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Thursday, June 28, 2012

“Famous Restaurant Recipes, Pt. LIX: Braised Lamb Shanks ala Beatrice—Classic South-of-France Cuisine featuring tender, ‘Fall-off-the-Bone’ Lamb Shanks in a Zesty Tomato Sauce” by Chef Vladimir Gdansk



We continue with our SPIRIT albums with today’s being a slight regression as we forgot to present it. SPIRIT’S eighth album, entitled, “Best of Spirit” came out in 1973 and was the band’s first compilation album featuring the best of the best of the first four studio albums (not including “Feedback.”) This album is among their best so we urge you take the convenient link, go to Amazon.com, and buy it NOW! Thank you, the Elemental News of the Day.  



COUNTDOWN TO THE END OF THE MAYAN CALENDAR…


Here's the countdown to December 21, 2012: from today, we have 178 days to go until the End of Days, the End of Time, Armageddon, and the End of the Mayan Calendar!  Everybody, beware!



STINKBUG 2012





Chef Vladimir Gdansk

END Commentary 06-29-2012

Copyright © 2012 by MHB Productions

Word Count: 2,068.



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Elemental News of the Day Commentary-Opinion-Sports-Foodservice for Friday, June 29, 2012 by Chef Vladimir Gdansk

FAMOUS RESTAURANT RECIPES, PT. LIX

 Famous Restaurant Recipes, Pt. LIX: Braised Lamb Shanks ala Beatrice—Classic South-of-France Cuisine featuring tender, ‘Fall-off-the-Bone’ Lamb Shanks in a Zesty Tomato Sauce” by Chef Vladimir Gdansk



Bakersfield, CA, 06-29-2012 F: Thank God it’s Friday, friends!  It means we are on our downhill slide towards the door and out of Oildale, CA, and back to Washington State.  I have lived all over the place and even though Napa is my favorite area in California, I do love my present home in Washington State, especially during the summer months.  Yes, it can be extremely cold during the winter months but one quickly adapts to it and becomes comfortable.  We do not have weather like the people living in the Midwest and that is because of the rain patterns and the fact that those of us on the other side of the mountains and around the Sound are kept warm by swift-moving water.  Yes, it can drop to low temperatures and the folks on the other side of the Cascades are much colder than those of us living on the western side but again, we don’t have the cold weather such as Iowa, Nebraska, and the other Midwestern United States does.  The summers more than make up for any discomfort caused by the winters and because of that, I would recommend that everyone come and visit us beginning in late May through early September.  After that, things begin to change and snow and ice become a constant.  On the islands out in the Puget Sound, they frequently experience power outages, which we do not on the mainland—they are true pioneers!

We will make a fabulous lamb recipe today using lamb shanks, something I believe no one else has ever done here at the Elemental News of the Day.  Lamb shanks are the lower part of the animal’s legs and while one cannot always be sure that they came from lamb rather than adults are difficult to decipher.  Even on the young animals, they are still fairly tough and it requires a period of braising to tenderize them and make them succulent.  This recipe will do just that and the fact that it hails from the South of France makes it that much more special.  We normally do Classical French recipes as opposed to doing Mediterranean-styled dishes so this will be an enjoyable experience for all of us.  Let us get this show on the road:  

(#1202) BRAISED LAMB SHANKS ALA BEATRICE

Auguste Escoffier: Master Chef, 1846-1935, the “King of Chefs and Chef of Kings.”

I remember the first time I had an opportunity to prepare this dish; it was a fun experience, as never before had I worked with lamb shanks.  I enjoy lamb as do most people I know in and out of the business and this tasty morsel is one that everyone seems to love.  There is nothing better than tender lamb meat falling off the bone on one’s plate and when covered with a zesty tomato sauce, well, it is unbeatable in my book.  Try it at your job or in your home and see how it works for you: it will probably be amazing!
Trade Winds® Spices available at Smart and Final and other fine Culinary Stores

Yield:  4 servings / Mis-en-place: 3-3.25 hours:




Qty.
Measure
Item
Other
4
5-6-ounce
Lamb shanks

Seasoned Flour II (Recipe #1592)

