Friday, December 23, 2005

How Homer Prepared a Rack of Lamb for the Holidays

Take a woolly-fleeced lamb with attendants and slaughter it to the propitiating deity of which you have most need.

Once you have wrapped the thigh bones in fat and burned the offering on the altar, and have spitted and roasted the innards, take the choicest rack meat, consisting of one rack with seven ribs (white with glistening fat on one side), season the rack with salt and pepper, pepper from where the furthest Indus spills into the wine-dark sea.

Now take a burnished dark pot, oven-proof, that can hold its shield against Vulcan's powerful heat, and heat in it 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil, glistening gift of Athena, then sear the white glistening fat side of the lamb for two minutes or so over the voracious, all-consuming fire, Prometheus' gift for which Zeus wracks him with dark pain, then using fierce-grabbing tongs, sear it on the meat side for as much time, then on the bone side.

Remove from the fierce, all-consuming fire, and let the meat stand for several minutes in the airy breezes of Zephyrus, brother of Boreas, or apply a crust consisting of bread crumbs (1/2 c.), mustard (1 T.), an egg, and herbs, salutary, not the baneful medicines of the Thessalian witch nor of distant Medea, Medea, baleful sorceress beguiling Jason and the daughters of Pelias, but those of the land of high Athens - oregano, rosemary, and thyme from which Attic bees make pure ambrosial honey.

Roast the meat bone side down in the oven (475) for 15-20 minutes and let rest for 5 before carving. Check the temparature with a thermometer and be not blinded by the judicial blindness of Ate and overcook the meat.

Summon now the serving attendants to make the sauce; skim the rich glistening fat from the roasting pan, leaving any juices in the pan, running red, red such as the blood that raged round the wound of mighty Patroklos, friend of Achilles, the day that Hektor, tamer of horses, slew him on the field of battle, and Patroklos fulfilled his fate.

Set the pan over medium heat of Vulcan's all-consuming fire and add two or three cloves of garlic, gift of the gods that give men courage, cook 15 seconds and add 1/2-2/3 cup brimming full of dark, flashing red wine, scrapping the pan, burnished bronze, until the dark bits at the bottom, delicious, full of flavor, are removed from the bottom; boil to reduce by half. Add about 1/2 c. of beef stock made from the chine of sleek shammbling cattle and reduce over Vulcan's flame, to about half the amount before adding 1 t. fresh chopped thyme, thyme such as that from the Attic countryside where the bees buzz in the time of the blossoms, and a half teaspoon of dijon, Dijon, where fierce red-headed warriors raise the mighty war-cry, terrible to hear. Prior to pouring this suace over the meat, you may add butter (2 T.) if you wish, clogger of arteries, that sends many souls to Hades' gloomy house and the infernal shades below, leaving men feast for dogs and carion birds.

You may increase this recipe if you wish; one rack feeds a hoplite, fighter with a round shield seven ox-hides thick faced with fierce Medusa, terrible to see.

Pour a libation of flashing wine from a well-crafted cup, worked with many studs, and when prayers have been said and servants have come around to the guests with silver basins for washing hands and stools for their feet, and when baskets of bread have been passed, you may stretch out your hands to the good cheer, giving the fat chine, choicest portion, to H.E., H.E. scion of Daedalus who taught him to be a man of many wiles in the culinary arts, whose mighty powers spread dread surfeit throughout the world of men.



Blogger Fiore Bella said...

The others and I have come to a final conclusion... you have lost your mind. But that's ok, it makes for some entertaining recipes!

p.s. what about my Lemon bars?!

Happy holidays and such!

Elyse, et al.

10:01 AM  

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