The experiment for the week? A “lechon carnero” or whole roasted lamb! I have been waiting for months for the call from S&L Fine Foods that their young lambs from T&R Pastoral, Australia have arrived and the call finally came a couple of weeks ago! I have never roasted a whole lamb before, so this should be an interesting and possibly disastrous experiment… :)
The arrival of the large container of frozen lamb coincided with the opening of Sinan’s Butchery, right next door to La Brera and S&L Fine Foods, Inc. on Yakal Street in Makati. I like S&L a lot, both for personal consumption and for ingredients at Zubufoods, Inc. The combination of products, prices and service keep me coming back for more, hence their frequent mention on this blog… If you are curious, check out the new Sinan’s Butchery at the G/F Great Wall Building, 136 Yakal Street, San Antonio Village, Makati 1203. Telephone 632.846.0368.
A photo of the front of S&L, for folks who have been emailing me asking where it was and how it looked from the street. :)
At the moment, the butchery carries an amazing selection of cuts of excellent quality American beef from two main suppliers, Meyer Farms and the Nebraska Beef Company. They also carry lamb from Australia. According to Sinan, the proprietor, they are working on sources for chicken, duck and turkey as well. The meat cases are gleaming… the ribs, the osso buco, the t-bones… :)
And with real trained butchers on hand, you can have the meat cut to your specifications. If there is one thing that annoys me in groceries, it is the pre-cut meat/steaks that are a ridiculously thin (1/2 inch in many cases). At Sinan’s I purchased, porterhouses that were 2+ inches thick (and could have been thicker if desired), short ribs cut to my specs, really nice frenched lamb chops, etc.
These were the short ribs in original form…
…and cut up for slow braising that yielded an utterly spectacular stew. The best short ribs I have purchased in Manila in the past 10 years, definitely.
These are lamb’s kidneys and I have never tried cooking them before, so that will be another experiment…
Most customers would not be allowed in this inner cold room where carcasses are broken down with modern slicers, etc. And you have to wear plastic booties to cover your shoes, and a hat (which they forgot to remind to do on this visit) — but I was invited in to see the lamb that I was going to purchase, have shipped to Cebu, and experiment with roasting sometime this week. The lamb is sans head, and is sliced down it’s belly, so I don’t think this is going to be stuffed… more like basted with rosemary and garlic and olive oil perhaps… on a slow fire for several hours.
There were hundreds of whole lamb in the butchery’s freezers, and while you may not think locals consume much lamb, this stockpile will probably run out in a matter of weeks…
I have been consulting my cookbooks and can’t seem to find many recipes for roasting a whole lamb… I suppose it isn’t a common dish to do at home. If you have any great tips, please let me know. And yes, I will do a post on the roast lamb, triumph or disaster, later this week… :)