As far as ruminants go, lamb is just luscious. In England, this tasty meat is not relegated to the back corner of the case for consumption only on the occasional holiday or on the blog of some fanciful food geek. No, here, this finely flavored foodstuff gets its very own section in the meat department.
I love flavor and, for me, lamb has it. You will understand, then, why acknowledging my sensitivity to lamb was hard for me. My skin, of all things, dries and cracks when I eat it, and my gut doesn't feel great either. It is an experiment I tried several times in years past, without promising results. At the British market, the brimming shelves of lamb call--but their call I must refuse.
Tonight, it is with great excitement, that I announce an alternative: venison. While less abundant than lamb, venison is still easy to find in a British market. It offers more flavor than your typical supermarket beef--whether that beef is supposedly grass-fed or not--and spares me the skin and digestive distress.
Prepare to fill my hotel room with savory scents and delight my palate with hearty flavors (all without the accompanying immune dysfunction). Tonight, you will contain venison and you will be delicious.
My mission was pretty simple on the eve of my ninth hotel-cooked feast in Hitchin.
I have learned over the years that it is hard (if not impossible, in my opinion) to over-herb a stew. A pouch each of parsley, sage, and thyme got the job done.
The venison was from New Zealand and supposedly raised in a wild setting. I do not trust the marketing material on packages, but a man's gotta eat something.
I grabbed a few roots and also one of my new favorite hotel convenience foods: whole green olives in a brine of water, lemon juice, and sea salt--no industrially synthesized acidity regulators for me (see Ascorbic Acid, Citric Acid).
While I would have preferred to avoid the plastic bags, the Brits seemed rather keen on using them to wrap just about everything in the produce department.
Here's what I had for dinner:
Fennel and Olive Salad
There was a little theater, just up the street, showing a series of short films tonight. I thought this a good opportunity to escape my room for the evening, but I had to eat a bit earlier to make the show. This stew fit the bill nicely, allowing me to prep my food early. I hung around the hotel doing some computer work in the afternoon while the pot simmered away and, before the show, I dined in style saving the easy cleanup for later.
Thanks for following along!
In good health,
P.S. Stew, you were delicious with your tender morsels and finely flavored broth. Since your meat was lean, I applied the timeless wisdom of Mary Poppins: a spoonful of butter helps the venison go down. (It was, coincidentally, a very windy evening.) See you again soon.
I'm Ethan, a guy whose life used to be controlled by ulcerative colitis. As I systematically tested diets, treatments, and all types of health advice to heal my colon, I learned a lot about my own biology and also how to cook without compromise. I'm here to share the best (and sometimes worst) of that journey with you.