Eastside Road, Healdsburg, February 14, 2009
THE RECIPE IS FROM Richard Olney's Simple French Food, but we hardly need to look at it, we've made it so many times, and it's so simple:
Ask the butcher to saw the lamb shanks into slices a couple of inches thick. Brown them on all sides in a little olive oil in a heavy pot with a close-fitting lid; then throw in a head of garlic, the cloves separated but not peeled, and let them cook very slowly — we use an asbestos pad under the pot and turn the flame as low as possible. The meat will form its own juice.
After an hour or two sprinkle dry herbes de Provence on the meat and let it cook as much longer as you like. When all the liquid's gone you might want to sprinkle a few drops of water on the meat; we've never found that necessary.
Remove the meat to a hot platter, deglaze the pot with a little white wine, and pass the glaze and the garlic cloves through a food mill to make a heavy sauce for the meat. Serve with noodles. Tonight we had a small very delicate cabbage, simply quartered and steamed.
Viognier, Louis Preston, 2006