THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO FOOD
What? Blasphemy? Not at all, my child. Please, read on…
Bloody hell. It is seriously cold today. I will have to keep typing just to ensure my fingers don’t get frostbite. It’s so cold I’m pretty sure I just saw a brass monkey coming out of a welding shop. If I was a uni student I would probably be a bit warmer due to my vast collection of scarves, but alas I am not.
And it’s wet. This is a picture of the rain coming into my backyard. Cheeky rain.
The ducks seem to like it though… yep. Those same ducklings that I was meant to kill a couple of months ago are ducks now. I don’t know what happened there. One day I was going to kill them tomorrow, and then the next day was almost two months later. Now I’m not into conspiracy theories but that’s some weird shit right there (not the point of the story though, I know)…
I think the only thing that could see me through today is a nice big pot of warm-the-very-cockles-of-you-heart, soul warming (getting to the point now eh) goodness. Yep. They don’t teach you about that religion in school do they? Comforting to the soul, taking you to a better place, it’s ‘the gospel of food’.
Spread the good word. It’s time to repent people. Eternal salvation can still be yours.
Form your own ‘church’. The only prerequisite (and this cannot waver) being you have a great big pot of soul warming goodness (if cooked by your mother, or even better, your grandmother, will ensure an even deeper religious experience) that has been cooked over a low heat for at least half a day. For the simple folk out there, that means on at lunchtime to be eaten at dinner. Wash it down with plenty of good wine, and share it with a heap of good company. The only problem now is to decided which ‘church of soul warming goodness’ you want to be a part of?
The sacred pot of fiery chilli?
The holy chapter of the slow braised lamb?
The enlightened circle of my nana Rose’s pea and ham soup?
Now you’re talking. Can I get a hallelujah? HALLELUJA!
But today I will be turning my hymnbook to the pages of the lamb shank tagine, a truly enlightening experience.
A dish that may normally be cooked with chickpeas and dates or apricots, but today will find itself rewired (transvestite style) with a French twist a ‘la ratatouille, and du puy lentils. It’s not that I don’t like chickpeas, it’s just that I can’t go past du puy lentils at the moment. Effing little legendary things they are.
LAMB SHANK TAGINE ‘RATATOUILLE’ with DU PUY LENTILS (for four)
5 lamb shanks (that means there is an extra one for me)
2 brown onion, peeled and diced
1 zucchini, diced
½ eggplant, diced
5 cloves garlic, peeled and bruised with the flat of a knife
2 bay leaves
1 cinnamon quill
1 tspn each toasted coriander seed, toasted cumin seed, paprika and dried thyme
1 tin crushed tomato
1 tin du puy or green lentils
Cous-cous, cooked to packet instructions (try corn cous-cous if you are gluten intolerant), and natural yoghurt to serve
- Get a bit of colour on your lamb and veges. Put them in a tagine dish or oven proof pot and bake them at 180C for 20 minutes
- Add all other ingredients, cover and bake at 180C-ish for 2 or so hours
- You should be able to smell it by now, and it should smell good. Really good ARE YOU FEELIN’ A RELIGIOUS MOMENT??? No? Well put it back in the oven for 20minutes. When it comes out it should be falling from the bone like the holy angels fell from the heavens
- And then, when you take the lid from your tagine, you will see the light
- Go toward the light, toward the light… aah. Food really is the best shit ever…
- If you come back from the light serve the lamb with cous-cous and yoghurt
See you on Sunday. Amen.