Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Cook Like A Bastard - Episode 1: Lamb Saag


(From the rather crap picture, this looks quite minging, but I assure you it is not. God dammit, I'm celebrity-journalist-chef, not a photographer)

Konichiwa, bitches. I read an article not long ago that said that precisely one quarter of Britons (that's a metric quarter, not Imperial) can't cook a meal from scratch, and the other 75 per cent have trouble with anything more complicated than spag bol. "Holy shit!" I thought "Can my countrymen really be that dense? I bet the French don't have this problem."

Contrary to popular belief, cooking is easy. In fact, it can be piss-easy. All you really have to be able to do is follow a simple set of instructions. In essence, as a wise but crude man once said, and I paraphrase: "All you have to do to succeed is not be a mong." Are you a mong? Yes? Well, Cook Like A Mong is next door. This is Cook Like A Bastard.

Cook Like A Bastard is the most important event in culinary history. Gordon Ramsay can swear, sure, but can he swear as well as me? Gordon Ramsay makes talk that we do not care to understand. I will give it to you straight, idiot-style, and thereby drag you kicking and screaming out of the gastronomic muck.

I remember a time when also when I couldn't rustle up grub to save my life, and was content to eat Chicken Mcnuggets morning noon and night. I called it "childhood". Now that I am a grown up however, I must be able to prepare my own food.

As a man, there are only really two types of meals that you need to be able to make:
1) Meals to seduce.
2) Meals that you make because you want to eat them.
Today's recipe falls firmly into the latter category.

I pretty much learned to cook so I could cook curry. Curry is, as has been observed often by rational men around the globe, the greatest foodstuff in existence. It comes in many forms, but my current favourite is this delicious Saag Gosht (literally, spinach lamb). It is minty, herby, and leafy. "But hey!" I hear you cry. "Minty, herby and leafy! That sounds like the sort of pretentious shit that celebrity chefs always spin! I thought you were going to give it to us straight, Dee Oh Double Gee!" Well, listen up suckers, I am giving you this straight. The main ingredients are mint, herbs and leaves, therefore it is minty, herby and leafy. I speak the truth, straight into your mind-sponge.

So if you want to make a curry fit for Lenin himself, just follow these simple steps. Go ahead, it's not rocket surgery!

INGREDIENTS: Many chefs will start a recipe by saying "I only work with the finest ingredients". Good for you, shitbird, but until the book people give me the money I'm due, I will have to make do with the cheapest. Anyhoo, all you need is:

500g Lamb fillets (or chicken, if you are poor or unimaginative)
1 large onion, chopped fine
1 bunch of spinach leaves, roughly chopped
1 tub of fresh cream, 300ml ought to do it
Ghee if you can find it anywhere, otherwise oil

FOR THE MARINADE: chop up the lamb and stick it in a tupperware container overnight with the following:
2 tsp of garam masala
1 tsp of cumin powder
1 tsp of turmeric powder
Pinch of salt
2 green chilis, or more if you are an ultimate badass
1/2 cup of mint leaves
1/2 cup of coriander leaves
4 cloves of garlic, mashed
1" piece of ginger, chopped or ground
1 cinnamon stick

1) When working with meat, it is imperative that you start the night before so you can leave it to marinade for exactly 24 hours. Anything less will not give you a complete food experience. White people, with the exceptions of the ostentatious French and the Fascism-prone Italians, never marinade anything. This is wrong, wrong, wrong. This is why the British have a reputation for bland food. So take all the stuff for the marinade, chop it up together with the lamb and leave that bad boy in the fridge. If you possibly can, mortar and pestle spices and leaves into a paste, if not, roughly chop everything, chances are it will dissolve during cooking anyway.

2) Heat the ghee, or more probably oil, in a wide, flat bottomed pan. Some people like to add the meat first, but I tend to always start with the onions, because I like mine crispy. I'm a barbarian that way. So slam the onions in with the garlic and fry them for a minute or two.

3) Add the meat and marinade. Stir fry until the meat is sealed, and then some. Should be about 5 minutes (that's metric minutes, not Imperial).

4) Now it's time to plop in that cream and shortly thereafter, the spinach. Drop the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes.

5) When the spinach has broken down and dissolved, the sauce is a thick and luxuriant green, and the lamb dark and enticing SERVE THAT FUCKER RIGHT THE FUCK UP with pilau rice and naan bread. Drink a fine Indian beer with it, or if pressed, shit domestic piss.

6) I am king.

I hope you have enjoyed this introductory session of Cook Like A Bastard. That will be £50 please.

If Gordon Ramsay comes around here, I will choke-slam him through a table and put him in the beast choker until his balls burst and his eyes pop out his fucking skull.

4 comments:

n/a said...

I actually thought about doing some cooking blogging. Trouble is, I "improvise" rather than "cook". I'm not sure I'd be able to impart much knowledge beyond "Look at this tasty shit, fucker, omnomnomnomnom!".

Cooking is a lot like songwriting for me. It's a creative thing, except it's wonderfully self-contained. You start when you get home from work, you try some stuff out, but you can't procrastinate like your inner perfectionist wants you to because you're fucking hungry, so you've gotta be done before you digest yourself. Then, once you're done you get to enjoy the results!

Saag Gosht is actually amongst my favourite things to eat. Unfortunately, I haven't got round to making it yet because doing it right requires planning ahead - which is kind of anathema to my cooking technique. I do enough planning at work, and I like a bit of spontaneity in my kitchen.

I salute you, sir! OMNOMNOM!

Iain G

C7 said...

Thank you for posting this. I'll have to give it a try sometime. I've been coasting on Japanese curry till recently, which, though I appreciate, is just not the same. But then my father married a Laotian woman and opened a Thai restaurant, though not in that order. So I've had some help there as well.

Looking forward to eating curry in the UK. And yes, when I get my pickup, you should come and we can listen to country. I wonder if Kaki will ever forgive America for her airport experience.

gwen_fm said...

This recipe sounds pretty tasty and mint is slowly taking over my flat so this is ideal, but is that a metric cup or an imperial one?

Blackwood said...

The cups are in Biblical measurements, so one cup equals about 3 1/2 squared cubits.