Monday, March 29, 2010

Jeffrey and a Communal Dinner

So, who is my second cousin once removed, you might be wondering? None other than New York's rock star butcher, Jeffrey Ruhalter. That's right. My great-grandma was his grandfather's sister. Obviously.

I'd be meaning to head down to the Essex St. Market to introduce myself to Jeffrey for awhile, but shyness got the best of me, until this past Saturday. With a spurt of bravado, and a little moral support from Suzanne, I trekked down to the LES, and found the man ready to help me himself, ponytail and all.

I met his lady-friend, and ended up with a giant gorgeous steak and a beautiful second cut brisket, at a VERY family-friendly price. Thanks Jeffrey!!!!

I had every intention of Jew-ing that brisket up with some red wine. That is, until Suzanne took me to the GIANT BEER WHOLESALE WAREHOUSE on Chrystie St. After that, the meat had a lot of beer in its future.

I slow cooked that sucker in a bottle of beer and some broth, chili peppers, tomato paste, 1 turkish bay leaf, thyme, and black peppercorns. Everything eventually melted and broke down into a thick, spicy sauce. The beef was super moist, and I even attempted to do things right and cut it against the grain with my shittay knife. If there were any of this brisket left (of course, the five of us around ate it all), it would have been prime stacked high on a toasted bun. Slow cooked beef sandwich, oh yes...

We made sage corn bread in my cast iron skillet to accompany.

In conclusion: Jeffrey rocks.

In other news, NYU paid for me to cook a communal dinner at my dorm yet again.

What I made:

-Swiss Chard lasagna featuring fresh pasta and Grana Padano cheese

-Poached Bosc pears in red wine, vanilla, and ginger served with the wine sauce reduced, and fresh Whipped Cream with cardamom, cinnamon, and rose water

-Raw radishes served French style: with room temp butter and sea salt

The joy I get from the frivolous spending with these dinners is remarkable. One of my key pointless buys was Burro di Parma. This is a super expensive Italian butter from the Parma region that is a by-product of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese making. It actually smells like the cheese. It's super crazy. And NYU paid for it.