Tag: Bobolink

lardo toasts, roast lamb, coriander turnips

dinner, 10/15/10

The lardo in the first full course was awesome, but the little roast was the probably the featured attraction in this dinner.

I knew that using a slow oven for the second would mean a chance to relax and enjoy some cooking smells for a longer period of time than usual, but while the entree was finishing up in the oven I began to think that it might have slipped out of my control (I was afraid that I had overcooked the lamb – and even the turnips).   I was working with a really very small piece of meat, but I suspected that this shoulder cut could not be cooked as rare as I would normally.

It turned out perfectly in the end.  We were able to enjoy the most luscious and juicy roast lamb – and cracklings – I know I’ve ever had (it also had an excellent gamey taste, more than that to which I’m accustomed in lamb).  There were also some excellent caramelized turnips, with almost-crunchy edges and seasonings which gave them a distinctive but subtle Mediterranean piquancy.

Welcome to fall.

  • quartered “Easter Egg radishes” (parti-colored) from the Union Square Greenmarket, served with our favorite salt, Maldon
  • warm toasts of a terrific, and very sturdy, “Wheat Italian Bread” (locally-grown organic grains, including whole spring wheat flour and organic whole winter wheat flour, sea salt, yeast, sesame seeds, egg wash) from Wild Hive Bakery covered with very thin slices of Mangalitsa heritage pork lardo from Mosefund, whose stall is in the Sunday New Amsterdam Market Downtown, sprinkled with a bit of freshly-ground black pepper and served with red dandelion leaves from the Greenmarket which had been tossed with a light lemon vinaigrette
  • wine:  Italian, from the Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol, Trentino Intaglio 2008, from Eataly Wines
  • a small (13 oz)  rolled boneless lamb shoulder from Arcadian Pastures, first slit all over to accommodate slices of Rocambole garlic (Keith’s Farm, in the Greenmarket) and rosemary leaves, rubbed with oil and lemon juice (ideally, it should then sit in the refrigerator for hours, but not this time), seared and first slow-roasted (270 degrees F) covered, to a juicy medium or slightly more, then with the cover removed and the oven turned up to 425 degrees, browned on top, sliced and served with lemon wedges;  accompanied by chunks of turnips from Bodhitree Farm, tossed in oil, Alderwood salt (from The Filling Station) and pepper, spread onto a large ceramic pan and roasted at 425 degrees, removed from the oven and tossed in a bowl with oil, minced garlic, chopped Titan parsley from the Greenmarket’s Paffenroth Gardens, lemon juice, and ground coriander seeds
  • cheese and fruit:  small amounts of three cheeses, a mild blue ewe’s milk, Bonneyview Farms’ Mossend Blue, purchased from Saxelby’s Cheesemongers (whose shop is located in the Essex Street Market) at the New Amsterdam Market, Bonrus;  an Alta Langa Piedmontese, from Eataly, also of ewe’s milk;  and a cow’s milk cheese, the Cave-Aged Cheddar of New Jersey’s Bobolink Dairy, the three served with golden raspberries from Berried Treasures
  • wine:  French, Domaine Mas de Martin 2007 Coteaux du Languedoc from Pasanella and Sons Vintners

three inspired by Marlow & Daughters


(probably not your mother’s butcher:  a detail of the meat case at Marlow & Daughters)

Marlow & Daughters

The post which appears just before this one describes a dinner which, although it did not include meats from the Williamsburg butcher shop Marlow & Daughters, was almost a natural segue from the three meals which immediately preceded it, which did.  The connection is their components, which were importantly either blood or liver (discouraging all but the heartiest meat eating readers), specifically the blood sausage in the Huevos Flamencos and the poached links of lamb liver sausage which dominated the meal the previous night.

It was only a coincidence that we had also enjoyed lunches with two different kinds of delicious liverwurst sandwiches on Monday and Tuesday (thanks again to the Union Square Greenmarket and the people at Flying Pigs Farm), but it appears that in those four days we were deep inside territory many might consider (excuse the pun) too gutsy for their taste.

The lamb liver sausage was the third in a series of dinners inspired by our visit to Marlow & Daughters on Sunday after our afternoon visiting Williamsburg galleries.  We’ve long been fans of the restaurants Diner and Marlow & Sons, which share a connection with each other and with Tom Mylan, their former in-house butcher.  Now Mylan is a food blogger, and has his own Broadway meat shop, for which he purchases only local, pasture-raised whole animals and then butchers them on-site.   The meat can often be cut to order, and there’s a generous charcuterie selection.

We had been reading exciting things about his independent venture and had been impressed with Mylan’s appearance on NPR’s “All things considered” last spring, but hadn’t actually visited the site until now.

On Sunday we brought home two beautiful, thick, sirloin steaks.   They looked like giant tournedos to me, but still somehow managed to tip the scales at only about 6 ounces each.  Perfect.    It was almost closing time when we arrived, but when the butcher I spoke to saw how disappointed I was that there was only one steak left in the counter, he told us that if we could wait a few minutes he’d cut two in any size we wanted from a large slab of dry-aged beef he had in the cooler.  Wow.  I was impressed.

It took me all the way back to the little full-service Italian grocery store down the street from the house where I grew up, in pre-breakdown Detroit:  I was probably thirteen or fourteen, and my first (after-school) job was as a stock boy and bag packer at “Nino’s Market” (it was probably only the size of our Manhattan apartment), and I clearly remember that, after the manager, who was the proud and very hot young son of the owner, the butcher was treated like a God!

I’ve never been afraid of meat since.

We also bought half a pound of beautiful house-cured guanciale, since it seemed about time for Pasta alla Gricia once again.  We never tire of that dish, which ideally includes properly-cured pork jowl, but a number of different pasta choices (we usually use a penne).  We first enjoyed it in 1996, in the form of Spaghetti alla Gricia, while sitting at a table on the street outside the Piccola Trattoria da Lucia, in Rome’s Trastevere (Chiuso il lunedì).    We went back to the Vicolo del Mattonato two days later, and at least once again the next time we were in Rome one year later (the founder’s son, Renato Bizzarri, who succeeded his mother in running the restaurant, recognized us as soon as we sat down).

Back at Marlow & Daughters, I looked around for lamb, and was sorry to hear from another butcher that the shop was altogether out of it.  Then he told me that he did have some lamb liver sausage in the back and wondered if it might interest us.   He was asking the right guys:  we were both game, and of course the medium-dark, purply sausage itself looked and smelled like game.  I knew I already had the wintry vegetables which would complement it.  We asked him to wrap up two links (11 or 12 ounces total).

The small shop also has some great cheeses, a small selection of pickles and preserves, milk, some fresh vegetables and fruit, and a carefully-selected assortment of dry food products.  Heaven.

This is a more complete description of our three Marlow & Daughters meals, whose vegetable ingredients (as well as the ice cream) were all gathered from the Union Square Greenmarket:

dinner, December 8, 2009


dinner, December 9, 2009


dinner, December 10, 2009


[image at the top from Rotating Corpse]