31 March 2011

Lovely Leg of Lamb....

So I told you about the big reduced haul from yesterday but I forgot to take a picture of the leg of lamb that I got - but no matter - you get to see it today!
The reduced tag shows you that I got this leg of lamb at just slightly under 57% less than normal price. We don't have it very often - leg of lamb - unless it's a special holiday or like this on offer or reduced. But at this price I really couldn't pass it up. For the two of us this would be two meals at least. So I dutifully oiled it a bit, topped it with some sea salt flakes and some cracked pepper. I then made some slits in the meat for some garlic - just to add the flavour - I save it for my next meal as its usually a bit too much for even me (and I love garlic!).
It cooked for about an hour and I then tossed in some potatoes just as they are - a bit cut up so that they all cook for the same amount of time. I again salted and peppered them as usual. By now there was enough oil/juices in the pan to coat the potatoes which I did toss them around a bit before slipping it back into the oven.
This is the remains - we were both too hungry to get a before picture! But look at those lovely brown bits on the baking tray....what to do? I must admit I try to eke out as much as possible from everything I buy or make. Rather like a restaurant does - which is a good lesson in life.

Anyway, when I roast something there is always some good flavour bits on the tray. Now back to how to rescue this and make it usable? Almost always I have some sort of steamed veggie for dinner but if not plain old water will do. In the case of tonight we had steamed green beans. So I remove all the good stuff I can to one bowl and to the tray I add a bit of the veggie water. Not a lot just enough to begin scrapping up the brown bits with a wooden spoon. I then turn on the burner (to medium-low) and continue to scrape as I go along and soon you have a lovely sauce of gravy like stuff. I pour this into another bowl and then again do another lot of water to the pan and again get up any of the brown bits that didn't come off the first time. Below is a picture of what I got from the pan with all those lovely brown bits - what a deep brown colour! FLAVOUR!!
It depends on the meat I've roasted as sometimes I have to do this three times (usually with chicken). And before you ask me why why used veggie water - why not? I've cleaned my veggies (most are organic if possible) and as most anyone can see you toss that stuff down the drain - it has flavour in it! If I don't have a use for the water right then I will give it to my plants who certainly love having the extra vitamins. I must admit I don't do this with potato or cauliflower water - too smelly! I suppose it wouldn't matter if it went on outside plants but we don't have a yard here in the flats.

Now what do I do with this lovely brown liquor? If I making a soup - I use it there. I normally refrigerate the bowl and skim off the fat on top as usually with lamb there might be a lot (depending on the cut) but the rest is great for a soup. But for this liquid I'm going to make a lamb/barley leftover dinner so it will help infuse the barley when cooking it. If I'm not making something like this with the leftovers I will save it for a risotto or something like that where I want a flavour booster. You can even freeze it and add to other batches if you have the room. I usually don't have the freezer room UK freezers are like 1/4 the size of American ones.

As with most things you have to do a bit of planning and preparation but once you have begun the process it is so simple to keep up with it. So the next time you roast something remember - there is flavour in them there bits! Enjoy!

30 March 2011

Love that reduced asile!

Again a delay in posting but my computer died - it was sad but they do this sometimes. So had to source a new motherboard that would work with what I did have so that I wouldn't have to ditch the whole thing. This took some time and then of course delivery, someone to put it together (as I'm not that good!), etc. So needless to say it's been a few months of no computer.

Anyway, I am off this week so it gives me some time to sort out the computer as I upgraded to Windows 7. I'm not sure that was a good idea but one has to move on and it was about time to move up with the times.

My other piece of news is that finally I have bought myself a digital camera - a proper one! I won a gift certificate for a competition I entered which shocked me completely as I never win so now I have to stop saying that! I've kept the certificate as I wasn't sure what to get, what I wanted that badly, etc. I'm rather like that with just about anything - the Boots card has a bunch of points on it, the Sainsburys card is also the same. It's a habit! So new camera to get to grips with and while it is an easier one (I bought it just for its ease) it still takes time to get used to how it works, etc.

Today I went out to do my usual and look for any bargains that are to be had. I was getting towards the end of my spree down the High Street and sadly I had little to show for my hard work. It wasn't that I couldn't find anything - I could - just not at a price I was willing to pay.

So sadly, I called it a day and went to the grocery store for the few things I needed. It was about half five or so and it began bleak - no reduced veg to be had! I then hit the meat aisle where they have any fresh meat/fish that's reduced. Well at least this aisle did not let me down as you can see from below!

I was just super lucky - everything was organic (bar the plaice and wild salmon) but what didn't get into the picture was a leg of lamb. I'll write about that tomorrow as that will be our dinner. I was so pleased to finally get some good bargains.

As you can see most items were under the £2.00 limit. Since most of my meals are for two I try to find things that way. Although there was more there at the store - as my friend say - God doesn't like greedy! I got what I knew I could use, freeze and have for dinner. The rest I left for someone else to get a bargain.

The sausages I split into lots of two with 3 sausages each in the freeze. These are great for my quick work-week meals of cooked breakfast. The Brits have what they call the full English - eggs, mushrooms, fried tomatoes, sausages and/or bacon, fried toast and tea/coffee. I do something similar for us except we eat it for dinner instead of breakfast. BTW, I don't make fried bread - never had it as it's a piece of bread fried in oil but I do occasionally have toast with jam.

The fish will be saved for many a week night supper - I sometimes just bake it or lately I've taken to putting it in a frying pan with a small knob of butter and cooking it that way so the skin gets crispy. The frying steak will make some great fajitas. So for £7.82 I will get 8 meals out of the above picture. I think that's rather good!

I forgot to take a picture of all the dairy I got as well. I wanted to get it into the fridge but got milk (organic 1%) for £0.55p, some lovely strawberry yoghurt (£0.65p), some mature cheddar (£1.35) and some more organic whole milk (£0.22p). If I remember I'll try to get a shot of that tomorrow.

More later about the leg of lamb and some pictures I took of my poppyseed bread (just the prep bit). Enjoy!

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