A bouchon is like a bistro. Matter of fact a bouchon is pretty much a bistro...just located in Lyon. There are nuanced differences but they are pretty much the same thing. Thomas Keller is so precise, he didn't want to name his restaurant the common name, bistro, because it wasn't specific enough. Even though they are the same difference. SAME THING, Mr. Keller. SAME. Now, I'd love to have this post be all about "don't be afraid, it's easy." But um...yeah...that pep talk is NOT for this post. This post is all about, if you're a serious foodie and want to notch your belt with a serious recipe and you want your feet to hurt for 3 days, then this is the post for you. :-). But since YOU are probably a SANE person and won't want to spend December 23rd and 24th making FOUR separate recipes to create ONE dish, how about you settle for some eye candy. I'm not even going to post the recipe, because you'd get too tired scrolling through it. It's.that.long.
The recipe I made was Leg of Lamb with Flageolets in a Thyme Jus. I mean what was I thinking? It's a mouthful to say let alone cook. First I went to 3 different stores to find the stinking flageolets. And let's just say when I tasted them, know what I found out?? THEY'RE JUST BEANS PEOPLE. Yes, they were delicate and creamy but I could have substituted white beans and the world wouldn't have ended. Of course Thomas Keller is having a aneurysm right now since I just said that (cuz, you know, I'm pretty sure he reads my blog ;-)). And when I started this recipe I swore to myself that I was going to make this recipe exactly. To the letter. Because I usually don't. I don't follow instructions very well. Especially when it's a recipe. But out of respect to Mr. Keller, aka the only American chef with two different restaurants simultaneously holding 3 Michelin stars each, I was going to try his recipe TO THE TEE. I went to many stores, bought local, grass fed leg of lamb, made the Whole Foods butcher manager dig through his deep freeze for 5 pounds of lamb necks, made perfect, colorless garlic confit, roasted the lamb necks then boiled them and made sure I didn't "cloud the jus" (did you know jus could cloud? ...or that anyone considered cloudy jus, swill?). By the end of the recipe I was blurry-eyed and addressing my cookbook as "Chef" or if I was feeling impish, "Thomas." It was like he was there. Watching me. Judging me like some contestant on Top Chef. Knowing if I deviated from his carefully crafted masterpiece. And after I did all of that and my husband praised this amazing, perfectly cooked leg of lamb, he spent the next week praising the TWICE boiled lamb necks that he ate. EEEEWWWWWW. I'm pretty sure my husband was supposed to be Scottish. And born in the middle ages. Needless to say it was disconcerting to have spent all that time when the hubby praised the gorgeous, delicious Christmas dinner as much as the ingredients that ought to have been discarded.
Live and learn. Not sure what I'm making this year. Maybe boiled lamb necks. I'd probably get a Coach purse out of it. LOL. Wait what am I LOL'ing about. Coach purses aren't a laughing matter. All jokes aside if you are a collector of cookbooks as objet d'art, I can't recommend Keller's works enough. If you are crazy enough to make a recipe, you'll be rewarded. You'll also be sore and tired and significantly poorer. But if you're wondering if I'll make another of his recipes? Maybe not this year, I think I'm still recovering from last year, but oh yeah, I'll make one again. I'm just a wild and crazy girl like that. So what are you making this year?
|BTW, completely off topic. Would you have any idea that I took this picture in a completely dark room? So much so my autofocus was struggling to get a bead on it. This is what an external flash, bounced against a wall can do for your photography.|
|lamb necks waiting to be roasted|
|glistening garlic confit|
|leg of lamb, thyme and garlic gettin' all friendly up in that pan|