Thursday, April 27, 2006

Lamb Cutlets & Red Wine.

Uploaded by Bergen. This is not the lamb cutlets I've got in my freezer. It's taken from a food website. The picture is to fulfil the request from AuntyN.

Whenever a recipe calls for red wine in a sauce, just go for ribena or any blackcurrant drink. You can safely bet your left ear that no one will ever know the difference. Not even the most senior members of a gastronomie connoisseur club. The moral of the story is, at least from where I am cooking which is my kitchen, red wine or any wine in a cooking doesn't significantly enhance to making the dish more tasty. I didn't learn this trick. Someone taught me, a Michelin chef, a true blue Frenchman, a Muslim convert who used to work in one of the five star hotels in this fine city of KerlaLeempoor. Don't look him up. He left the city years ago which is why I believe it is quite safe for me to write about him here. Let's hope he's not coming back to handle the same hotel and the same kitchen crew or else people are going to know. Better still, let's hope there's no big names in hospitality industry reading this entry.

In a month my friend poured down the drain cases and cases of high quality wines which the hotel had rationed for him to use in his cooking. He'd do this discreetly so you won't know. For effect, he would place a half empty bottle of wine in the work area so you'd figure, oh yea he's using the wine that's why his food is delicious. The truth is, it's the blackcurrant drink. And we laughed so hard coffee came out of our noses like a musical fountain.

Now let's get back to the lamb cutlets.

A butcher at a wet market...I won't tell you which wet market because I want this butcher to remain ignorant so I can buy the cutlets from him at least until next year at Rm14.00 per kg. I won't tell him that MAS serves cutlets to its first-class passengers. And I won't tell him that cutlets usually cost about Rm40.00 per kg. And most of all I will never never tell him, not even if you tie my hand in the back, put me in a chair under a lightbulb, that I can sell a high-class cutlet dish for Rm35.00 apiece, wine and Rydell glasses not included.

To produce the cutlets, you need to know a thing or two about loin and non-loin section of a carcass. Obviously the butcher in question doesn't know. Which is good. Every portion of the carcass to him is just meat when cut into 1 inch cubes for curry. I saw him worked on a whole leg of lamb this way. He asked whether I was there to watch him at work or else I had better get moving before he showed me what he could do with a heavy cleaver.

How much for the backbone?

The backbone in question came attached with the tenderloin intact. I rushed home to work on it with my knives. Cleaning the section of the bone that curves like C to come up with 14 pieces of cutlets shaped neatly into a 6.

Rushed to Tesco to get some rosemary, coriander leaves, and mint. And blackcurrant juice. Rushed back to the house feeling slightly disappointed because SHE wasn't there. I had hoped to meet her so I could invite her and her family (hopefully she's a single mother) for a meal.

In the end I had four pieces of cutlets. The rest I put in the freezer, maybe for another meal with someone.

What's good 14 pieces of cutlets if you don't have someone to share them with?

Next entry: Tenderloin, striploin, sirloin, T-bone, ribeye, Kobe beef, white veal and all things beef.


Blogger anedra said...

I am slightly insulted. All this talk on those scrumptious lamb cutlets, and 14 pieces to spare..and you don't know who to share it with?

What are we here for? If not for the lamb cutlets? We'll even come in green baju kurung (hehe)

4:22 PM  
Blogger Mama Rock said...

yup. all the talk about food is making me hungry - and to the freezer it goes? pelawa la sikit :)

4:53 PM  
Blogger AuntieYan. said...

When you decide to 'settle' the rest of the remaining cutlets and you don't have company....he!...he!..Aunties are ready to do so....:-)

4:55 PM  
Blogger AuntyN said...

Bubuh gambaq sekali la En Bergen oi. Baghu buleh meleleh ayaq lioq kami semua tgk.

See, you should now know when I am drooling I will go full force into Penang slang :-)

save the cutlet until I can come down to KL. I can sure keep you company, hehehe *unshamefully inviting myself*

4:59 PM  
Blogger bergen said...

