I like my food, particularly meat. As much as I adore freshly grown vegetables and salad, I can’t do without meat. In the UK I can go to any supermarket or butchers shop and buy exactly the cut of meat I need for a particular recipe. Now here is the problem. When I buy meat in Latvia I have great difficulty in recognising which part of the animal the meat comes from. This is not unusual. I remember as an eleven year old going to buy meat with my dad in a market in Rovinj, a beautiful coastal town in the old Republic of Yugoslavia. We hadn’t a clue what we were looking at in front of us.
Now it is nearly 40 years since I left catering college and the nearest thing I got to butchering anything was trimming a rack of lamb. Undeterred and armed with a saw from a local diy shop and my trusty set of Global knives I decided to try butchering a whole lamb. Thanks to Dzons Brauns at Jokas Wines I found a local farmer producing what I hope is organic Lamb. I had forgotten how small lamb is. It only weighed 22 kg.
I persuaded Inta to let me have the dining table for the task, covered in a plastic sheet of course. Suitably armed with the tools of the trade and a diagram obtained from the internet, I set to and 3 hours later the freezer was full. All very uneventful really. I think I must be adapting to life in the Latvian countryside. However it has given me the confidence to try something bigger next time. Not a beef cow, which could be as heavy as 500-600 kg but a pig.
As a footnote we had some lamb chops last night and they were delicious.