26 February 2010


Needing inspiration in the face of limited produce and a pantry of dry goods that require time and care, I opened Mastering the Art of French Cooking (vol. I) and browsed the potato section. I came across the "Gratin de pommes de terre aux anchois." I had potatoes (some local Kennebecs), anchovies, eggs and cream. A friend brought over a some cheese for finishing. Julia Child dices the potatoes and minced the onions, I sliced them both thin and used more onions. I parboiled the potatoes, layered them with onions and a few anchovies, poured a ½ pint of cream with a yolk, salt and pepper over everything. Garnish with shredded hard cheese and some of the oil from the anchovies. Bake until boiling around the edges and browning on top.

This was a great dinner with some local greens & vinaigrette and lentils braised with red onion.

12 February 2010

braising oxtail

This is my second attempt at making oxtail. Last time I braised the oxtail with brussels sprouts and turnips. Here, I go to Jennifer McLagan's recipe in her sublime book Fat: An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient. First, the oxtail are seared in suet.

A mirepoix mix is sautéed in the fat, wine is used to deglaze, bay, star anise and garlic is added, and then it is covered in stock (I used a mix of lamb and beef stocks) and let to braise slowly in the oven. I also added some marrow bones and allspice berries. The meat is then taken out of the broth to cool.

Once cooled, a rich fat can be taken off the unctuously gelatinous stock.

After a second braise in the oven.

Served with suet dumplings poached in lamb stock. Incredible.