Saturday, May 30, 2009

Camel Seconds, Anyone?

The camel kebabs the other week were a pleasant success, but the "problem" with cutting those nicely-shaped cubes of meat is that the original steak or roast doesn't always lend itself to simple butchery.  Cutting around fat or muscle - for that perfect shape - can leave you with lots of bits and pieces.  Our camel proved to be a bit ornery on this point.

We had a fair bit of smaller or thinner pieces of meat left after the kebabs.  So, it became a question of "what now."  Camel sirloin is not one of the more cost-conscious cuts of meat at the grocery after all.  The remaining meat was being used.  Somehow.

As mentioned in the earlier blog, it's not that easy coming by recipes that specifically call for camel meat - particularly in English.  And I wasn't quite adventurous enough to just throw together a bit of a kitchen surprise, a la Iron Chef.  So, the thought process led to "why not adapt a recipe that already makes use of ingredients that might be de rigeur in the Middle East and environs?"

The end result?  Camel Curry.  I took a wander through Vij's cookbook, "Elegant & Inspired Indian Cuisine" and found what I thought might be a good starting point.  We've had this book in the kitchen for a couple of years now - but, like many a cookbook in our home - it looks like it's brand new.  I can be almost as bad at buying cookbooks as I am at buying wine.  But everyone raves about this book and Vikram Vij certainly came through for us here.

I settled on a pork recipe that incorporated figs and spinach.  Seemed like a reasonable pairing for the camel - and there's was lots of opportunity to throw in spices that sounded rather camel-esque.  Love that urfa pepper and zataar.

It then became a question of what to serve with it.  Should we look more at the red meat aspect of the dish or the spiciness of the curry?  Red or white?  We compromise and opened one of each to see which might work better.

64.  2007 Orofino Riesling (Similkameen - BC)

I loved this wine!  I've posted about Orofino earlier on in the blog, but we returned to try the riesling.  The wine had a touch of residual sugar - which I don't mind in with rieslings in general - and it matched nicely with the spice of the curry and the fruitiness of the fig in the dish.

65.  2007 Concho y Toro Casillero del Diablo Reserva Merlot (Rapel Valley - Chile)

Just a simple, every day, drinkable wine.  Concha y Toro has quite a pedigree as a Chilean winery that produces good value.

The merlot wasn't a bad match for the camel curry, but the riesling was the better of the two wines for me.  Both for the dish and for drinking in general.  Give me another bottle like that and I'll be a happy Bob.

PS.  I shouldn't be surprised about the Orofino riesling, however.  I just Googled the wine and saw that this vintage, as well as the 2006 and recent 2008, all won gold medals at that All Canadian Wine Awards.

No comments:

Post a Comment