Thursday, March 22, 2007

Grinds: lentils, colcannon, and osso buco

I want to get some of these down before I leave. I'll make any of them again, in a heartbeat. The first, mercimek çorbasi, is a Turkish red lentil soup that I ate almost every day over there. It was that good. I found this recipe on the Turkey Travel Planner forums, and it's damn close to what I had. It's very filling, and along with fresh bread makes a nice meal despite what, as the Two Fat Ladies used to say, it's suspicious vegetarian overtones.
mercimek çorbasi

Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and then cook until soft 1 cup of red lentils & 3 cups of beef broth

Pulverize 1 medium onion in a food processor. Saute in 3T butter or olive oil for a fewminutes until onion is soft. Add Turkish red pepper if you like, and 2-3T flour.

Add 2c tomato juice and allow to thicken.

When lentils are cooked (25"-45") add juice. Season with salt and pepper, and serve with sourdough.
Next up: colcannon, the Irish mix of cabbage and potatoes. It's just as filling as the lentils, and although without the ham it actually is vegetarian this one doesn't even pretend to be healthy. I made it this past St. Patrick's Day, and just finished the last for breakfast this morning.

Steam 3# potatoes in their skins. I used a mix of waxy fingerlings and Idaho baking potatoes.

Shred 1 head of cabbage, slice 1 onion, and saute in either chicken fat [my choice] or bacon grease.

Roughly mash the potatoes, add 1/2 cup of cream and 1 stick butter. Add the cabbage. Add a mess of Italian parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Add more cream and butter if you like. Add chopped ham if you like.

Serve with a pool of butter in the middle, and sprinkle again with more parsley.
And finally, osso buco. I think I tried it once before, and it came out so-so. This recipe was divine. It should of been - the veal was expensive! I'm pretty sure you can do the same with other cuts of lamb and beef, so long as you have the bone cut and a lot of marrow showing. I also made this on St. Patrick's Day. I intended to do corned beef, but the stores were all out. Suddenly, everyone's a mick. But what the micks-for-a-day don't know is that a good Irish chef can make an osso buco just as good as any Italian - and so Roy & I had a traditional St. Patty's dinner of colcannon, bread, and osso buco. I served it with Potcheen and soda, which is as Irish as you can get.

osso buco

Tie 4 veal shanks with string to keep them together. Pat dry, season with salt and pepper, then dredge in flour.

Heat 3T total butter and olive oil over med-high heat until foam subsides. Brown the shanks, then remove to a plate.

Add ¾ c wine (I used a rosé), and reduce by half. Remove liquid.

Add 2 T more butter, and sauté ¾ total diced celery and carrot, plus three cloves minced garlic. Cook until soft.

Add shanks, juices, wine, and enough stock to cover the meat. Spread ¾ grated tomatoes on top, 4-5 anchovies, 3 sprigs parsley, 3 large sprigs basil (I used Thai basil), ½ grated lemon peel, and bay leaf.

Bring to a simmer, cover, turn heat to low, and cook for a couple hours. Cook it all afternoon if you can.

When pau, remove shanks. Remove twigs and stems from broth, puree it, return it to the fire, and boil for 15” or until reduced.

Glaze the shanks with reduction, and put them under the broiler for a bit.

Serve shanks with plenty of sauce. Top with gremolata, a mix of parsely, chopped garlic, and lemon zest.

1 comment:

Brother John said...

Michael, for the love of God, next time make Colcannon with curly kale.