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Old 27th March 2013, 11:41   #826
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Isn't the mutton we buy Lamb ? ...
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Mutton in India is Goat not Lamb.
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... In Kashmir, it seems mutton is almost always sheep meat.
Easy to make out who is from South India, and who is from North India.

Mutton in North India is predominantly goat - @Windride tried explaining the reason for it.

'Mutton' in the 4 southern states is predominantly sheep ('kuri mamsa' in Karnataka). So much so that North Indians have to ask the butcher specifically for goat meat - ('meke' or 'maykay mamsa'). The most famous sheep variety is the Bannur from Karnataka.

The biggest problem is the strong 'wild' smell in the sheep mutton or 'lamb' (as it is called outside India). This makes everyone cook it longer than necessary, making the cooked meat tough. The antidote in southern Andhra and Karnataka is to overload it with chillies and spices to drown out that 'aroma', which is why the 'Bangalore' biryani always comes with a caution for the next morning.

Outside India, 'lamb' is dominant - Australian and New Zealand varieties. In US, all the supply of (goat) mutton comes from the Toronto and Vancouver areas (not difficult to know why). If the border guys find an Indian at the wheel of a car coming from Canada, the invariable question is "Are you bringing bokra (bakra) meat?". All along the Mediterranean coast it is (goat) mutton and not 'lamb'. In France/Spain/Italy, there is more goat than sheep. In Japan, one hardly ever finds lamb - they can't figure out how to handle the 'aroma'!
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Old 27th March 2013, 11:58   #827
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One way iam told you can identify the animal is to observe the tail of the carcass hanging at the butcher's. If its short and thick, its sheep. Long and thin, then goat.

I always thought iam buying goat.. will observe the tail section carefully from now on

Last edited by WindRide : 27th March 2013 at 12:00.
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Old 28th March 2013, 13:41   #828
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Goat has practically no smell, but requires longer cooking time. Hence it makes for excellent slow cooked curries.

Sheep meat has a strong smell,but has more fat and cooks much faster (less than 1/2 the time. Ideal for Biryani. The fat adds a lot to the taste of the dish.

I remember reading and article, may be it was Vir Sangvi in HT, how Goat came to be called Mutton in India. It was simply done to mislead the foreigners, who at times had reservation in eating Goat.
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Old 28th March 2013, 13:56   #829
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...It was simply done to mislead the foreigners, who at times had reservation in eating Goat.
Any idea why goat meat is very hard to find any more in the UK?
I find it strange, because the traditional Shepherds' Pie was made with goat meat.
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Old 28th March 2013, 16:29   #830
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Any idea why goat meat is very hard to find any more in the UK?
I find it strange, because the traditional Shepherds' Pie was made with goat meat.
No idea, may be that people are moving away from elaborate home cooking to ready to eat stuff. Here are some links to goat meat in UK

http://www.chestnutmeats.co.uk/
http://www.goat-meat.co.uk/meat.html
http://www.cabritogoatmeat.co.uk/
http://www.goateejoe.co.uk/goat-meat-products.htm
("goat meat UK" will get you lots of hits in Google)
Looking at prices, I would say that goat meat has priced itself out of the common man's reach
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Old 28th March 2013, 16:36   #831
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Any idea why goat meat is very hard to find any more in the UK? ...
Mathur-sab, are you referring to the meat of indigenous goats in UK, or goat meat in general? Plenty of goat meat is available with the sub-continental grocers (African import, like bhindi, fresh coriander etc.; not indigenous UK origin).

Shepherd's Pie and Goat Meat? Haven't heard of Goat Cheese in the context of UK either, so I am not sure.
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Old 31st March 2013, 00:08   #832
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I found a couple of spotted cod at a store.
I got them home, cleaned then and applied some lemon, salt and pepper.
Now I have not cooked or eaten this fish before.
Which is the best way to prepare it.
Grill in oven or shallow fry.
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Old 31st March 2013, 10:24   #833
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... Grill in oven or shallow fry.
Shallow fry. Dust it with a little flower, give it an egg wash, coat with bread crumbs and shallow fry for ~3 min. each side. Grilling would be tricky.
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Old 31st March 2013, 10:32   #834
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Shallow fry. Dust it with a little flower, give it an egg wash, coat with bread crumbs and shallow fry for ~3 min. each side. Grilling would be tricky.
Yes, thats a good method. But with Cod, even grilling should work well. I will try to put up a recipe from my wife.
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Old 1st April 2013, 14:57   #835
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The biggest problem is the strong 'wild' smell in the sheep mutton or 'lamb' (as it is called outside India). This makes everyone cook it longer than necessary, making the cooked meat tough.
Overcooking the meat makes it tough only when we do dry cooking (like roasting, grilling, frying, baking).

Overcooking meat while using steam/water makes the meat delectable "dissolve in your mouth"/"meat falling off the bones" kinds. Something like the old Delhi Nihari!

I never got it why everyone is so concerned about "overcooking" the meat while using moisture (which is the way most of chicken/mutton/lamb/beef etc is prepared in India)

Last edited by alpha1 : 1st April 2013 at 14:58.
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Old 1st April 2013, 16:08   #836
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Thanks for the advice on the Spotted Cod.
We did not add anything.

Simply Shallow fried in a thick pan with the originally added marinade. The fish has lovely taste and we ate with a sauce my wife prepared.

Wanted to take a pic, but ran out of patience.

For the sauce:
Sauteed some sliced onions in butter.
Added sliced capsicum. Cooked in a closed dish for around 5 mins.
Added some amul fresh cream from a tetra pack.
Added some milk.
As it thickened added some freshly ground pepper and salt.
Dropped in a slice of cheese.

My daughter loved the fish. Will definitely repeat it when I find it again.

