My families favourite meat is lamb.
Lamb roast is what we grew up on.
However lamb is not an economy option anymore.Even the shanks are about $9 a kilo now that they're trendy, and lets face it, they're mostly bone anyway! so when I saw the price of these lamb breasts I just couldn't pass them by. $2 a kilo! That is completely ridiculous.
Are you unfamiliar with this particular cut of meat? It's a budget cut, part of the forequarter and is the flappy bit containing the ribs with a layer of fat and meat. Also know as lamb flap or belly. Sometimes just sold for dog meat. Woollies has been cleverly selling them off cut into pieces as lamb riblets, for only about $4 a kilo, but they are still fairly fatty.
The secret is that the meat is so delicious. You just need to remove the fat. You can cook the whole thing long and slow, and render most of it out that way, or cook it on the BBQ high and crispy and just cut it off, but it's still there. The best thing to do is just remove it.
You need good knife and a little bit of time.
Slide your knife in between the rib bones and the meat. Cut as close as you can to the bone to not waste any meat.
Next cut along the layer of fat that rests on this meat. Sometimes you can actually pull it off by prising the two parts apart.
I really like the papery sort of skin on the outside, so I next trim that off as thinly as possible from the fat as well.
Now, lets put the jigsaw back together!
Place the meat down on the board and patch any bits that are thin or even a bit empty, with other pieces of meat.
Scatter on some gfree bread crumbs or feel free to make a real stuffing. I just didn't have any handy. I also sprinkled on some spice powder.
Lay on some blanched vegetables. I do this by just trimming up the veggies then pouring boiling water over them in a bowl. Sit for about 30 seconds then drain. Easy peasy.
I had also grilled a capsicum to lay on the meat first, but forgot it! It sure would have looked pretty though.
Now roll the whole thing up.
Wrap the little bundle in the saved skin as that will protect the meat and go nice and crispy. Tie with some string to keep a good shape.
Bake at about 180* until nice and brown and crispy.
Rest for a bit then remove string and cut into rounds, so you can see the pretty layers of meat and veggies. You can see that there is really hardly any fat in the roll at all now. Just enough to baste the meat while it cooked.
This whole exercise cost less than $1 a serve. That's pretty darn good for decent protein. It also looks really pretty and I would be happy to serve that to company. Served with a big pile of mashed potatoes and some gravy I still think it would come in at less than $1.50 per head. For a whole main course. Not too bad don't you think?
So Reader, what's your best budget beater recipe or tip?