#167: Qatar

Time flies when you’re having fun!

Hey friends, if you hadn’t noticed, we are already 1/12th of the new year down and it’s flying by because we are certainly having a blast. With our shortest month underway, it’s no surprise that February seems to be a favorite month around these parts. What’s not to like? Munching on chocolate and Eskimo kissing sweethearts; cursing till you’re blue in the face at the Pats during Superbowl Sunday; Mardi Gras parades and stout month all rolled into a nice 28 day package. From start to finish, this traditionally is one month that packs a serious punch. Don’t blink– you’ll miss it for sure.

THE DINNER: We ventured from our frozen stateside hideaways to the Middle East to rack up number 167 this weekend– Qatar! Now, to be honest and fair, this is one country I ALWAYS pronounce incorrectly. “Cut-ur” is how it’s said and yet I’m that annoying person that calls it “cay-tar” **insert eye roll here**

Some fun facts I learned about Qatar this week:

  • Qatar will host the men’s World Cup in 2022
  • Qatar National Sport Day celebrated on the second Tuesday of February (which is tomorrow, guys)
  • Qatar’s per capita GDP is $127,600… all those natural-gas and oil reserves, I suppose.
  • One of the top 20 most obese nations
  • Male to female ratio is two to one
  • Most urbanized nation in the world, with 99% of the residents stating they live in a city

Like any warm blooded Middle Eastern state, this one loves lamb. So that’s exactly where we took our pots and pans! To the batmobile in search of a lovely Qatar Lamb recipe!

Qatar Lamb Ribs with Mint Relish: https://www.donnahay.com.au/recipes/dinner/slow-cooked-lamb-ribs-with-mint-and-malt-vinegar-relish

 

OVERALL COUNTRY SCORE:

Ease of prep and cooking: ONE STAR out of five this meal!
No trouble here. In point of fact, it was pretty much a cake walk (lamb walk?). Ingredients were a cinch and the whole process was low and slow, set it and forget it kind of business.

Best dish of all time scale: FOUR and A HALF STARS out of five for Meal!!
I don’t care what yuppie you reference, anyone and everyone will tell you that lamb pairs with mint (and a cold American Pale Ale or Old Ale, but you didn’t ask me that). This anachronism held true– mint and lamb go together like Laverne and Shirley. There was a staggering amount of malt vinegar on these babies… and while that stuff most certainly smells like feet, it tasted like heaven. The vinegar broke down the meat in such a lovely way. I realize that lamb ribs are often called “lollipops” and this really settled in with me– I could have just pulled it off the bone like a sucker. It was everything moist, tender and juicy. The mint relish was not overpowering and I commented that in essence we could have substituted honey for the brown sugar/malt vinegar duo and the mint with cilantro and achieved a very similar taste profile. All in all this was a great Sunday lunch.

I’m not sure what February has in store for you all, but we are headed to #168 with a little visit to Moldova! This will mean a little pre-Valentine’s Day food loving and whole lot of pre-Mardi Gras partying (including a little beer review outing with Maggie to Call to Arms for their Mardi Gras)

Happy Those DAMN Pats Lost!
Well Played, Eagles!

– L & K

 

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