Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Consommé and Wild Boar

Yesterday afternoon was particularly active, rife with kitchen prep work and the preparation of culinary delights. The finishing touches were applied to the consommé which has taken on an opulent golden hue and smells of winter vegetables, beef, and fresh herbs. A consommé is basically a clarified broth made by adding layer upon layer of flavor to create a nuanced though simple dish. Yesterday the final round of meats and vegetables were added to the broth before being purified by egg whites and several rounds of straining through a fine sieve. The final touch is an outstanding display of showmanship; passing the broth through a kitchen clothe draped over a strainer and suspended over a stool. The liquid drips slowly through, leaving any solids, impurities, and fat behind. It was amazing to see kitchen know how at its best, an improvised gadget to filter and further purify the broth.

Last night we ate a light dinner of the leftovers we have accumulated over the past few days coupled with a large salad and some cheeses. Everyone welcomed the lack of theatrics, savoring the simple meal before the caloric overload to come on New Years Eve. My father cooked one dish however and quite a dish at that. Our neighbor is an accomplished hunter and fishermen who periodically offers us the gifts of the forest. Two days ago he came by to drop off two beautifully butchered legs of a young wild boar, a game meat which is principal gustatory allure of the region. My father roasted them in the oven with whole garlic cloves, rosemary, and sliced shallots accompanied by roasted potatoes and a deglazed pan sauce. The leftovers and small taste of wild boar were a delicious treat to tide people over for the debaucherous night ahead of us. As always, I encourage you to enjoy and share delicious food and home cooked meals with yourself and others!

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