We have now researched our recipe and have looked at the variables and challenges of the recipe. This is the time that I go and make a redacted recipe. I will be honest here. This requires that you know a bit about cooking and baking. If you are a person who doesn’t feel overly comfortable using a cookbook (or, if you are like my family and each recipe seems to end with a blackened mess) then you might want to enlist a friend or family member who is an okay cook. Spend time with them learning the means of cooking. Then come back to this step. Or, be adventurous and just dive in. What’s the worst that could happen? Okay, you could burn down the house or seriously poison someone but those are really a very slim chance of that happening. So, what’s the worst that could feasibly happen? It could be horrible. The taste, texture, smell could all be off. It could look like a mess. That’s okay. You are experimenting. There is always the other side of that coin. You may just hit a jackpot. You never know until you try.
Let’s get back to the [49.] [41A] *Se-aBru [Pomegranate] Soup. I have now done all the steps to this point. I have trialled some of the trickier parts of the recipe and I am willing to give it a go all together. What’s better, I have an unsuspecting, new taster to try it. New friends are always fun to try things on. It’s nice to see if they will hang through the bad cooking to remain your friend.
Here’s the recipe that I trialled:
Original recipe (translated in A Soup for the Qan, Buell/Anderson):
It treats deficiency chill of the primordial storehouse, chill pain of the abdomen, and aching pain along the spinal column.
Mutton (two legs, the head, and a set of hooves), tsaoko cardamoms(four), cinnamon (three liang), sprouting ginger (half a jin), kasni (big as two chickpeas).
Boil ingredients into a soup using one *telir of water. Pour into a stone top cooking pot. Add a jin of pomegranate fruits, two liang of black pepper, and a little salt. The pomegranate fruits should be baked using one cup of vegetable oil and a lump of asafoetida the size of a garden pea. Roast [i.e., cook dry ingredients] until a fine yellow in color, slightly black. Remove debris and oil in the soup. Strain clean. Use the smoke produced from roasting jiaxiang [operculum of Turbo cornutus and related spp], Chinese spikenard [Nardostachys chinensis], kasni, and butter to fumigate a jar.77 Seal up and store [the Se-aBru Soup] as desired.
Natal’ia’s Redaction (designed for the general family to try):
½ leg of lamb
2 tsaoko cardamoms
1 stick cinnamon, cassia
50g sprouting ginger
½ teaspoon asafoetida, divided
1 teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon salt
Animal gelatine (or aspic if you have some made) *
4 cups water
- In a pot, add lamb, tsaoko cardamons, cinnamon, ginger, ¼ teaspoon asafoetida, and water. Bring to boil and then slow boil until the lamb is falling off of the bone (5-7 hours). Do not cover and check water level throughout the cook. Add water if it is boiling out.
- Pre-heat oven to 150 degrees Celsius (120 degrees Celsius for fan-forced).
- Remove the arils from the pomegranates. Discard the skin and pith. Check You-Tube for methods if you have never worked with pomegranates before.
- Mix ¼ teaspoon asafoetida with enough vegetable oil to coat your cooking pan evenly. This will be about 2 Tablespoons. Add pomegranate arils and spread out evenly. The thinner they are spread, the more the arils will dehydrate and sweeten the dish.
- Bake for 2 hours or until the arils begin to contract and turn pink. Stir as required to keep from burning on the edge. The edge will blacken but shouldn’t burn. Remove and let cool.
- Remove meat from broth. Melt gelatine into broth.* Conserving the broth, strain all debris from the fluid. Discard the debris. Allow to cool. Skim all fat from the surface of the broth (this is an important step if you are going to be potting the meat).
- Shred the lamb.
- Add salt, pepper, pomegranate and lamb to the broth. Mix. It is important that the broth be cooled before adding the pomegranate or the arils will lose their colour.
* This is contentious among my cooking group. Given the original recipe and the amounts and items used, I have concluded that this would be an aspic or it would be if you use pig parts (I haven't tried this with sheep). I am in the process of ordering the parts of a sheep to trial the recipe and see just what we end up with. Until then, I am running with the aspic idea. As we have not boiled items in our water to create jelly, I have added it later in the recipe.
I used this recipe to make a lamb jam aspic. I subjected 5 very good friends to it and they all seemed to still be friends; this indicated that it couldn’t be that bad. Here’s a picture boys and girls.
Until then, ride in clear weather.