Joie De Vivre #21: Browned & “Slow”-Simmered
Posted by Shannon on 06/14/2011
One of the first pieces of constructive feedback on my report cards was in first grade. Relating to the multiplication times table tests, Mrs. Koch wrote, “Shannon needs to slow down, focus less on finishing first, and double-check her work.” As similar sentences written in similar swirly, cursive penmanship throughout elementary school, my prose too held consistent… “Why? I got all the answers right.”
Those two words (slow down) continued to appear as I progressed through school and life. When Will Ferrell said, “I wanna go fast!!” as Ricky Bobby in Talladega Nights, I sympathized with his anguish…
I am 26 years old and only recently have I seen the light. A decelerated pace can be good for me. An homage to the ages old mantra that things of quality are “worth the wait” if you will. Case in point…
Braised lamb shank. Three hours in the making my friends…
So as people in varied areas of my life, people whose opinion I trust, continue to dole out the same advice as I cruise through my 20s. I admit that these seeds of wisdom are beginning to take root in my psyche:
— The pace I speak at so people can understand me (because they don’t always listen as fast as I talk.)
— The speed at which I work to advance my career forward (because I can’t raise a family someday while maintaining 12-hr work days.)
— The speed I book new items into my life/social/work calendars (because a bout of bronchitis severely messes up a two-week block of solidly booked days and evenings.)
— The speed that I would like access to food when I am hungry.
Friday night with my boyfriend, who (thank my lucky stars) is also the best male-chef that I know in Southbay. He decided to cook lamb. He really just decided to go balls-out and go for a brand new recipe. We shopped through Whole Foods and Ralph’s on our quest.
My boyfriend completely ignores the gendered-stereotype of who cooks in a house/relationship, which I both admire Steve for and adore the benefits stemming from it. He first patted the lamb shank completely dry and then lightly coated it in flour. Tip: Both steps ensure a more satisfactory browning of the meat.
Next, they brown in olive oil, releasing a delicious steam cloud of smell into the air. A few minutes later he removed them with tongs and set them aside on a plate. After turning up the burner, he sautéed up a colorful mix of mirepoix, garlic, olive oil in a large stewing pot, followed by a cup of Cabernet Sauvignon. The heat went to a lower simmer, the fantastic smell of the cooking veggies, lamb and broth was near-irresistible. We did have time to then sit, talk, enjoy a few beers and dice some shallots and bacon for the steamed green beans side dish.
Both finished at nearly the same time so we plated it up and what a great way to kickoff the weekend!