Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Germany: The Failure

First, a note.  The following happened over the winter, but I am writing this in the fall.  Ridiculous, yes?  You want to know what is harder than having time and energy to cook and write while having three kids two and under?  Having the time and energy to cook and write while having a toddler and being pregnant with twins.  It laid me out.  I could barely make dinner every day, nonetheless something special.

But - despite lack of sleep, lots of nursing, and more diaper changes, I feel much better now.  So let's get back to this, okay?  Starting with writing about the things I did a while ago.

Anyway, Germany.  My international cookbook had a recipe the really appealed to me: Schweinelendchen im Schwarzbratmantel (Pork Tenderloin in a Dark Bread Crust).  You take a seared pork loin and wrap it in a crust of rye bread crumbs, ground pork, and eggs.  You then poach it.  Delicious, no?  Worth coming back to Germany even after already doing one day of it!

This was supposed to be served with a pork or beef demi-glace.  Great!  Where do I get that?  Or how do I make it?  I went to the store, certain I could find it.

Do you know what demi-glace is?  It is a stock plus an espangnole sauce.  A what?  Some stock and roux and a bunch of other stuff.  It is supposed to be delicious and awesome and not something you really just buy in a store.  You could order some online for a ridiculous amount of money.  Or I could make it by following a recipe like this one.  This included finding 7 pounds of beef marrow bones and a lot of other things that required me to follow links on how to make them.  Very much a meta-recipe.  Given how tired and off I was at the time I just...gave up.  I had already bought all of the other ingredients (except rye bread crumbs), but I couldn't do it.  Just looking at making a demi-glace made me want to go to sleep.

So I apologize, Germany.  You did not get the look I had hoped to give you.  Maybe someday.  We'll meet and have a date.  With beer.

Next time: Ghana

6 comments:

  1. Hey Danielle, when Beckett was on his Gaps/Gut diet exclusively one of the things it called for that was healthy was bone marrow in beef. We could buy a piece of beef with a bone, but we found out that Meijer actually sold bones. I got the impression that people bought them for their dogs. They were in the meat section or you could request them from the butcher there. Not that it still wouldn't be a chore to make. I need to look to see other recipes for Pork Tenderloin w/a Rye crust. That alone sounds like an undertaking.

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    1. I do make stock with chicken bones often, but never something as much of an undertaking as this! I didn't know he did GAPS for a while.

      I think anything with a rye crust sounds interesting - I love rye bread!

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  2. Can we draft Derek off the bench to help with this at Christmas?

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    1. Absolutely. I will bring my cookbook in a heartbeat if he wants to do it.

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  3. If you want to get all culinary-technical, demi glace is very heavily reduced (simmered until a lot of the water is gone) veal stock - it's thick from the lack of moisture and the gelatin from the bones, rather than from an added thickener like a roux.
    You can sometimes find it at specialty food stores and/or butcher shops (generally with the frozen things). I know in Madison, you can get it at Conscious Carnivore, Jordandal Cookhouse, Bavaria Sausage Co, and maybe Whole Foods.
    Making good demi glace is kind of a big pain (we're talking hours and hours and hours of simmering), so I think it's probably better to buy it - especially since it tastes kind of meh until you start mixing it with stuff, so if you've not had it plain before, you'll have a hard time telling if it's right. If you've ever gone to a good restaurant and had a steak or short ribs with a mouthgasm-good sauce, it was almost certainly part demi glace. It's a little expensive (probably $7-10 for a little half-pint container), but it's awfully good and full of flavors.

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    1. Hmmm...I didn't think of somewhere like Whole Foods. I could walk to one in Virginia, but I don't even know where the closest one is to here. Good advice though - and good info as always!

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