Day 23: Roger Rabbit, I'm sorry.
Roger Rabbit. Bugs Bunny. Meggie my pet rabbit (who we had to give away when Nataly was born because she starting biting us…thanks a lot Nat! The rabbit got jealous). If you haven’t figured it out by now, today’s menu consisted of rabbit and a bone sucking, finger licking, sauces dripping, mouth watering lamb shank.
Worked with my buddy ol’ pal Carlos today who was in rare form- tired. The other day when it was Rosh Hashanah, Carlos said he wanted to marry me. I asked him why? He said because he would like to get the Jewish Holidays off too! I said, “Oh haha I thought you just wanted me to get you a green card”. Then today a week later he told me, “you know I’ve been practicing for my Bar Mitzvah”. I died laughing right then in there. As a 37 year old, kids got jokes (not that old people aren’t funny… love you Conan).
We made our lamb shank first because the shank had to cook in the sauce for a good hour and a half. We first seared the shank and then added it to the mirepoix of vegetables with tomato paste, and stock. Then into the oven it went to burn baby burn, disco inferno! Burn baby burn! While that was cooking, we made our red wine reduction sauce with veal stock to pour all over the dish. As a side, we made couscous. We boiled our chicken stock, then poured it into our couscous (don’t mix, just fluff) and let it sit with plastic wrap for a little. We also chopped up red peppers and added them in (such a lovely addition, if I may say so myself). I was extremely careful today because I had posttraumatic stress from the oven the day before. My fingers have little blisters all over them =/ We let the lamb cook, while we began prepping for our rabbit dish.
When the lamb shank was finished cooking, you could smell the incredible aroma that filled every space of the room. The meat was SO tender and SO juicy that I wished for every bite that I took to miraculously grow back on the bone (kind of like trick candles). Chef gave us two plating options. The first was to leave the bone on with the meat served over a bed of couscous or the second was to debone the meat and nicely plate the meat over the side of the couscous (basically option one: bone in and option two: bone out). What a hard decision I had to make… HAHHA NOT. I was going cave woman on that bone—call me Wilma Flintstone cause I’m taking it back CAVE MAN STYTLE. Making a b-line straight to Bedrock. Haha silly question- bone in or bone out? Come on now!
We watched chef demo how to quarter a rabbit in order to yield the most meat. I would be lying if I said that the way in which they wrap the rabbit (wet aging technique) in a bad filled with bloody juices didn’t remind me of a baby in the embryotic sack. When it came time for us the filet the rabbit, Carlos immediately designates MY SID- MY CUTTING BOARD to gather all the bloody guck that comes with taking a part a dead fileted animal. If you haven’t noticed, Carlos can be a little pre-Madonna when it comes to getting his side dirty- but, yeah SURE no problem, let’s butcher away on mine- thanks for asking! How sweet of you! We first had to remove all the organs (heart, liver, glands etc). Then we took off the legs, removed the butt, and front legs. We took the loin (saddle) and wrapped sundried tomatoes, rosemary, and thyme inside and then tied it with twine string. We then browned the bones added bacon and all of our vegetables- mixed it really well and then added white wine. We let that simmer for a little and then added our veal stock and covered it with a parchment lid. We made a side of pommes puree (mashed potatoes) to go along with our rabbit. Calling it mashed potatoes probably isn’t the most correct way to put it. I’d say we made butter/milk/heavy cream with a side of potatoes. Heaven must be missing an angel (our mashed potatoes) because it is here with Carlos, Chef Dom, and I right now (Mmm..ha). When Chef tasted our dish he thought it was yummy yummy and commended us on our presentation.
Towards the end of class, my body hit a threshold of where I could NOT stand the heat anymore. I wasn’t the only one because everyone was taking their hats off during chef’s lecture. I lifted up the back of my chef shirt to air out my lower back. Well, Maitryette screamed at me for how UNLADY like I was being hahah. I was like dude relax this is America not India and besides NOTHING about me was lady like today. Did you NOT see me go to town on that Bone like the homeless guy on the Julia Tuttle high on bath salts eating another man’s face? Yeah, now tell me lifting my shirt is unlady like. Pshh-rawr. I actually did give her a little ‘rawr’ and the claw move.
Ba-ba-ba- bad to the bone,
L-E-AH-NAH N-I-C-HOLE WAH-IT-T-ULS