Wednesday, 23 February 2011

I is for... Ibex involtinis



I searched high and low for ibex meat and eventually stumbled upon the lovely folk at The Blackface Meat Company . I rang them to enquire about their wild goat and, hooray, the nice man informed me that they were indeed ibex goats. I ordered 500g of ibex mince as, along with the cost of delivery, this was not set to be a cheap eat. I had to wait in all day for its arrival, but it was well worth it. It turns out, ibex tastes like lean lamb but with a richer and very slightly gamey flavour. I decided to use the mince to make involtinis and in truth, I probably overstuffed them, but having searched so long for ibex, I wasn't going to waste a gram of the stuff. And besides, I rather liked that they were larger than strictly necessary - it just prolonged the enjoyment of eating them.

Richard made the tomato sauce for this dish, following a recipe in The Cheese Room by Patricia Michelson.

Tomato Sauce


Half a packet of butter (125g/ 5 oz)
2 red onions, finely chopped
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
1 heaped tbsp tomato puree
2 x 500g cans of plum tomatoes
1 tsp sugar
Fresh thyme and flat leaf parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper


In a heavy-based pan, melt the butter until it is foaming and saute the onions and carrots. When they are golden but not caramelised, add the tomato puree and stir it into the vegetables. Add the plum tomatoes and mash them roughly. Add the sugar, herbs, salt and pepper and cover the pan, leaving it to simmer slowly until it is thick. This will take up to an hour. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary.


Ibex Involtinis


Preheat the oven to 180C (160C Fan)


Serves 4


4 veal escalopes
Finely sliced Pecorino cheese
8 sage leaves
500g (250g would be enough for thinner involtinis) ibex mince (you could use lamb mince instead)
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
Salt and Pepper
Seasoned flour
Butter and oil for frying
Cocktail sticks
Tomato sauce (see recipe above)


Season the mince well and stir in the crushed garlic, ensuring it is all thoroughly mixed through. Fry off a little ball of the meat to taste and adjust the seasoning in the remaining raw mince if necessary. Next, bash the veal with a rolling pin until very thin. Lay a few slices of Pecorino along each escalope and then 2 sage leaves. Form a sausage out of the mince and roll it up in the veal. Use cocktail sticks to secure each involtini, ensuring that the join of the veal is on the bottom. Coat them in the seasoned flour and fry them in the butter and oil for a few minutes until golden, but not cooked through.


Place the involtinis in an oven proof dish, pour the tomato sauce around them and bake in the oven for around 40 minutes. Remove the cocktail sticks and drizzle their tops with extra virgin olive oil before serving with imam bayildi. 

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