Testing. Testing... Is this thing on?
Well. I'm back. I could have come back with some big proclamation about my return to blogging. Like, "I'm BAAAAAAAAACK." Or, "I'm back, b*tches!" But it just didn't feel right. Because I'm just not that self important. But, truth of the matter is that I'm back and ready to blog. The season for the sport in which I work is over and I am back to cooking, working out, and being a normal human being again.
And frankly, I couldn't go out on this post. No. God no.
I have months of photos (many, many crappy photos, so I warn you for the upcoming posts, that there will be some rough photos. And some items that I have no idea what they are or when I made them, but they look tasty, so I'll post them anyways :)) to get up on this blog, and I didn't know where to start. Should I do a sweet or a savory? This is more a baking blog than it is a savory blog, but I am an equal opportunity eater, so I'm going to go with a Top Chef All-Stars recipe.
Speaking of Top Chef All-Stars, was this not the best season EVER? By far, my favorite.
I'm not going to go through all of the recipes just yet (because frankly, I haven't made any of them except for this one), but this one is a great one. Hailing from the episode in which Antonia, aka The Black Hammer, discovers with a look of disgust that she is related to her arch-nemesis, the farting, burping, ball-scratching, possibly recipe stealing, Mike Isabella. To be honest, I have a horrible memory, so I can't remember if this dish won, but if it didn't, it should have, because it is amazing. A creamy risotto filled with spring vegetables, rapini, and topped with crisp breadcrumbs which lend an incredible crunch contrast to the smooth texture of the risotto and topped with a perfectly tender braised veal tenderloin.
The recipe actually calls for this to be cooked in a pressure cooker, but seriously, who owns a pressure cooker (ok I know lots of people do, but seriously, in my small Manhattan kitchen, my half-sized oven is a perfectly fine "pressure cooker").
Braised Veal Shank with Spring Risotto adapted from Top Chef
- 2 pounds Braised veal shank
- 2 cups onions, carrots, celery, rough chop
- 2 sprigs parsley and thyme
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 vine ripe tomato, chopped
- 1 bottle red wine
- 1 cup Armagnac
- 1/2 gallon chicken stock
- 4 tablespoons all purpose flour
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 veal demi cubes
- 1/2 onion, brunoise
- 1 pound Superfine risotto
- 2 cups white wine
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup picked blanched fresh green beans
- 1 cup blanched rapini leaves
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 cup shredded parmesan reggiano
- 1 teaspoon chopped Marjoram
- 2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 4 tablespoons ciabatta bread crumbs, garnish
Heat oven to 350F.
Heat 2 skillets and 1 large dutch oven.
Season shanks with salt and pepper. Dust with flour and sear until golden brown in skillets.
Sauté minepoix in a dutch oven. Add shanks, paste, tomato, parsley sprigs, thyme sprigs, red wine bottle, Armagnac, 6 cups chicken stock, and veal demi. Cover and place in oven and braise for 4 hours.
In large sauté pan, sweat brunoise onions. Add risotto. Toast for 20 minutes on low heat until crispy. Add white wine and reduce.
Add 2 cups remaining hot chicken stock slowly and whisk and beat until creamy and cooked.
Finish with brown butter, fava beans, rapini leaves, lemon zest, and parmesean cheese. Shred in large piece of veal shank, remove marrow and whip into risotto.
When plating, ladle risotto in middle of plate, spoon veal shank over and sprinkle with bread crumbs chopped herbs and microplaned parmesan reggiano.