What is the most forgiving animal?

The dog? Man's best friend. Safe choice.

The cat? You can ignore them for days, but if they decide they want affection they'll still come and sit on your lap.

Bears? Apparently a possibility according to this article here (I’ll summarise, bears treated badly in the name of Chinese medicine recover and learn to trust humans again).

Wolves? If a baby is left unattended with wolves, despite humans’ poor treatment of wolves historically, they will raise the baby as one of their own. I cannot vouch for the truth of this. This assumption is based purely on The Jungle Book.

Fish? Forget everything so quickly they honestly think there is nothing to forgive if you wrong them.

Dinosaurs? Callum’s suggestion. Apparently because they’re thick skinned.

 

Well, if you answered any of the above you are of course incorrect. The correct answer is sheep, or perhaps I should say lamb – and there is a good reason why. For much as it may often appear not to be, this is in fact supposed to be a food blog, and as such, our interest here is in the most forgiving animal to cook with. By which I mean, the animal which, regardless of your skill, or ability to overcook something, will generally still taste the best. Obviously, this doesn’t really relate to cuts of the animals which are slow cooked for hours on end.

 

Chicken – A spiteful bird that has no interest in your apologies. Desperately unforgiving. Perhaps beaten only by the pheasant. Once overcooked, has no texture, moistness or taste. Do not cross.

 

Pork – I enjoy a lot of pig related items. But they are generally things that can be 'made' from pork such as sausages and bacon rather than roasting joints. Pork itself narrowly avoids being the most unforgiving meat mainly due to these ‘added extras’.

Undercooked, pork can be dangerous, overcooked it's is like eating a chewy sponge that sucks all moisture from your mouth. Think Monsters Inc.

 

Not sure why it’s in German. Bonus points if you know Randall’s helper’s name. See end of article for answer.

 

Beef – Probably the second most forgiving (mainstream) meat. Shown relatively little affection it’ll stop ignoring you. Can be happily eaten rare, so undercooking far less likely to be an issue. Overcooked dries out and loses flavour. Can be somewhat rectified by a proper resting period.

 

Lamb – Practically trips over its own feet in its efforts to forgive you. If anything it’s more likely to blame itself.

So what qualities is it that lamb has that give it this most illustrious title? Lamb is not necessarily my favourite tasting meat, but its victory is down to the fact that I do find that, regardless of how it is cooked, lamb has a lot of very distinctive flavour anywhere along the spectrum of cooking from rare, - medium rare- to well done- to dried out. No meat won’t be dry if overcooked, but properly rested, I find lamb more forgiving in this department as well.

Lamb is not of course perfect. In particular, I think undercooked, or even rare lamb can be a bit muted. Until it comes to at least medium rare I think its flavours do not come through properly. But an undercooked piece of meat can always be put back in the oven, whereas an overcooked piece holds little hope, so we will forgive lamb this minor indiscretion.

 

So there we have it. A strange, mildly incomprehensible rambling on the relative forgiveness levels of animals, meats and a video of a small monster having the air sucked out of it. What more could you want on Friday afternoon?

And speaking of small monsters, the answer was Fungus.