A tip-toe down the hallway increases to an excited skip to the kitchen, where I skid up to the kitchen peninsula. The chef is at her station. I excitedly arrange my mise-en-place: bread, vanilla icing, sprinkles, butter knife; and get to work. These were my “cakes,” a treat I prepared for my mother Saturday mornings in the summer. She admitted to me later that she would reluctantly swallow a bite or two, thank me for the delicious treat, and then send me off to go get dressed so she could dispose of the rest. It’s really no wonder I’m not very keen on making baked goods, even now.
As such, don’t expect much from me by the way of recipes for cookies, cakes, or other lovely baked goods. For one, as I said before, I’m still currently inept in the baking department despite recent efforts to get up to speed, and for another, I simply don’t eat baked goods nearly enough that any recipe I do try is a shaky attempt to remember what I learned last. If you’re looking for those kinds of recipes, you’re best served looking elsewhere.
However, Spring has sprung and Purim–the Jewish holiday of reading from the book of Esther while dressing up, drinking, and noshing on hamantashen (cookies fashioned after the hat of the bad guy from the Esther story, Haman)–is thus upon us. I would be lying if I said I didn’t feel the pressure to work on a fun hamantashen recipe and post it. I also somewhat considered buying the ready made cookies and posting a review on the cookies as though that was somewhat entertaining for you all to read (it’s not).
Similarly, another holiday rolls around this time of year, St. Patrick’s Day. While the origins of the holiday are Irish-Catholic, the celebration in America is very far from its origin, including the consumption of the corned beef we know today. A cool blog post would have detailed the collaboration of Irish- and Jewish-American immigrants to land upon this decidedly Irish-American traditional St. Patrick’s Day dish but, alas, that didn’t happen either.
Instead we shepherded in Spring and paid homage to my Irish roots by eating lamb chops–a very Spring-friendly dish, and a common meat in Irish cuisine–glazed in Guinness Black Lager (I couldn’t find Guinness Stout on the day of the recipe, maybe because I procrastinated and it had all sold out for the holiday). The lamb is kosher, and one can easily fulfill the mitzvah of drinking for Purim by imbibing on the leftover black lager or by pairing a good dry red wine to counter the sweetness of the glaze and coordinate with the lamb. It doesn’t hurt that the lamb t-bones we purchased from Costco are the tiniest and cutest things ever.
Kosher Status : Meat
| Ingredients |
- 2 lamb t-bones (loin chops)
- Salt and pepper–about a teaspoon each per t-bone
- 2 tablespoons thyme
- 2 cups of Guinness Black Lager
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons coriander seeds, crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns, crushed
| Directions |
- Pre-heat sous vide to 134°F/56.7°C
- Season the lamb t-bones with salt, pepper, and thyme and seal in a food-safe plastic bag or vacuum seal. Drop in water bath for 3 hours.
- When you have just 40 minutes left on the timer on the meat, begin to prepare the glaze. Add the beer, brown sugar, and crushed spices to a pan and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the mixture to a syrup. You can tell that you’re close when the liquid begins to boil with tiny bubbles, such as shown in the picture below.
- Allow the syrup to cool.
- Once the meat has been in the bath for 3 hours, pull out the bags and remove the lamb. Brush the lamb generously and either pan sear, grill, or torch until the outside is seared.
The picture of the seared perfectly medium-rare sous-vide lamb above is a perfect testament as to why I am so passionate about the technique. This recipe was a huge hit.