The world of social media seems to have been created for the sole purpose of allowing the general public to share its idiocy as widely as possible. Along with this opportunity also arrived the penchant for inventing ridiculous new expressions and forming them into one of the most odious aspects of modern life, the hash tag. It is for this reason, among several others, that we are rarely to be found on Twitter. However, the recent decision by Facebook to adopt these irritating little phrases to align themselves with the rest of the social media world seems to suggest that the hash tag is here to stay, at least until something twice as grating comes along.
If our non-use of hash tags may lead us down the road of interweb marginalization, our lack of posting contributes at least as much. We’ve actually been cooking rather a lot in 2013, so much so that we recently went so far as to re-arrange all our cookbooks into a color-coded scheme on the shelves (!), but our output on these here webpages has been risible, making this our second post in the calendar year. Happily, it’s not only worth the wait as, I’m sure, our reader (singular) would agree, but perfectly seasonal too. Whether this is yet another unsuccessful attempt to get back into the swing of blogging at least a couple of times a month remains to be seen, but like the hash tag, just because we don’t use it, doesn’t mean this blog is going away any time soon.
Saute of Lambs Offal with Pea Shoots, Favas and Spring Onions on Patagonian Potato Galette
(feeds 2 as a main, 4 as a starter)
Adapted from “Bruce’s Cookbook”, by Bruce Poole of London restaurant Chez Bruce
- 1lb lamb sweetbreads, cleaned and separated
- 1lb lamb kidneys, cleaned and separated
- 1 stick (4oz/4 tablespoons) unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons regular (not your best) olive oil
- 1/2 glass dry white wine
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 6-8oz (two handfuls) pea shoots
- 6oz fresh fava beans/broad beans
- 1 handful fresh or frozen peas
- 1 bunch of scallions/spring onions cut into 2 inch/4cm lengths
- 1/2 handful fresh mint leaves
- salt and black pepper to taste
- To a large saute pan heated to medium-high add olive oil and 2oz butter. When butter is foaming add half the offal and saute until nicely browned on all sides. Remove and add second batch, cooking them until brown and removing them to a plate too. If you add them all at once the liquid in the meats will prevent them from sautéing properly.
- Turn heat down to medium, add garlic, and cook until room is redolent. Return heat to medium-high and add wine.
- Using your wooden spoon, deglaze pan of meat juices, and reduce wine by half.
- Add chicken stock and reduce by half.
- Reduce heat again to medium and add peas, scallions/spring onions and favas.
- Cook for two minutes before adding pea shoots. Return sweetbreads and kidneys to the pan at this point too.
- After another minute, add remaining butter and stir the whole thing well, seasoning with salt and black pepper to taste.
- Just before serving, roughly chop mint leaves and sprinkle into pan.
- Serve with crusty bread and the same dry white wine.
For the Patagonian Potato Galette
As appears in Francis Mallmann’s incredibly good Argentine cookbook, “Seven Fires”
- 4 large Idaho (or other floury potato variety), sliced into 1/8 inch / 1/4cm slices
- 1 cup melted clarified butter (regular olive oil also works well)
- coarse salt
- Heat a cast-iron skillet over a low flame and add two tablespoons of butter or oil.
- Then, working quickly and starting on the perimeter, lay the potato slices down so that the edges overlap by about 1/2 inch
- Continue to the center until you have covered the bottom of the plan completely.
- Spoon two more tablespoons of butter/oil around the edges and place a heavy pan on top of the potatoes to weigh them down and help them stick together.
- Raise heat to medium
- After 12 minutes, remove the weight and with two wide spatulas do your best to flip the galette over. This is quite tricky and some of the slices may come undone. Don’t be dismayed. Simply replace them once the galette is turned over and take a sip of wine.
- Add two more tablespoons of butter and return heavy pan on top for another 10 minutes.
- By this point, your potatoes should be brown and crispy on both sides, but if not, cook until they are.
- Using your spatulas again, lift galette out of the pan and onto a baking sheet. Place in a warm oven, and repeat steps 1-8 until you have no potatoes left.
- Serve either with the saute of lambs offal above, a juicy ribeye steak or grilled lamb chops.