Grandmaa��s Special Dishes

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A labor-intensive treat: bran fired lamb

Taiwan Travel : Delicacy - Uncle Sheepi??TaiwanDay

At Uncle Sheep restaurant in Minxiong Township, lamb is prepared in a unique way. Inside the restauranta��s dimly lit earth oven room, windows are covered with old cooking grease, piles of rice bran lay on the ground, and only a few rays of light enter from the outsidea��a setting you might expect from a suspenseful film. Outside the ground oven room, owner Zhou Kun-zheng is busy butchering. He places the lamb chops into unglazed earthen pots with a secret mix of 26 herbs and 11 bottles of rice wine and puts on the lids. He wraps the pots with aluminum foil and covers them with Minxionga��s signature red clay.

Mr. Zhou then carefully dons a gas mask and carries the pots into the smoky ground oven room where he buries them in pits. He covers them with rice bran that is burned for three days and three nights. The preparation and cooking is a time-consuming labor of love, and when the pots are unearthed, guests are greeted with the sights, smells, and flavors that come from the ownera��s passion and commitment to delicious lamb. Years ago, Mr. Zhou spent more than two million dollars on sheep farming. However, his venture proved to be a failure. Remembering his mothera��s stories of grandmaa��s smoked mutton, he decided to learn by doing and to bring the original taste of grandmaa��s special dish to the table.

Taiwan Travel : Delicacy - Uncle Sheepi??TaiwanDay
Taiwan Travel : Delicacy - Uncle Sheepi??TaiwanDay

Out-of- this-world taste

During the three days of cooking Mr. Zhou has to check the process every five or six hours and add more rice bran. Temperatures inside the room can reach between 800 and 1000 degrees Celsius, far beyond what humans are able to endure, so protective equipment is needed to prevent passing out from the scorching heat. Ita��s this long and cumbersome process that creates such delicious lamb. Uncle Sheep restaurant is a Fujian style building with red brick and white walls that sits beside a pineapple farm. Farm tools on display give a rustic and nostalgic touch to the dining environment, in a welcoming and rustic setting that will remind you of eating with grandparents on the farm.

Recommended dishes

Earth-oven lamb
Be sure to try the signature lamb. The lamb has been seasoned with dong quai, rice wine, and a mix of secret ingredients and smoked for three days and nights in an earth oven, creating a tender, delicious, and healthy dish that simply melts in your mouth. Lamb stew with Chinese medicinal herbs

The lamb stew is restauranta��s second signature dish. This dish is made using mild lamb and a mixture of Chinese medicinal herbs, which is then simmered for 12 successive hours in water from Puli. The flavor is mellow and light and the meat is tender and juicy, and even the skin is chewy and flavorful. Regular customers bring leftovers home to make a hearty soup using cabbage, tofu, mushrooms, noodles, or anything else they might enjoy.

Taiwan Travel : Delicacy - Uncle Sheepi??TaiwanDay