Thursday, 15 May 2014

Shakespeare once said, "Tis an ill cook who cannot lick his own fingers"

Oh the shanks, the shanks!!!!......many a time have we tried to slow cook them.....or Laurence has.  Up to now we/he have never been successful.  Today, the attempt was on me.  So I found a recipe, and started cooking at 2:00pm.  I chopped, sautéed, and made the braising liquid that the precious meat was to slow cook in.  I carefully followed the recipe, covering and uncovering the meat at the appropriate time.  I even cross-referenced other recipes and cooking web sites to make sure that I was doing things correctly. Now it is 6:30pm and the outcome of this dish still seems uncertain.  I bought a roasted chicken in the event that I "stuff this up" as they say here. I stealed myself for the disapproving look from the hubbie if the outcome fell short once again.  This was, after all, a fine piece of meat that he worked hard to get (hunting and gathering). 

Now, I am sure that this is going to sound ludicrous  (and I am laughing as I am typing) but this evening as I am cooking this venison, there is part of me that wants to be transported back to the time of some (any will do) Shakespearean court so that I might wax poetic about how making this dish will surely win my true loves heart (or something along those lines-the way to a mans heart is thru his stomach, but like William would say it).  

Well my "true love" is home so now and the moment of truth is upon me.......insert a short bridge of "impending doom" music.....Stay tuned, Shakespeare and I will be back to finish the tale of the venison shanks....

Fast forward to the next afternoon we are now at T plus 10 hours of "low and slow" cooking, And.......I have pulled it off!!!! Let the victory bells ring!!!!  The meat has tenderised and is falling off the bone...the braising liquid is deliciously rich and flavorful.  The only tragedy left in what had the makings of such a Shakespearean tale is that the hubbie out of town and I must dine on this goodness alone (hehehehehe). In honor of Shakespeare's quote from Romeo and Juliet I did lick my fingers....more than once.  

I sent these photos with descriptive texts to my husband so he didn't feel as if he was totally missing out. Not to fear my love, there are leftovers for your return home tomorrow night.  

Here's the Tom Valenti recipe I used courtesy of my Epicurious app. This app consistently delivers great recipes that can be easily executed.  They used lamb shanks in the recipe below and I used venison but that doesn't really matter.  What varies greatly, as I found out, is the cooking time that is required :) 


Also, the suggested white bean purée recipe is super easy and absolutely delicious! With chicken or venison it's a "no-fail" side. I used canned beans instead of dry and this shortened the boiling time from 90 minutes to 50 minutes.   

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