Growing up, we ate a lot of cheaper cuts of meat. Liver, pot roasts, oxtails were always on the home menu. A special treat for me was lamb shanks. Then, a low cost lamb dish, braised with vegetables and served with boiled potatoes. My brother, Jim, was famous in our family for being able to remove every bit of meat, connective tissue and collagen off a shank. Nobody could do it better. Lamb shanks today are considered a high end meal at most french restaurants. We made Lamb Shank Provencal style, which is a braised shank and a wonderful sauce made with concasse(con cas say) tomato, onion, garlic and chopped up black olives. The braising liquid is then added to the vegetables and served on top of the shank. We also made Risotto Milanese. That's with Saffron soaked in the chicken stock and finished with Parmesan cheese and butter. These are considered comfort foods in France. Rustic in plating, but very high end in the flavor department.
Also on the menu was Blanquette of Veal Vol au Vent. Vol au Vent is french for "blown in the wind". (French cooking term for the day) Leave it to the French to make it sound good. In this case, it's a puff pastry filled with the Veal, a great cream sauce made with the poaching liquid, veloute and a liaison of egg yoke and cream. This tastes absolutely fantastic.
The detail in today's blog is brought to you because I knocked both these dishes out of the park. Made the time windows and got great reviews from my chef.
It's ok once in a while to boast. I'm boasting today!