June 15, 2008

Got my Goat

and by lamb, i mean goat
Confit of Goat Ribs with Ratatouille

So I finally got around to making the "Colorado Rack of Lamb" dish from the third season of Top Chef. I saved the recipe back in October, with the intention of making it. I quickly made the olive oil poached tomatoes with a roast chicken, but didn't get around to making the whole dish.

Last April, when Rich was visiting, I bought a half rack of goat to use for this dish and then realized that it was a summer dish (summer squash, tomatoes, etc.) - it has been sitting in my freezer since. In the last few weeks, I'd been looking for the "white anchovies" called for by the recipe with no luck.

By now I'd been almost regretting this - I'd put it off enough that expectations were raised so high it was bound to disappoint. Still, I picked up some zucchini and eggplant at the farmer's market on Thursday and started thawing the ribs. Saturday morning, I got some heirloom cherry tomatoes, and a spherical yellow summer squash that I can't identify.

That night, I put the herb rub on the ribs and decided that they needed to be trimmed. They weren't quite frenched the way I wanted. I tied them and put the rub on and left them in the fridge overnight. I was a little burned out, so I decide to make the sauce Sunday morning (the recipe specifies that it sit overnight).

For the sauce, I used some anchovies that I cured a few weeks ago. I had picked up some fresh anchovies from a farmer's market when I was returning from picking up our marriage license and cured them that night per the instructions in the Zuni Cookbook.

Sunday night, I put everything together. I brought the duck fat, the rub from the ribs, and some of the sauce to a simmer in the smallest pan that would fit the ribs, seared the ribs, and put them in the fat and turned off the heat. They finished cooking while the fat cooled down kinda like cooking sous vide without the bag. After 25 minutes the oil was down to 135 degrees, and the ribs were perfect. Meanwhile I made the eggplant sauce and cut up the squash.

In the end, the dish was very good, although it took a bit of duck fat to make. I may make the dish again someday, if I've got enough duck fat on hand. I do reuse the fat from my confit, so I may have it at some point in the future. (I wouldn't reuse the fat from this dish, too much random stuff in it.) Otherwise, I'll definitely reuse some of the components.

The Sauce Vert was tasty and would make a very good dipping sauce for bread - if I dial back on the garlic a little.

The eggplant sauce would also be good paired with the right dish. I'll have to figure out what to pair it with.