Monday, April 30, 2012
I’ve mentioned in the past that I really love getting gifts. Books, jewelry, scarves....it’s all good. But what I really love to get is food. While a box of chocolates is nice, it’s always better when it’s something I don’t expect. And the best is when it’s something I’d almost never head out the door to buy myself.
Take, for instance, the lamb’s head I got last week as a gift. No. It didn’t come in a box with a ribbon. I was at the Farmer’s market and had just bought various cuts of lamb and chicken to see us through the next couple of weeks. It was a Sunday afternoon, and the market was due to close in an hour. Which is why, I guess, the farmer lady asked me if she could give me a lamb’s head.
Well, yes, you can. Thank you very much.
I love a challenge, and thought I could pretty much figure out what to do with a lamb's head. But to be on the safe side, I asked the farmer and she gave me this super simple recipe.
The cooking part of things couldn’t have been easier. The photographing it for you all part of things? Not so much. How do you photograph a lamb’s head without it looking all pathetic? Actually, without it looking at all? (the whole face thing, you know)
And before any of you get all “ew” (or should I say ewe?) on me, stop right now. If you’re going to have the lamb chops, and the lamb roast and the leg of lamb, what do you think happens to the head? I’m really happy that the farmer didn’t want any cut of meat to go to waste, and was thrilled to finally try something I’d never had before.
And just in case you’re wondering, yes, there is meat on the head. Actually, most of what we ended up enjoying was the brain and the tongue. As well as bits of tender meat here and there.
So it wasn’t a huge amount of meat, but what was there was incredibly flavorful, and went perfectly with the roasted potatoes that made up the bulk of the dish, themselves infused with the lamb juices and herbs.
Next week I”m headed back to the Farmer’s market, but this time I’ll stop by the pork stand. I’m not holding out hope for the gift of a pig’s head, but maybe a nice piece of pork liver? I wouldn’t want it to go to waste.
Roast Lamb’s Head
1 small lamb’s head, split in two
3/4 pound potatoes
rosemary, 1/4 cup chopped
sage, 2 tablespoons chopped
salt & pepper
Preheat oven to 350F/ 180C
Peel and cut the potatoes into chunks, and place in a pan large enough to hold the potatoes in one layer. Place the lamb's heads on top, cut side up.
Drizzle liberally with olive oil, and rub all over head and potatoes. Sprinkle everything with salt and pepper, and add herbs so that everything is coated.
Cover pan with tin foil and place in oven for about an hour.