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Friday, May 31, 2013

COMPLEXIÓN AN EXTRAORDINARY BREAST OF LAMB FOR GOOD HUMORS


Gazelle
Photo from: Shoayb Hesham
O Cast complisión, Eng. complexion, “the blending of the qualities” each humor produces; the complexion or total of its components determines the quality of the body in medieval physiology. Humors are produced by the four elements: the earth, water, fire, air. The humor blood creates hot and moist qualities resulting in a sanguine temperament of the complexion. The phlegm produces cold and moist resulting in the phlegmatic component. Yellow or green bile make hot and dry resulting in choleric. The percentages of these factors vary according to the year, day, time and hour of birth, the quantity and complexion of the humors of the food ingested, etc. A person in whom the blood humor dominates, for example, has a ‘sanguine temperament’ or ‘Sovereignty’. Black bile in cod produces dry results in the melancholic factor.

The humors of lamb and mutton were considered more compatible for humans than goat. The female goat was favored over the male while a male sheep was thought to have a better “complexion” than the female. A medieval noble hunting deer, for example, would kill a female before the male because its black bile is not as thick. The gazelle was the preferred game as it is hot and dry.  [Drummond. 1964:65-66; and Gázquez. Cocina. 2002:153:222]

ANOTHER EXTRAORDINARY LAMB BREAST ADAPTED FROM HUICI’S TRANSLATION OF ANÓN AL.ANDALUS #34. OTRO COSTADO EXTRAORDINARIO, p 32

Pounding Cilantro to Make Juice
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Ingredients


1 lb lamb plus bones
150 ml vinegar
300 ml red wine
¼ c oiive oil
6 sprigs cilantro
3 sprigs mint
3 sprigs thyme
1 onion
1 tsp murri[1]

Garnish:
1 tsp cinnamon

Preparation

Take the breast of a plump lamb and cook it in vinegar until it is done (if using a pressure cooker 10-15 minutes). Then remove it and strain the meat saving the juice.

A Uniquely Tasty Dish for Lamb Lovers
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Chop the cilantro and then put it in a food processor or a mortar. Add ½ c water and turn the food processor on high or mash the cilantro in the mortar with the water.

Heat a large frying pan and pour in oil. cilantro juice, mint, thyme, murri [2] and a whole, skinned onion; when its flavor is discernible, remove the onion out and add the lamb. Fry it until the sides are browned. Then with cinnamon and cut it up. Instead of frying the lamb may be cooked in the oven.

THE SPANISH MEDIEVAL CHEF’S ADDITION: pour the remaining juice into a measuring cup. Add enough water to measure 1 cup. Add 1 tbsp flour to the olive oil in the frying pan, stirring constantly until smooth. Slowly add the cup of liquid, stirring constantly until it thickens. Serve with the lamb. This is the right touch to prevent the lamb from being a little dry.  Also, a mint sauce can accompany it.


[1] See blog titled al-murri, published August 25, 2011.
[2] The original recipe calls for sprinkling murrio ver the lamb just befote serving but by adding it while frying enhances the flavor of the lamb more.

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