Australian-English is my first language. My only language. However, I did believe my grasp of the international-food patois would enable me to dine around the world. I can pronounce chah-bah-tah (ciabatta), broo-sket-uh (bruschetta). I can order in many languages… Laksa, Spatzle, Biryani, Pho, Pad See Ew, etc… See, takeaway menus are educational. I even know, but I’m not sure how, gamberetti are prawns/shrimp. Possibly because I have read every, and own most of Marlena de Blasi books, and whole swag of other pick-up-your-life-move-to-Europe, grow stuff and eat-drink it novels.
What eventuated after our His n’ Hers Saturday grocery shopping suggests I still have a ways to go… On Saturday, at Lamonica IGA, I chose a nice little lamb roast, enough for dinner Sunday night and Monday night roast leftovers, or so I thought.
Midway through Sunday afternoon, I checked the weight of the roast with a view to timing the slow bake process. “Capretto”, I remarked to the G.O., “do you think it’s the cut?” But, even as I was saying the words, the dots were joining. “It’s quite small, isn’t it, even for a lamb roast?” as my fingers automatically clicked up Google search and entered the term.
Oh dear. Capretto. Kid. Baby goat. Oooh. Not what I’d intended. Funny how these things work, only days before, instigated by I can’t remember what, the G.O. and I had a ‘goat as food’ conversation – I’d eaten it more than 20 years ago in Fiji as a curry, and liked it well enough, but not in my food culture so never bothered with it. The G.O. had eaten it while working in the outback, on a catch & eat basis, baked over a fire, similarly 20+ years before.
So no taboo for us, just no idea how to cook it or with what. Google again. Look through the pantry cupboard and fridge. Confer with the G.O. Cobble together a cooking plan based on ingredients to hand and several on-line recipes.
Inspired by Celia of Fig Jam and Lime Cordial’s In My Kitchen post recently I had cast my mind over my own kitchen, and came up with… boring. Plus, I don’t usually do foodie posts but given my unintentional purchase, I offer up:
His n’ Hers Baked Capretto
1.150 kg Capretto leg
Approx. 1 cup of pitted green olives.
I used half Sicilian green olives, and half fresh deli green olives stuffed with fetta, plus the remaining dressing.
A few shakes of onion flakes
Big pinch of white pepper
Big pinch of mixed herbs
Big pinch of chilli flakes
1 tablespoon raw sugar
1 cup chicken stock
Big splash of olive oil
½ cup white wine
¼ large lemon squeezed
3 garlic cloves (in this instance they came in the deli olives)
½ kg baby potatoes not peeled, thinly sliced
In a plastic container that seals well, add all the ingredients (including the ¼ lemon rind), except the potatoes. Marinate for as long as you can, tossing from time to time. We marinated ours for 1 hour in the fridge and ½ an hour on the bench just prior to cooking.
When ready to cook, place the sliced potatoes evenly around the base of an oiled heavy casserole dish which has a lid.
Place the Capretto leg on top of the potatoes, and pack the cuts with the olives and drizzle the marinade over it and the potatoes (omitting the ¼ lemon rind).
Place in a cold oven, set for 160 degrees Celsius fan forced oven and cook for 2.75 hours, turning after 1.5 hours.
Remove Capretto leg and place on warm plate on cook-top to rest.
Drain pan juices into stainless steel jug or small saucepan.
Return potatoes to warm but turned off oven to finish for approx 20 mins while the meat is resting.
Add small amount of flour to pan juices and whisk. Reheat to warm and thicken slightly before serving.
Our side dish was fresh green beans & shallots, sliced and briefly sautéed in butter & white wine, lightly seasoned with white pepper.
We had a bit of everything left over, enough for Monday night dinner supplemented with an ad hoc bread salad.
Good sized ripe tomato roughly chopped (with juices)
2 slices white Italian loaf, slightly toasted, cubed
Handful of cubed Provolone Dolce
Left over green beans with shallots, slightly warmed
Sea salt, raw sugar to taste
Toss ingredients together in bowl 10 mins before serving.
The rest of the N.Z. Monkey Bay Pinot Gris I used in the marinade was a perfect accompaniment.