Anedra: You can come in the Matrix coat with shades, ma'am. LOL. Although green baju kurung is a good idea.

Mama Rock: Lemme me defrost 'em first.

AuntieYan: I'll keep that in mind. I will either email you or run the mesage on the news bar during primetime news.

AuntyN: I've uploaded the picture. LOL. You sound very northern when you are hungry. Are all northern people like this? LOL.

5:18 PM  
Blogger A Babe Of Very Little Brain said... and if you continue writing about food, it is best if i take a break from hopping into your blog.

in any case, i love all things kambing and lamb. must be my middle-eastern roots. Hah!

5:32 PM  
Blogger Noni said...

alamak... as yummylicious as Berg is making it out to be... lamb makes my blood go upstairs... Do u take orders chef Bergen? can u do fish? Then I'll join Anedra green baju kurung all intact...

5:43 PM  
Blogger anedra said...

tumpang lalu bergen.

noni..yeah, green baju kurung. we'll call it, "the return of the green ladies". haha!

berg-it's an stf thing

5:48 PM  
Blogger Nour said...

wow..yummy-licious, now I'm hungry!

8:48 PM  
Blogger maklang said...

Poskan aje ke mari...Kena express pos and then hantar masa dia beku. By the time it reaches here, heatkan sekejap and kami boleh makan. Tak payah dah nak masak...

Who said you've got no one to share it with...there's so may of us waiting...

Thanks for the tip of the ribena & blackcurrant..*wink*

8:50 PM  
Blogger marina said...

tenderloin, striploin, sirloin, loincloth?? hehehe... kidding.

9:39 PM  
Blogger Em said...


If you masak sum,please fedex to me 2 portions ok

10:01 PM  
Blogger aalborg said...

Ai-yAM such a no-red-meat-eater. But I would not mind having one of your cutlets.

But I dunnolah your friend. Rather than pouring out those expensive wine, why not bootleg them?

11:03 PM  
Blogger AuntyN said...

Thanks for the picture.Mak oi, memang tak tahan, ayaq lioq meleleh sampai dagu ni hehehe.

Don't you know that we Northerners memang suka makan? Where do you think the kedai mamak nasi kandar started from?

Tumpang lalu to Anedra and Noni.

Those coming here with Baju Kurung hijau tu dah 4 orang kat sini ni(Anedra, Noni, Auntie Yan and Aunty N)

11:24 PM  
Blogger UglyButAdorable said...

marvellous..sedap..gave up eatin at the french fine dining where i work coz from main course sampai dessert ader alcohol in it, chef sendiri yg inform. dulu tau buat tak tau..skrg tak leh la nak ignorant lagi.. so kalau kalau ader lagie..share la skit..

12:49 AM  
Blogger anggerik merah said...

Look so yummy

2:21 AM  
Blogger Mama Sarah said...

how do you like your meat, SIR Bergen? Well done, medium or rare?

p/s: Sorry about the previous confusion. Am very clear now. and GOT your message with the word 'SHE' all in capital letters. Saya budak baru belajar.

5:38 AM  
Blogger dee3 said...


talk about food in the morning {equals} thinking about food the whole day...

nak recipe, boleh? bila nak buat tu, wallahualam. but at least the recipe's there to try out, right?

and the ribena and blackcurrant thingy. kena bancuh ribena dulu ke guna pati dia? if juice were used, then just pour in the juices?

i dunno if others have tried 'ribena 7-up'. it's superb (and simple too) heh :)

back to the recipe... boleh ke? *grins*

8:56 AM  
Blogger Queen Of The House said...

Oh wow, I have been using Ribena all along and I thought it was a clever 'substitution invention' on my part. Didn't know Michelin chefs do that too.
Anyway, last night I saw Nigella Lawson cooking lamb cutlets, and this morning I'm reading this entry. I have a feeling I would be shopping for lamb cutlets later today :)

9:48 AM  
Anonymous hemu2 said...

bergen, i'm with noni, gotta stay away from lamb/mutton.. the baju kurung a must?

