Salad of lamb’s liver, rocket, quince, onion, rocket, crutons, walnuts
Lamb’s liver: flash fried.
Quince: poached in red wine and cinnamon.
Onion: slow fried with Sherry.
Crutons: fried with mustard and cider vinegar.
Plus rocket, sage leaves, roasted walnuts, and balsamic vinegar.
Just a slight divergence from the classic combinations, and they all worked well together.
Braised lamb shoulder with puy lentils and celery
Lamb shoulder and classic aromatics (onion, celery, carrot) fried off before a little tomato passata, duck stock, puy lentils, garlic, bay and thyme were added. Oven-braised at about 170°C (340°F) for a few hours. The braising liquid was then strained off and reduced (in which the celery was par-braised to al dente) with rosemary. Classically delicious. A ceramic casserole dish makes an incredible difference!
The lightness (12.5% abv) of Bernard Baudry’s Chinon Franc de Pied 2003 was perfectly balanced with the lamb shoulder dish, even if the acidity was a little high in pairing the dish for me. The wine was fantastic: integrated red fruits verging on plum, touches of woody leather/polish, good balance with slightly resolved (yet still pleasantly astringent) tannins and a slightly rounded palate.
A refractometer can be a lot faster to use than a hydrometer for measuring the sugar concentration of liquids.
I welcomed the suggestion to add basil to the strawberry and rhubarb juice. A small-handful (a few sprigs) of sweet basil was juiced with the fruit, and was more than sufficient (for the 600 ml of juice) to provide a green-herbal edge with just a touch of anise, creating an interesting variation on the strawberry-rhubarb flavour. I’d do this again, though with slightly less basil next time.