Recently, during a visit to Glasbern, the Historic Inn and sustainable* farm near Allentown, PA, I had a 15 course tasting dinner created by Chef Jason Hook. (You can read about the visit here on gather.)
Of all the courses, the pasta dish was the revelation. Lamb (I love lamb) Bolognese on homemade pappardelle ($13 on the small plates menu.) With ingredients Iâ€™ve heard of but rarely used (black garlic â€“ I once made a grey aioli with it) and ingredients Iâ€™d never even heard of (red verjus â€“ a cross between red wine and vinegar) this dish was a dream; a comfortingly rich depth of flavor combining the above with garlic, cream, wine and onions in a lengthy cooking process to create the ultimate comfort food. I think it was the runny egg on top that made this my favorite dish.
A Spanish wine, from Catalan, to be exact, the 2006 Raimat ViÃ±a 32 Cabernet Sauvignon, was big enough to be on the table with the lamb pasta. I donâ€™t know that I would drink it on its own, but thatâ€™s the beauty of a good pairing, it can elevate both the food and the wine. Or, as in this case, the food made the wine taste better.
Graciously, Chef Jason allowed me to reproduce the recipe below so we can all enjoy this bit of perfection.
From Chef Jason Hookâ€™s new cookbook, "Farm To Coffee Table" - a culinary journey through the lens of a chef on a working farm.
Lamb Bolognese ala Chef Jason Hook
1 lb. ground lamb
1 minced onion
10 cloves garlic also minced
Â½ head of Black Garlic through a garlic press
1 cup red wine
Â½ cup red verjus
1 Â½ qts San Marino tomatoes (canned)
1 Â½ cups heavy cream
1 bunch basil
2 Tbs cumin
1 Tbs coriander seeds toasted and grated
1 Tbs smoked paprika
Brown lamb in a flat saucepan, degrease and reserve lamb
In the same pan, sautÃ© onion and garlic until soft and translucent
Return lamb to onion/garlic mix, add black garlic paste, cumin, coriander & paprika - stir
Add wine & red verjus and reduce until dry
Add tomatoes (crushed) & cream, cook on low heat for 3 hours
Off heat â€“ steep basil in the sauce for 20 minutes â€“ remove basil â€“ season to taste with salt & sugar â€“ keep warm
Serve over homemade pasta with a soft-cooked egg on each serving.
There you have it - from a TOP NYC restaurant, to a Pennsylvania farm, to your table - the epitome of lamb Bolognese recipes. Bon Appettit!
* NOTE about calling Glasbern "sustainable" instead of organic - "We do our best to use organic practices on every facet even though we're not certified organic." Glasbern
DISCLAIMER - Richard Frisbie accepts free copies of books for review, restaurant meals to critique, bottles of wine and liquor for tastings, and all-expense-paid trips in exchange for articles about the destinations. He is paid for these articles. He promotes informed, authentic information about food, wine and travel, and does not allow the financial arrangements and/or sponsorship to affect his judgment.
BIO - Richard Frisbie writes culinary travel articles, is a columnist for his local newspapers, and is a regular contributor to the many Hudson Valley, Catskill Mountain and other regional New York publications. Online, he writes frequent articles for EDGE Publications, GoNomad, Globalfoodie.com and Travel Lady, as well as Gather.