Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Jolly Green Giant on my Plate

I know. Looks stupid.
But you have to know this: The braising liquid from small animals is heavenly.
Small animals = ducks, rabbits, goats. And braising liquid = champagne; accept no substitutes.
You will need mirepoix: finely diced carrot, onion and celery. The amount depends on the amount of meat, and I'm not your teacher, never have been; figure a couple of handfuls of a mixture of equal portions of the veggies per pound of meat (and, boy, am I faking it here).
Champagne to cover the meat and the verdure. Salt and pepper. Herbs? Knock yourself out.
Slow simmer. Timing depends on... tenderness.
AND: You did not remove the bones first. They add the ineffable ineffableness you are looking for. Bones matters.
How did I get skewed off into a braising lesson? All I want you to do is save the braising liquid for the Next Thing you cook. You will know what to do with your braised meat (and in my case, it keeps being rillettes).
Here's the deal. The braising liquid will develop gelatin, flavor, body, depth, utter pookiness. Save the liquid. Do the rillettes later. Eat the liquid ASAP.
For today's Jolly Green Giant Inadvertent Presentation, I circled some angel hair pasta in a plate and spooned over the incomparable richness of braising liquid made from confit of duck legs (department of redundancy department, I know, but double-cooked duck is divine). The onions and celery from the mirepoix had melted away, but the carrots were still vibrant, viable, visible.
Then I placed a portion of tender English peas inside the pasta circle, where the carrots roared into semi-prominence, creating an inadvertent orange/green Jolly Green Giant tableau.
Stupid looking. But delicious beyond words.


el said...

I am so glad there was something else to this picture!

We got ducks just yesterday. Cutest little fluffballs you ever did see, and funny? Let me tell you. But it's meals like yours that I have my eye on (sorry, kid; sorry, little duckies) and yes indeedy there's something magical about a stand-upright gelatinous stock, right?

cook eat FRET said...



i need to know...

namastenancy said...

The saga of braising liquid - it ought to be a song!

Zoomie said...

I'd have never thought of using champagne but now that you've given me the idea, it seems so _right_!

KathyR said...

Is pookiness the sixth taste? The one after umami?

cookiecrumb said...

El: I saw your ducklings. Yellow!!!
And yeah, that gelatinous stock looked like it had ice cubes in it, it was so clear and chunky. :)

ceF: Pookiness = adorable goodness. I think "cuteness" is part of it.

NamasteNancy: OK, but what rhymes with liquid?

Zoomie: It's perfectly fine to use the cheap Spanish stuff.

KathyR: Yep, you got it!!

Rev. Biggles said...

Man, pork spine would have been a good addition as well. Porkiness.


cookiecrumb said...

Oh, yeh, Biggles. But what would be for dessert?

peter said...

More sugar!