Kiwi Love Affair
There’s no denying Kiwi’s love lamb. Especially the fattier cuts. As I entered my teens, like the old boys, I really developed a taste for flaps. Hot, salty, juicy, sweet… delicious. Once reserved for the Man of the house who would spend a hard day working on the pokies or gambling at the track, his reward for great effort should he have a win on the Gee Gee’s, would be that the woman would have her flaps ready for when he got home.
Nowadays, they’re available to everyone and they’re loved by all. A mate of mine reckons both his Mum’s are particularly fond of them. When I think of that, I always envisage that famous spaghetti scene in ‘Lady and the Tramp’ where the dogs are both eating the same noodle, only this time its two women chowing on each other’s flaps. They’re truly a hit with everyone! Actually, come to think of it, not so much my friend Sebastian, he’s a sausage and mayo kind of guy. He’s like a bloody hungry foie gras goose. Opens up, straight down the throat!
This cut of meat is regarded as a delicacy and deserves some special attention. Great results are all in the preparation and personally, I like to take the time to give the flaps a gentle massage, just nice and gently, a couple of fingers should do it. Sometimes you may need to get a thumb in there as well on the backside of the flaps. This will help relax the flaps to hold in the juices while they heat up.
Quality is key here, so source the best product you can, as the highest price will not necessarily guarantee the best produce. Yes, the best-looking flaps will, come given the higher price tag, look beautiful and clean, but almost always they will have little to no fat (which is what you need for best results) and in the end provide a very disappointing experience. Also, besides being expensive, the lean aesthetic flaps attract the health conscious and gym junkies.
TIP: Always check the cryovac packaging making sure the flaps arent all bloody in the packaging. Flaps swimming in a pool of blood means that you’ll end up with flaps that are tough and dry.
Remember, some cooking methods are different from others. I like to heat the flaps low and slow over a few hours, then turn the heat up for the last 20-30 mins really penetrating the heat into the flaps. They will swell a little at the start then shrink down a bit when cooked, but be careful when they’re hot those flaps can squirt at you. So when done don’t go touching them, just let them rest, That way you can ensure the meat will be tender and juicy, assuring you can pull your bone cleanly and easily out the flaps, which should be beautiful, soft and pink on the inside. When done right, the scent will be alluring.
Dad And Dick
A lot of the inspiration for this dish goes to my Dad’s mate Dick. Dad was Dick’s, right-hand man. Dick on the other hand, as far as Dick’s went was not big, but where he lacked in size he made up for in appetite, and I must say, it was insatiable! I swear he had hollow legs. He could eat and eat and eat flaps for ages, never coming up for breath you would have thought he could breathe through his ears! Man, if there were flaps anywhere in sight, Dick would be in there head first! He will always be remembered for his grubby face constantly smeared with flap juice, saturating his chin, dripping down and staining his shirts, quite the grub. That was before he met Gina. When Dick met Gina he only had eyes for her and her flaps. They were the best he’d ever tasted. Very quickly, he wouldn’t so much as look at other flaps, even though Gina wouldn’t allow him to anyway. In the beginning, she would serve them up at least four times a week, he’d smash her flaps in every room of the house. But, once they got married, Gina pretty much stopped him eating her flaps. Dick was pissed. Gina wanted Dick to head down the healthier road and go to the gym, she didn’t want him to drop dead to be fair. Gina wanted a healthy, strong hard Dick to take care of her.
One time I heard Dad and Dick arguing over who’s missus had the best flaps. One day Dick said to Dad “Bro my Gina has the best tasting flaps I’ve ever had, and you know I’ve tried just about everyone’s in this here town.” Dad simply reminded Dick that he had not tasted his wife’s flaps but Dad had tasted Dick’s. He reckons they’re an acquired taste.
I will always have fond memories me and my brothers getting that fresh loaf of bread and dipping slice after slice into that hot fat when it came straight out of the oven.. mmmmmmm flaps and yeast.
1.5kg Lamb flaps Medium Onion 2 Star Anise 2 Chillies (med-hot) 1 tsp Thyme 1 tsp White pepper 1 tsp Rock Salt (Maldon Salt preferable) Extra Virgin Olive Oil Clove of Garlic Coca Cola Place ingredients into a baking dish except the salt, oil, and garlic clove.
- Place flaps on top, skin side up. Rub fat/skin with garlic clove. Massage the oil into the flaps, get your
fingers in there, then salt.
- Pour Coke over flaps, cover with foil and place in the fridge for 6 hours or over night, 24 hours if possible.
- When marinated place in 150 deg oven till tender maybe 4-5 hours.
- Let them cool in their braising liquid and remove. When cooled place in fridge overnight.
- Remove excess fat.
Use about a handful of fresh mint, a small sprig of Rosemary, clove of Garlic slivered, Quarter Cup Mint Sauce, 125g Butter, Cream, Salt & Pepper, Sugar (optional) Blitz mint, rosemary, mint sauce and butter in food processor till smooth.
Transfer to fry pan and bring up to bubbling. Don’t boil. Reduce heat and simmer on low for a couple of minutes. Add a touch of cream. Season to taste. Reheat Lamb flaps however you desire as they should already be tender. Cook on hot bbq grill, hot oven, fry pan etc, until heated through.
If there is any bone in the flaps, bone should come out clean.
Pour warm creamy sauce all over the flaps. All there’s left to do is get your face in there! Enjoy