Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Wrong Recipe

Quick and easy, but way too lemony
Sometimes you just have to admit that a recipe doesn’t work for you. I’ve been using lamb neck frequently for a bolognese, which lead both and I to feel that we should find out what else can be down with lamb neck. We both independently found a blog post on lamb neck Provençal. Since I’m the guy who’s at home all day (don’t ask about the job hunt, just don’t), I got to it first.

Adam Roberts’s post doesn’t give any specifics, other than noting that he adapted a recipe from All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking by Molly Stevens. After some hunting, I found her recipe. It was fairly easy, and braises work nicely for us. It took me about forty-five minutes to get everything into the oven. Then we went off to the gym. That way we would spend two hours working out in anticipation of what we were going to eat.

One dissent I would have from the recipe is that Stevens puts the olives in at the end. I followed her recipe to the letter, but I would have put the olives in at the beginning if I were making this dish as I saw fit. Then there’s the lemon.

I liked the idea of using some lemon zest in the braise. Lamb is heavy and needs some bright flavors to balance it. That said, this dish has too damn much lemon. At the end of the thing, you put in two whole lemons. This dish is dominated by lemon. Even after a night in the refrigerator, it’s still lemon lamb.

Clearly, I could take any braise and throw lamb neck at it. Bœuf bourguignon with lamb neck instead? Oh yes. And so likewise, I could find a daube (Provençal stew) recipe and make it with lamb neck. We already have The Cooking of Southwest France: Recipes from France's Magnificient Rustic Cuisine on our shelves.

Instead of looking for a lamb neck recipe, I need to look for a good Provençal braise. Then I’ll just throw lamb neck at it. And I’ll hold back on the lemons.
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