.5
Cup
Vegetable oil

.5
Teaspoon
Freshly minced garlic

.5
Teaspoon
Whole oregano

1
Teaspoon
Kosher salt

.25
Teaspoon
Black pepper

2
Cups
Chicken stock
Hot
.125
Cup
Lamb drippings

1.5
Cups
Finely-diced celery 

.75
Cup
Finely-diced yellow onions 

.75
Cup
Fine-diced green bell peppers

1
Each
Bay leaf

2.25
Teaspoons
Whole thyme

1.5
Teaspoons
Whole sweet basil

.5
Teaspoon
White pepper

.75
Teaspoon
Whole oregano

.75
Teaspoon
Whole rosemary

1.125
Teaspoons
Kosher salt

1.5
Teaspoons
Granulated sugar

2.25
Teaspoons
Minced garlic

1
Tablespoon
Freshly minced parsley flakes
Rinsed
7/8
Cup
Tomato puree

1
Cup
Chicken broth
Hot
.5
Cup
Catsup

1
Cup
Diced tomatoes with juice

.5
Cup
Gallo burgundy 

The Finish:
3-4
Cups
Rice du jour

2-3
Cups
Vegetables du jour

4
Each
Parsley sprigs
Rinsed
.125
Cup
Finely-minced parsley flakes
Rinsed



Method:

1.      Mis-en-place: have everything ready with which to work! Turn your standard oven on to 350°F or your convection oven to 300°F, fan “on,” and have ready.  Make the Seasoned Flour II recipe:

(#1592) SEASONED FLOUR II


            It is always important to have a variety of different methods for imparting additional flavor to our foods and this is one way to do that.  It is especially important during the breading and/or dusting process (es) to be able to instill a tasty sub-flavoring base that will make our ultimate product even more palatable than it might normally be.  The best way to generate repeat business is to have the most delicious foods out there because people do notice these things and sure do tell their friends, family, and co-workers about the quality of your dishes.  Never overlook even the most basic and inexpensive ways to accomplish this very important foodservice task.

1. About 2.5 cups:



Qty.
Measure
Item
Other
2.5
Cups
All-purpose flour

1
Teaspoon
Cayenne pepper

1
Teaspoon
White pepper

1.5
Teaspoons
Hungarian paprika

1.5
Teaspoons
Granulated garlic

1
Tablespoon
Kosher salt

2
Teaspoons
Parsley flakes




Method:

2.      Combine all ingredients together and store in an airtight jar, baggie, or whatever else and either keep at room temperature or in your freezer until needed.

It is important to have a seasoned flour recipe for breading different foods and this is a good one.  You will use this recipe many times.

3.      Dust the shanks in the seasoned flour and then place them into a baking dish sprayed with PAM or with some such other food release spray. Douse the meat with the vegetable oil and season with the first groups of spices.  Roast them in your preheated oven until light brown in color and a good deal of drippings have oozed out of the meat.

4.      Cover the lamb shanks with the first measure of chicken stock and then cover with a piece of aluminum foil or a lid fitted to the baking dish and return to the oven.  Continue cooking them while you proceed to making the sauce.  The lamb shanks will require 2-3 hours roasting time, as they must be “fall-off-the-bone-tender.”

5.       Place the drippings in a small saucepot sprayed with PAM and place over a medium flame.  Heat it up and when sizzling, add the vegetables and cook until tender and translucent.  Then, add the seasonings to them beginning with the bay leaf and ending with the parsley flakes and incorporate well. 

6.      As this is going on, combine the tomato puree, chicken stock, catsup, diced tomatoes with juice and the wine in another pot and bring to a boil.  When it has reached that state, pour it into the vegetables in the first pot and bring to a boil, keep there for 1-2 minutes, then reduce flame to minimum and allow the sauce to simmer.

7.      After several minutes, remove the shanks from the oven and poke them just to ascertain their state of being: they will still be somewhat firm which is fine.  Pour the sauce over them and then cover—TIGHTLY!—with a lid to the pan or with aluminum foil sprayed with PAM—sprayed-side-DOWN!—atop the meat and bring it to a boil over medium-high flame.  When HOT, transfer the pan to the oven’s middle oven rack and braise the meat for about 45 minutes at 350°F (standard) or 300°F (convection with fan “on”). 

8.      Check the meat at the 45 minute mark for tenderness: if still firm, return to the oven and lower the temperature by 25°F and continue cooking for another two (2)-to-possibly-two-and-a-half (2.5) hours or until the meat is indeed “falling-off-the-bone-tender.”  It is imperative that the meat is always cooked at moderately low temperatures, as this will tenderize the meat while keeping it moist.  Too high a heat will speed up the cooking time but also will not only dry out the meat but also toughen it to the point of being compared with shoe leather.

