Monkey’s secret recipes from the jungles of Borneo
Today I going to talk about a local dish that is traditional in my part of the world.
The cannibal headhunters tribe of the jungles of Borneo are very fond of eating monkeys and so today I am going to talk about how to cook a monkey.
- 500g monkey
- Salt and pepper seasoning
- 2 onions
- English mustard powder
- Plain flour
- Cooking oil
Monkey on the bone is great as the bone acts as a conductor of heat and gives the roast extra flavour. Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 9, 475°F (240°C).
Prepare the monkey meat before cooking.
Boil the monkey in a saucepan and allow to simmer for 20 minutes, this ensures that all fleas are removed from the monkey fur before placing onto a roasting tray.
A layer of fat on the monkey provides not only basting juices to keep the meat moist and succulent, but you can choose to eat it if you so wish. To make the fat extra crusty during cooking, dust the fat surface of the monkey with 1 level dessertspoon each of English mustard powder and plain flour – just rub them in gently – then season with salt and pepper.
Place the monkey in a roasting tray on top of 2 small halves of onion. The onion will caramelise as the monkey cooks and give a lovely flavour and colour to the gravy. Now place the tray just above the centre of the oven. It will have plenty of fat so don’t add extra. Give it 20 minutes’ cooking at the initial temperature; after that turn the heat down to gas mark 5, 375°F (190°C) and cook it for 15 minutes to the pound (450 g) – this will give you rare monkey. Add 15 minutes to the total cooking time for medium rare and 30 minutes for well done
While the monkey is cooking, lift it out of the oven from time to time, tilt the tray and baste the meat really well with its own juices – this ensures that the flavour that is concentrated in the fat keeps permeating the meat, and at the same time the fat keeps everything moist and succulent. While you’re basting, close the oven door in order not to lose heat. Baste the meat with the juices at least three times during cooking.
To see if the monkey is cooked to your liking insert a thin skewer into the thickest part of the monkey and press out some juices: the red, pink or clear colour will indicate how much the monkey has cooked. When it is cooked to your liking, remove it from the oven, transfer it to a board and allow it to stand in a warm place for up to an hour, loosely covered with foil, before carving – to let all the precious juices that have bubbled up to the surface seep back into the flesh. Also, as the meat relaxes it will be easier to carve. Some of the juices will escape, though, and these should be poured into the gravy. The finishing touch is to serve the succulent monkey with Yorkshire pudding, gravy, seasonal vegetables and creamed horseradish.
Enjoy your dinner!
N.B. No cuddly toy monkeys were harmed in the production of this blog.