Surviving Valentine’s Day; braised lamb shank; more gossip

Thank god Valentine’s Day is over.  We were predictably busy, but unfortunately busier than predicted, so late on Saturday we started running out of a few items which then required some substitutions or some quick thinking on the fly.

Personally I wouldn’t mind scallops instead of shrimp (and not just because I hate sauteeing shrimp – those little fuckers splatter a considerable amount), but I’m not the general public.

Sunday was unexpectedly busy and in the middle of being weeded I burned my thumb (not too bad as it has blistered nicely, but it hurt at the time nonetheless).  Of course we were out of tons of shit on Sunday which didn’t make a few guests too happy (we ran totally out of oysters by the end of Saturday and our dessert situation was bleak to say the least).

And while I’m on the topic, do people really think that oysters work?  That’s the alcohol you assholes, not the couple of raw oysters you downed at the beginning of the meal.

At any rate we all survived to varying degrees of success. 


Yesterday I made this for dinner, which is a variation on a Charlie Trotter recipe:

Braised lamb shank with roasted parsnip, roasted onion, asparagus & oyster mushrooms

Braised lamb shank with roasted parsnip, roasted onion, asparagus & oyster mushrooms


The braised lamb shank is shredded like duck confit and mixed with the roasted parsnips, seasoned and stuffed loosely  inside the onion.    The white puree is actually just the inside of the onions pureed. 

The braise couldn’t be easier – sear the shanks, then saute mirepoix, add the shanks back with about half a bottle of red wine (I used a shiraz) and enough brown stock to bring the liquid to half way to 3/4 the way up the meat, cover and cook at 300 for at least 4 hours.

The sauce is likewise just as easy – strain the braising liquid, reduce then season.

For the onions, roast them in a pan filled with water halfway up for an hour and a half, then turn over and roast for another 90 minutes.  Allow to cool before removing the insides.  Also peel the dry outside off.

I decided to add the mushrooms and asparagus to add something else to the dish and to have more to eat.  It all worked pretty well together.

To finish, reheat the stuffed onions in the oven for about five minutes at 350.


Regarding my previous place of employment (and because I enjoy the gossip and admit it, so do you), there have been some interesting developments:

  1. A cook that was hired a few weeks after I left ended his employment there as of last Saturday (a shift for which he showed up still drunk for) – he had given his two weeks.
  2. A new cook started last week (to replace the one that was about to leave) who is apparently quite large – important only because it’s a pretty small kitchen.  Like all the other cooks recently hired there he’s not from the area, but rather recently settled here.
  3. Regarding the new cook, after service on Saturday, the owner sat the other two cooks down (one who is my friend who I’m trying to get a job where I work and the other was brought on to replace me) to inform them that he was going to offer the new cook the position of chef.  Upon hearing this, the cook brought in to replace me immediately gave two weeks notice and, from what I’m told, said he’d rather work at McDonald’s.
  4. And lastly, the owner yesterday cut his hand so bad on a slicing knife that he’d just purchased from my friend that it required surgery last night.  Karma’s a bitch.

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