9.      Check the meat for tenderness and when it is as described, pull it out of the oven and prepare to serve it.  Place the shanks with plenty of sauce at six o’clock on each of four serving plates. Place rice at the ten o’clock position and the vegetables at two o’clock.  Place a parsley sprig dead center in the plates and then dust the shanks with freshly minced parsley flakes.  Then, they are ready to serve.  Accompany the meal with a strong burgundy wine such as Gallo.

10. Should any leftovers remain, remove the shanks from the sauce if you can and cool both to below 45°F as quickly as possible and then label, date, and refrigerate.  Lamb normally doesn’t keep for very long so it is advisable to use them as soon as possible; otherwise, remove the meat from the bone and use it in soups, stir-fries, or pasta dishes.

Lamb shanks cooked ala Beatrice are an old favorite of the country club crowd and was a standard at the country club in which, I was employed for many years.  This is a classic South of France culinary classic featuring many of the collective flavors of the Mediterranean area and is one that is still a good one to pull out of one’s chef’s hat and do once in awhile.

--------------------------------------------
Butternut Squash: an excellent vegetable choice!
As always, we have a great time around here and that is why we want all of you to become a part of the organization by submitting articles to us for inspection and full-credit.  It is a great thing if you would do this, as it is a symbiotic relationship: we give you the space to share your recipes and in return, you send us more and more people who will become dedicated followers of the END.  Currently of multi-diversity across the Internet, it is important that the voices of more and more people from all walks of the foodservice profession are heard—join us. We urge our readership to write to us, leave comments, and if there are any of you, who would care to write an article for us, please get in touch via Magnolia Hilltop Brewers, P.O. Box 20669, Bakersfield, CA 93390-0669.  We obviously do not pay anything but you will be given a full byline and that is worth its weight in gold.  We want as many people who want to write to be able to do so and we believe that by presenting a forum for our fellow chefs, we are doing something for our beloved industry.  We love diversity and hope to add new and different authors to our pantheon of chefs, food and beverage directors, and culinary professionals.  Come on and join us, it will be fun! Expect that when all of us have run through our cycle, we will be introducing some brand-new talent or so I am told.

Please remember to avoid doing business with AARC Technology in Bakersfield, CA.  These people do not care about the small customer anymore but instead put all of their attentions onto their corporate customers. It is sad to not remember why one has the success they do or from where it came.

Friday has come and gone and that puts us into our downhill slide for the week and do you know what would be great? If we had, tons of people visit the Elemental News of the Day this weekend!  It is possible, we are after all, the fastest growing online foodservice news site and it is important that our numbers reflect that seven days a week.  We want everyone to come and visit us and to begin looking at our online catalog of merchandise that will excite the family.  The END is hard at work on creating a line of culinary clothing for the younger, up-and-coming chefs of the modern time to wear both on and off the job!  We also are working at our consulting business and urge any of you who are in need of help to contract with us so we can help you make your business more successful and to take it to the next level!                                                

Anyhow, let us close with this impassioned plea—please leave some comments and/or become a follower and why not spend some money and purchase an album by SPIRIT/ Jo Jo Gunne and/or buy a cookbook from Amazon.com—we want to make some money here so help us out by buying something!  Allied with them, we are pleased to market their merchandise! See you next time around! Bye!  

Thank you!

V. Gdansk

V. Gdansk

Cook IV, CWC, ACF, and the Washington State Chef’s Association
This is a shot of me back in the 1980's when I was the Executive Chef at a country club in the Napa Valley. I spent many years working in foodservice, having begun as a young boy working for my father in his restaurant over on the coast in Pismo Beach. Foodservice is in my blood and it is something I still do actively every day in my late eighties in Washington State.

Chef Vladimir Gdansk writes from Mukilteo, WA.

---30---

The END Commentary for Friday, June 29, 2012 by Chef Vladimir Gdansk

Please note that everyone who writes for the Elemental News of the Day is their own person entitled to their own opinions, attitudes, and insanity so does not necessarily speak for all of us.  Thanks, Stinkbug.

REFERENCES:

The one-and-only Chef Vladimir Gdansk writes this original essay.



Recipe created by Chef Vladimir Gdansk on February 14, 1981 in Napa, CA.

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The Chef’s Culinary Nightmare: the end is indeed coming soon so beware of BOTH November 06 AND December 21, 2012!

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