recipe looks like the one they did: http://www.channel4.com/food/recipes/popular-ingre.....b_p_1.html

That was the first time I had heard of it, but the other people in the show seemed to like it. Since we have a bag of hay originally bought for our animals, I thought it might be worth trying. OH doesn't like lamb but we've got chicken legs in the freezer so I think we'll try Chicken legs cooked in hay sometime this week.

My resolution this year is to try to cook something new each week, so that'll be my new recipe Laugh

I'll let you know if we actually get around to trying it, and whether it works or not.

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Sun 14-Mar-10
10:05 pm
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SumpRat
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Neat, Look forward to the results.

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Mon 15-Mar-10
8:07 pm
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Shereen
Near Belfast, Northen Ireland

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Here's the "Leg of Mutton or Lamb Baked in Hay" recipe from The River Cottage Cookbook:

"Ingredients:

A few handfuls of hay

125g of soft butter

Several good sprigs each of rosemary, marjoram and thyme, chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 leg of mutton or good-sized leg of lamb

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method:

Choose a deep roasting tin, preferably with a lid (if you don't have one with a lid you can use foil). Line it generously with loose hay, about 5-6 cm deep.

Put the soft butter in a bowl, add the chopped herbs, garlic, plenty of black pepper and a little salt and mix well. Smear in a thick and even layer all over the mutton/lamb. Place the meat on its nest of hay and then cover with the rest of the hay. Cover with the lid, or a double layer of foil wrapped well around the edge of the dish. Make sure there are no loose bits of hay poking out as they may catch fire.

Bake in the centre of a hot oven (220C/Gas Mark 7) for 2 to 2 & a half hours depending on the size of he leg. Remove from the oven and leave to rest for at least 20 minutes. Then take off the lid, scrape away the blackened hay and carve as normal.

Any juices from the pan can be poured off, skimmed of excess fat and used for making gravy, although I tend to forgo the gravy, preferring to serve this dish with boiled flageolet beans heated through in the juices and fat from the meat."

I haven't cooked this for myself yet, so can't give a personal insight to the recipe.

Mon 15-Mar-10
8:46 pm
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SumpRat
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Wow thanks, that looks great. Don't know when I am going to try it, but when I do I'll post the results. Looks like I could be the first.

Simon

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Wed 17-Mar-10
8:05 pm
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mike.
Coventry

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Well I tried the chicken legs roasted in hay. I used hay with chamomile which we bought for the degus but they weren't interested in it so we still had half a bag left. I added some sprigs of rosemary.

It was the scariest food I've cooked. We had run out of foil so I couldn't cover the roasting pan. I ended up putting one tray upturned over the other, to stop the hay from catching fire. Even then there was a bit of a singeing hay smell.

I hadn't accounted for the insulating effect of the hay - after 40 minutes the chicken legs were still looking a bit raw so I removed them from the hay and finished cooking them 'plain'. They tasted ok but hadn't picked up much flavour from the hay or herbs.

It was an interesting experiment. If I try it again, I'll make a note to increase the cooking time.

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Thu 18-Mar-10
9:38 am
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Toffeeapple
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bobquail said:

It was an interesting experiment. If I try it again, I'll make a note to increase the cooking time.


And buy some foil first...

I'll try that again!

Thu 18-Mar-10
10:57 am
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mike.
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Toffeeapple said:


And buy some foil first...


Oh, it gets better. On Monday we went to the supermarket.  We intended to buy some foil, went to the section where the foil is, picked up a pack which looked like the other packs of foil. It wasn't until I went to open it that I realised we'd bought cling-film. We already had a nearly new pack of that. Ah well. It'll teach us to pay more attention when shopping.

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Thu 18-Mar-10
11:13 am
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Toffeeapple
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I do that too, last time I was aiming to get a big jar of pickled gherkins and ended up with a jar of Sauerkraut.  Not my favourite pickle, in so many ways! Big_Laugh

I'll try that again!

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