Tuesday, October 18, 2011
This is it. This is my last recipe saved up from New York. After this, it will be all Paris apartment cooking, all the time. That is until December when I will be too-briefly reunited with R, the dogs, and My Kitchen. Yes.
But until then, we can always enjoy the fantasy of some completely indulgent roast meat. I don't make meat often, you may have noticed. So when I do, it had better be worth it. Is all I'm saying. This was the main attraction at a dinner party we had right before I left New York. I don't know if it counts as a party with only four people, but that's about as much as our apartment can really handle comfortably, since both dogs count as warm bodies as well.
So really, it's an easy procedure. You just have to remember to start marinading the meat a few hours before you're ready to really get going, and it's a relatively low-effort enterprise after that. Especially if you take your butcher up on his offer to cube the beef fillet for you. I mean, might as well. I can guarantee that his knives are better than mine. Then it's just to kabob your meat. Only the secret to these kabobs is layers of fresh sage which you earlier marinated along with the meat, and which, layered right up against the bacon or pancetta, absorb all of the renderings. I could eat a bowl of nothing but bacon-fried sage. Wouldn't even need the bacon.
Sausage and Beef Kebabs
Adapted from Jamie Oliver's Jamie's Italy
12 x 1" cubes of beef fillet
6 medium-sized Italian sausages, a mixture of spicy and sweet
5-6 thickly-sliced pancetta rounds
22 fresh sage leaves
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and passed through a press
2 fairly small lemons, one zested and juiced, the other quartered
Oil for the pan
Salt and pepper
The meat needs to be marinated for at least 1 hour and up to 3, so start by putting the beef cubes in a large, non-reactive bowl. Cut the sausages into thirds, quarter the pancetta rounds and add both of those meats to the bowl. Add 16 of the fresh sage leaves and save the rest aside.
On a cutting board, place your crushed garlic and the rest of the sage leaves. Mince them together until they form a paste. Put them in a small bowl and add the juice of one of the lemons along with the zest. Whisk in 4 tablespoons of olive oil, then pour the marinade over the meat. Toss the meat around a bit so everything gets covered, then cover the bowl with plastic and refrigerate for 1-3 hours.
When you're ready to roast them off, preheat your oven to its highest setting. Grease a baking sheet and set aside. To thread the kebabs, first use a piece of pancetta, then on top of that place one of the sage leaves that had been marinating with the meat. Fold the sage leaf over before you put it on the skewer. Next add a piece of sausage and finish with a piece of beef. Continue in this order until the skewer is full. You should get through three rounds per skewer. And you really do want the sage right there next to the pancetta so the pancetta drippings can work their magic on the sage. If you have enough pancetta, finish each kebab off with a slice of that on the top.
Place the kebabs in a single layer on your oiled baking sheet and place in the oven. Immediately turn the heat down to 400F and roast for about 20 minutes. When cooked through, remove from the oven and serve with lemon wedges to be squeezed over the top.