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Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Sprout's Sexual Cafe: Braised Lamb Shoulder

Welcome to another installment of Sprout's Sexual Cafe, the cafe where we sexualize food, which may or may not be better than gastronomizing sex. I'm your host, Sprout, but most adults call me Jon unless they have a sentimental attachment to the previous moniker, which is fine. My staff and I are all about attachments here, but unless invited to stay, you will be expected to leave after dinner, maybe wearing one of my shirts. If it's the nice one I want it back. But oh what a dinner we have for you.

Ingredients

2 pounds lamb shoulder, cut into your best imitation of 1 inch cubes, seasoned with sea salt and pepper
4 small yellow onions, quartered
6 cloves garlic, sliced (No one stinks of garlic if everyone stinks of garlic.)
4 stalks celery, 1 inch pieces (I know, everyone wants at least eight-inch pieces, but seriously, that shit gets limp in hot liquid.)
1 pound carrot nubs (Carrot nubs? Well, in any Sexual Cafe you can't call them baby carrots. And who knows, someone may have an finger amputee fetish.)
1 cup red wine (That leaves plenty for transforming personality defects into adorable quirks.)
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled, 1 inch dice (We'll find out if my potato is as sweet as your potato.)
zest and juice of 1 lemon (Fuck the juice, keep the zest.)
vegetable oil (no original joke available)
Sea salt, thyme (use twice as much if it's sexythyme), and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Good. Now it's business-time. Cube the lamb shoulder. I know, it can be frustrating at first. There are bones where you don't want bones, and instead of giving a sweet massage, your knife is constantly probing and poking. What is connective tissue and what is bone? Just keep in mind that the connective tissue, cooked low and slow, is going to give your dinner experience the tenderness and richness that you deserve, that you've always pined for.

Put some oil in a stockpot on medium high, let it get good and so hot, and sear that meat (this will all be flavor later) for about four minutes a side (totaling 8, despite the fact that a cube has six sides). Set the meat aside. You'll want to admire it, but don't touch it yet. It's not cooked through. Haven't you ever read (or been taught in high school) the meat-handling instructions?

Toss the carrots, celery, onions, and garlic in the remaining oil and lamb fat. Season and caramelize a touch, but don't go overboard. We're building anticipation here. When you can smell the garlic sweet with your nose in the lovepot, add the wine. Reduce by three-quarters or until you can no longer smell booze. I know. I get impatient too.

Add the lamb back to the pot, add water to almost cover, taste the broth for seasoning, and put a lid on it. Sorry, I mean talk with your eyes, talk with your body. Cook it on low for two hours. What you do for those two hours is up to you, but if were up to me...I'd stir it occasionally. And always taste.

After the two hours are up, add the sweet potatoes. A half-hour later, I would put that shit in bowls, maybe garnish with a crusty bread, and eat. Of course, if you're up to something more fun, let it burn. Let's burn this whole town down.

We didn't even use the lemon. Well, it's not like this is a lemon party.
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8 Comments:

Blogger sybil law said...

That sounds delicious!
You know what I really loved in your ingredients list, though? This:
"2 pounds lamb shoulder, cut into your best imitation of 1 inch cubes..."
because I hate when I'm feeling like I'm not cutting something correctly to size, and you made me feel better.
Ha! I really am a dork.
I wish I had some of this lamb goodness right now.

11:05 AM  
Blogger jorg wobblington lopez said...

That sounds great!

I hate fuckin lemon parties.

12:23 PM  
OpenID whiskydrinkinchimneysweep.com said...

The next time I'm in Chicago I am coming over to Sprout's Sexual Cafe. I expect orgies in my mouth. The tasty kind.

6:27 PM  
Blogger JMH said...

sybil - yeah, I know. Cubes don't really appear in the animal world. But whaddya gonna do? Either someone's got to re-write all the recipes in the world (I'll volunteer), or science has got to grow cubes of meat in petri dishes (gross), or we just got to do the best we can.

I wish we could email food back and forth, but that's probably forty years from now. If we're still kickin', we could email each other creamed corn and Jello.

jorg - 30 Rock and Urban Dictionary really taught me the value of a lemon party. Ugh.

wdcs - Thanks for commenting. I love comments. You're certainly welcome anytime. Mouth orgies here don't taste like the public pool.

10:52 PM  
Blogger jorg wobblington lopez said...

I was wondering what smeared meat was. And how you smeared it. It sounded to sexual for my Victorian sensibilities, so I didn't mention it.

3:08 PM  
Blogger Rassles said...

One time I made a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Yesterday. Yesterday I made a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and I dipped it in wine because when I was little I would dip them in chocolate milk. It did not taste good.

Do you have anything to dip in wine?

4:51 PM  
Anonymous Sophia Grace said...

sounds ah-mazing!

8:38 PM  
Blogger JMH said...

Rassles - Sometimes I dip my head in wine.

Sophia Grace - Ah! It was.

6:03 PM  

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