*This fish sure has some tough skin. It took a little effort to pierce it for putting in some slits for the marinade.
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Old 1st April 2013, 22:03   #837
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... I never got it why everyone is so concerned about "overcooking" the meat while using moisture (which is the way most of chicken/mutton/lamb/beef etc is prepared in India)
Sure, try cooking chicken "with moisture" for more than 30 minutes. You would have emulated the same mistake most restaurants make, and get pieces that will remind you of ... tree bark or leather soaked in masala.

Mutton has an optimum point where it is chewy but delicate, but beyond that it just goes from bad to worse - unless it is braised for a loooong time. Nihari is supposed to be simmered for >8hrs. There are other similar dishes involving beef and pork that involve slow braising in the same way till it the meat just falls apart - can be cut with a spoon. Try Nihari in a place which is not a legend (there are few of those), and you will find that the mutton shanks are cooked in a pressure cooker for 45 minutes, and assembled together with the gravy at the last moment. It won't be what you were describing.

But, the other mutton beef dishes "cooked using moisture" have to have a shorter cooking time to be of any practical use. Anything from ordinary mutton curry to Biryani to Kosha Mangsho. Cooked beyond that optimum point, the dish will give your jaw a good exercise, or even take a couple of teeth out. Tenderizer helps, but most joints have no clue of that, or are scared to use it as it is difficult to control.

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... *This fish sure has some tough skin. It took a little effort to pierce it for putting in some slits for the marinade.
Err... you are supposed to fillet it and remove the skin, just like all the other fish used for 'fish and chips'.

Last edited by DerAlte : 1st April 2013 at 22:07.
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Old 2nd April 2013, 07:38   #838
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Sure, try cooking chicken "with moisture" for more than 30 minutes. You would have emulated the same mistake most restaurants make, and get pieces that will remind you of ... tree bark or leather soaked in masala.
.......
Somehow, this has not been my experience!
In fact slow cooking always yields wonderful results.
The least tender cuts of meat transform into delectable morsels after a long session of stewing on gentle heat.
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Old 2nd April 2013, 10:54   #839
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Sure, try cooking chicken "with moisture" for more than 30 minutes. You would have emulated the same mistake most restaurants make, and get pieces that will remind you of ... tree bark or leather soaked in masala.

Mutton has an optimum point where it is chewy but delicate, but beyond that it just goes from bad to worse - unless it is braised for a loooong time. Nihari is supposed to be simmered for >8hrs. There are other similar dishes involving beef and pork that involve slow braising in the same way till it the meat just falls apart - can be cut with a spoon. Try Nihari in a place which is not a legend (there are few of those), and you will find that the mutton shanks are cooked in a pressure cooker for 45 minutes, and assembled together with the gravy at the last moment. It won't be what you were describing.

But, the other mutton beef dishes "cooked using moisture" have to have a shorter cooking time to be of any practical use. Anything from ordinary mutton curry to Biryani to Kosha Mangsho. Cooked beyond that optimum point, the dish will give your jaw a good exercise, or even take a couple of teeth out. Tenderizer helps, but most joints have no clue of that, or are scared to use it as it is difficult to control.
So is it that the meat can be "cooked" for long time at temperature below the boiling point, but if you raise the temp to boiling point (100 for normal cooking and about 120 for pressure cooking) it loses water and becomes chewy?
Perhaps.

I will try doing this

In my opinion (which may get modified after the above experiment), the leathery-ness of meat has got a lot to do with the part of the body. And this is where most restaurant/catering folks don't have a clue.

Chicken breast is absolutely stringy and fibrous (as well as "dry" and chewy) even when cooked in moist heat. The same breast becomes tender and juicy while grilling (not the tandoor type - but good example would be subway or any other continental place where they serve steaks)

Chicken leg piece is quite like eating raw meat with dry cooking. But the same becomes wonderful when using moist heat.

This becomes even more apparent when the animal becomes larger. Lamb => mutton => beef.

In beef you can grill the "closer to the spine" parts and come out with palatable results, but the same treatment to the shoulder and legs will leave you feeling like doing a jaw workout.

The nihari/paya or any mutton/beef gravy (moist heat) comes out absolutely delicious when we cook using the shanks. (of course a part of that superb flavor is also because of the marrow and the ligaments).



The more exercised the part is - the better it responds to the prolonged moist heat treatment. Something to do with collagen.

Last edited by alpha1 : 2nd April 2013 at 11:00.
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Old 2nd April 2013, 12:03   #840
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... The least tender cuts of meat transform into delectable morsels after a long session of stewing on gentle heat.
You are not talking about chicken!

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... the leathery-ness of meat has got a lot to do with the part of the body. And this is where most restaurant/catering folks don't have a clue. ...
You are absolutely right.

Most restaurants, even many which call themselves 'gourmet' (the only difference is paper napkins v/s cloth napkins), the stuff is made by cooks who don't take pride in their work. Wherever they do, the results show the knowledge and skill. Unfortunately, no restaurant review system accounts for the K & S of the working staff at the restaurant. In India, in fact the review system masks the lack of K&S by talking of 'dishes' - one obviously comes to the conclusion that Nihari at a Lucknow legend and Nihari at a spiffy restaurant using pressure cookers is the same.

Only in France (Michelin stars for the chef) and Italy, and by extension of logic Australia, Sweden and to some extent US does one find that one can rely on the main chef's K&S.

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... The nihari/paya or any mutton/beef gravy (moist heat) comes out absolutely delicious when we cook using the shanks. (of course a part of that superb flavor is also because of the marrow and the ligaments). ...
Most commercial cooks who started training chopping onions don't know this. For them the dish is masala gravy with pieces of meat thrown in, whose cut doesn't matter.
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