10:01 AM  
Blogger tee said...

waaa... u r sure a multi tasking guy... have u tried cooking de 'kepala kambing' mom does that during my son's akikah.. masak kuzi... yummy...

10:19 AM  
Blogger Ms.B said...

Ribena to sub the red wine. Whaddaya know. The girl who can't cook to save her soul learns a thing or two from the oilman who's a homemaker now. You put me to the lowest level of shame, reading these culinary entries. *sobs* But I wouldn't mind a little cutlet out of the 14 you have, bergman. *winks*

10:43 AM  
Blogger bergen said...

Xaviera: Blog hopping can can actually help you lose weight (LOL). I mean all the hopping will naturally burn some calories. Right? Are you a sharifah?

Noni: Yes, ma'am. I do fish too. Asam pedas salmon is good. It's simple and you can never go wrong with asam pedas, right? I've found this one - watercrest sauce. Haven't tried it. I bet it goes well with halibut. Or siakap.

Anedra: STF thing must be something very comrade thing. BTW is green baju kurung the standard uniform for STF? What kind of green? Olive green? Moss green? Banana leave green? Green as in green? LOL.

Nour: Your latest entry on Italian food made me want to try something Italian this weekend. Haven't figured out yet.

Maklang: Better still, with the new highway, I'll drive down myself. Personal service for Maklang of Kertih. Provided on the way back you tapau for me your famous nasi briyani. Deal?

Marina: That's a whole lotta loin goin' on. LOL.

EM: Two portions? Wow. And Fedex me your mom's fish curry. Deal?

Ailin: Now, why didn't we think of that? Where were you when we needed your advice? LOL. Oh, you were probably at school.

AuntyN: Four grand ladies in green baju kurung and lamb cutlets. A good title for a song, or an evening series. Call it, Baju Kurung And Lamb Cutlets.

UBA: Yes, ma'am. Most restaurants use wines. A lot of Muslim patrons don't know this. I guess a lot of them don't mind as long as there's no pork in it.

Anggerik Merah: Look can be deceiving, ma'am. Don't judge a lamb cutlet by its look. LOL.

Mama Sarah: I prefer my meat medium rare, ma'am. It's the best way to enjoy meat. Anything beyond this is as good as charcoal.

Dee3: Dilute it first and work from there by tasting it as you go along. It's safer this way.

OATH: You are ahead of others in culinary knowledge, ma'am. Perhaps you should with us other discoveries you have made in your kitchen. Promise?

Hemu2: I believe this baju kurung thing is a secret pact that I'm not involved in. I a srictly samurai suit guy. LOL.

Tee: The Arab do this too, cooking the head in a big pot half a day. It's a delicacy. But as kuzi, I haven't tried it. Kuzi is a grand Terengganu dish influenced by the Arab. It goes very well with lamb.

To everyone who came in and participated in this entry, thank you very much. Don't think about food too much or it'll get to you in ways that'll surprise you.

Thank you, and have a nice day.

To all mothers, Happy Mother's day.
And Happy Labor day too.

10:52 AM  
Blogger thinktankgal said...

As are torturing me with the food talk and now pictures!!! WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA :D

12:15 PM  
Blogger RedKebaya said...

adeh... talk 'bout any other red meat and i'd surely walk away w/out a moments hesitation but LAMB - juicy muicy yummy cutlets summore!!!!!! lol bak mai sini skit la bergen ooi, ayaq lioq dah meleleh nie :)

8:56 PM  
Blogger Em said...


The Ikan Kurau Kering Curry is it...Ohhh that dish is divine mate... Yummy yummy...

Boleh lah tu...Deal ah...

9:09 PM  
Blogger kenakelayan said...

Brilliant tip, thank you have been wondering about a red wine substitute for a while now. :D

3:43 AM  

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