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In ‘The Glory Of Garlic’, a superb 1984 essay for an inflight magazine, Burgess writes with typical erudition and pungent wit on what sounds like one of his favourite flavours. ‘[When eating garlic] you are into the world of the Mediterranean, the littorals which taught us everything worth knowing. The smell of epic poetry is, when it is not blood, pure garlic.’ He includes three recipes.
Sauce a l’enfer, or hell-gravy
If you propose cooking a rabbit, take the liver (this will work also with a chicken) and mince it with six cloves of garlic. Cook gently with two dessertspoonsful of vinegar and rather more of olive oil. Serve with your rabblt.
Highly acclaimed in the [Gascony] region. Set boiling two litres of water. In a skillet cook a large dessertspoonful of goose grease or olive oil, and add a good fistful of garlic cloves. Do not overfry. Pour all this into your boiling water. Break two fresh eggs and introduce the whites to the bouillon. Cook a little. Beat the eggyolks wlth a little vinegar and mix them in. Salt, pepper, cook for fifteen minutes. Soak great chunks of bread or croutons in the mixture. Eat.
Gigot of lamb
If you wish to serve a leg of lanb in the manner of France’s garlic capital, forgoing your beloved mint sauce or jelly (and mine), first boil your gigot for fifteen ninutes, dry it, and then put it in a pan which contains two dessertspoonsful of bubbling pork fat. Let the lamb grow golden on all sides then add about fifteen cloves of garlic. Pour a glass of Arnagnac over the gigot and let it cook gently. Then wet it with two glasses of good white wine and give it the regular treatment of four or five hours of very gentle roasting. The cloves of garlic look like golden almonds. The juices of the gigot deliciously inspissate them. The taste of the whole dish is delicious.