“Even if you’ve screwed up scrambled eggs in the past you can get to haute cuisine in a day and acquire an amazing standby dish that will never fail you. This is that dish.” – Timothy Ferris – Four Hour Chef
This hits close to home, as it was only mere weeks ago that I found myself, screwing up scrambling eggs.
With that firmly in mind, the challenge was later then also thrown down by Emily, who insisted that I take over the kitchen and cook her a nice meal for once, because as she has on many occasion made off hand remarks that when cooking, my mind is clearly somewhere else. Which is a nice Emily way of saying – “just not that good”
And my mind is, in all honesty, very much always is. Either I’m setting a fantasy hockey lineup in my head, thinking about work, half-watching a hockey game, listening to a podcast or scrubbing the floor while checking my phone and half reading a book, sometimes all at once. It is not out of character for me to go to make a cup a tea and then half an hour later, come back to our office space, Emily asking me where the tea is and me then realizing I just spent the last half hour reorganizing the book shelves.
So – the challenge, not so much to just cook a meal, any schlub can do that. It had to be to cook a nice meal. One that requires a bit of focus. Thankfully, I found one that only required a little bit of that, but still looks and tastes fantastic, with a minimum of effort. The beauty of this kind of cooking, is that you’re letting the ingredients speak for themselves.
So with only one or two mini disasters (forgot the white wine and the tab on the tomato broke off and I exploded tomato juice all over the walls prying the lid off the can with a fork) this meal came out looking and tasting like a champ. The ingredients aren’t cheap but you certainly get what you pay for in terms of quality. And the lessons learned about focus will hopefully not soon be forgotten. Now that I’ve mastered haute cuisine, I need to go back and learn how to make a good scrambled egg.
Scrub bunch of carrots and cut off ends.
Place in bottom of dutch oven.
Take your veal shanks and place on top of those.
Open can of San Marzano tomatoes and pour puree on top as well as squeeze each tomato with your thumb first then squeeze them with full hand and drop in.
Then drizzle about 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil over the top. Then take about 3 big 3 finger pinches of salt and sprinkle on top.
Also, 10 good grinds on a peppermill.
Then pour the dry white wine (what ever dry white you like) so that it is up to 1/2 or 3/4 of the lamb shanks. Cook in preheated oven, covered, at 350F for 2 hours.
For this recipe
– San Marzano tomatoes from the downtown Italian Centre