Testing: Daniel Boulud's Lamb Daube

Saturday, February 05, 2011

As part of our resolve to entertain more at home in 2011, we had a group of seven friends for dinner last weekend. I decided to try a new recipe for the dinner, Daniel Boulud's recipe for Lamb Daube in the most recent issue of ELLE DECOR. While I have almost never cooked any recipes from decorating magazines before, this daube sounded delicious and the recipe had been approved by none other than Daniel Boulud himself.

Sadly, the results were less than satisfying. For one, it took ages to cut the lamb shoulder into cubes (I could only find lamb shoulder on the bone, so it required tricky butchery), and when I did, I discovered I needed a lot more meat to make up for the weight of the fat and bones I had cut away--making the meal pricier than I would have liked. When the daube was ready to be served, I discovered that it was very water-y--not like the stew consistency I expected. The flavors were great, but the thin broth was not appealing at all. Perhaps if you were going to make this you might take the top off the daube for the last 15-20 minutes of cooking? It might help. Lastly, I cooked the garlic for the recommended amount of time and thought it was done--the grits would have been much sweeter and less garlic-y, if I had let the garlic roast longer until it was more caramelized.

The lesson? Don't try recipes for the first time on guests unless you are prepared to feed your friends a dud meal. Also, proceed with caution when cooking recipes from a non-food magazine.


Liz Fenton said...

You should have some cornstarch or arrowroot on hand for a quick fix when your stew/sauce is too thin and you don't have time to cook it down. Mix with a bit of cold water, broth or wine and stir in--it won't form lumps. It's hard to do a lamb stew cheaply, but you might try the recipe with lamb shanks!

Laura Fenton said...

Next time I will--thanks for the tip!


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