We have been re-evaluating Chez Us the past couple weeks. Sometimes
we I feel like we I let the blog-world grab it and run away into a direction it shouldn’t be going. It is time to bring in the reins a little, and not be so loosey-goosey. When we started Chez it was a place for us to come, share a meal with you, and to share a little bit about us. The pun is that, “she cooks” and “he devours”. So, over the course of the next few months, I am going to cook and he will continue to devour. We will be making little changes. You may notice. You may not. We will see. *smiling*
One thing that we always chitter and chatter about is sharing more of our heritages with you. You know the type of food, good, wholesome cooking, that we only enjoy with our families, and we clearly do not take advantage of it at our home. And we should. Some of these recipes are old family favorites that cannot be found anywhere online. Who are we keeping them from? What’s the big “secret”? Why aren’t we sharing them. Rejoicing in them.
Last week, I dusted off one of my favorite Basque cookbooks, From the Basque Kitchen. It is not in print any longer. It was my Tia Anne’s, and when she passed, it was passed down to me. It was published in 1973, by the Zazpiak-Bat Basque Club, and I had not even begun to appreciate cooking (yet). The cover is made of thick red paper, and the words were typed out with a type-writer. The pages are a faded old yellow, and it smells of cooking oil. The recipes are rustic and easy. Some of them don’t even have measurements, just words, recipes that were recited by grandmothers, great-grandmothers, and theirs.
I was toying with how to cook some lamb sirloin that Lava Lake’s Ranch sent our way. I wasn’t sure if it would be a bit tough and require some braising or if I could simply grill it. I decided to have some fun. I dug through the still packed boxes that are coveting our cookbooks, and finally found what I needed (yes, it was in the very last box; wouldn’t you know it). I turned to page 25 and found the recipe, Meat Marinade. It is simple. A 1/2 gal of burgundy wine, bay leaves, oil, garlic, onion and vinegar. That’s it.
I pulled my ingredients, grabbed a mixing bowl, measuring cups and spoons and got to work. The recipe clearly had to be changed a bit as 1/2 gallon of burgundy would marinate a small animal. I crumbled the bay leaves into some red burgundy wine, minced lots of garlic along with shallots and let the red-wine vinegar mingle with the mixture. Then I submerged the sirloin, and let it bathe for 24 hours. The next day I roasted the meat at a low temperature until it was 135 in the middle. Just before, serving, we thinly sliced it and served it along side a big bowl of Basque Beans. I felt like I was 10 years old, enjoying a meal at the wooden table in my Tia Anne’s kitchen. The meat was moist, and very flavorful. Subtle hints of garlic with a smooth jammy finish; like a fine glass of burgundy.
Disclaimer: Lava Lake Ranch supplied us with their amazing lamb to use in the development of recipes for their website. The views on this blog are our own and in no way were we monetarily compensated for writing this entry.