When we were travelling in Barcelona in December, I noticed that wild game was a frequent visitor on the menus in Catalan restaurants, and in the winter months, stews were a particular favorite. I was thinking that another mixture of meat and mushrooms were in order. I figured venison would go well with the earthiness of Porcini mushrooms, and to add a bit of spice and sweetness, I paired them with Chorizo.
I was spending the last few days of our winter vacation in Paris and chatting with friends to plan the de-installation of a show we were all participating in. My current location came to be the topic of conversation, and a dear friend reminisced about a Blanquette de Veau she ate at Auberge Bressane in Paris. Since the girls were spending the night this past weekend, I offered to make the dish for them.
When I was in Philadelphia last month, I bought a bit under a pound of prosciutto chunks…you know, just in case! I decided today was the day to use them. I was craving peas, and wanted to make a split pea soup. I did not have any smoked ham-hocks left, and have never liked the flavor of chunks of regular ham, so in went the prosciutto! Smoked meats give this soup a really lovely complex flavor.
Today, it is time for a Russian classic! In fact, when you think about Russian food, this dish is probably what you are picturing an older lady with a handkerchief covered head stirring with a large wooden spoon. Yes, borscht. It may or may not be a stereotype, but it is definitely a classic!
Quiche Lorraine is one of the quintessential quiches. The combination of leek and bacon is perfect. I have seen versions with onion or green onion, but the buttery sweetness of leek, I think, is unbeatable in conversation with egg, bacon, and Gruyere. Gruyere is the best cheese to use, but a freshly grated Swiss cheese will make a beautiful pastry as well. For this meal, I poured my filling into tart crusts instead of pie crusts to create a different filling to crust ration and we all loved it!
Today, I want to share with you my recipe for Roast Leg of Lamb. I love this recipe! It seemed like a perfect dish for our Domestic Union celebration, but with 50 guests, boy did we need a lot of it! This is one of the oldest recipes in my repertoire. I have made a version of this lamb for Thanksgiving and any other holiday when someone would buy me a lamb leg since I was in high school. It was inspired by my father. When we had a bit of money for meat in Belarus in the summer, we would take our lamb into the woods, start a fire and stab it all over and shove garlic in before baking it. My dad would walk around in the woods and find an evergreen tree with little berries, I think it was juniper. We would place that with the meat over the fire and allow it to roast. I wanted to incorporate the garlic and smoked herb flavor and add in some freshness by adding lemon juice and zest. Please do not overcook the lamb!
My filling, inspired by chef Alain Ducasse, had some lambs brain in it for a bit of extra flavor. If you want to add it, a half a lamb’s brain will do, or perhaps a bit of prosciutto or some pancetta.
This beautiful, quick, and simple recipe serves as a vehicle for my newest achievement! I have finally collected enough bones to make my own demi-glace, check out the recipe for my Demi-glace that I shared yesterday here! After hours of skimming and simmering, I was itching to try out my sauce!