Friday, December 19, 2014

Duck Legs, Grits, Brussels Sprouts And Serrano Ham Red-Eye Vinaigrette With 2009 Domaine des Tours Vaucluse

A $14 Aldi duck was turned into three quarts of duck stock, Christmas duck pâté, and this duck leg dinner.

And what a good duck leg dinner it was. The smells alone!

Duck Legs, Grits, Brussels Sprouts And Serrano Ham Red-Eye Vinaigrette

"Cheater's" duck confit from Anne Burrell (with a decent amount of duck fat drained off and saved for future endeavors). It's duck confit without the "Yes, we get it. It's cooked in duck fat," leading to simple, delicious duck that can mingle with other flavors on the plate instead of screaming, "I'm cooked in duck fat!"

Bob's Red Mill white corn grits, based on Sean Brock's instructions for cooking grits in 'Heritage.' Since Mr. Brock uses what's probably the best corn on the planet, his one-hour cooking instructions didn't apply to Bob's Red Mill. Half-hour was perfect. Soak the grits overnight and DON'T USE MILK! Subtle corn goodness with perfect texture. Hello, grits. We'll be getting to know each other more intimately from here on out.

Charred Brussels sprouts that were nice to have around to fill out the plate but got very little attention.

Thomas Keller serrano ham vinaigrette, modified into a red-eye vinaigrette with the addition of a 1/2 cup coffee, reduced. Duck broth used instead of chicken broth, duck fat used instead of vegetable oil. Added sherry vinegar. This concoction "really tied the room together," bringing a third, fourth and fifth level of deliciousness.

"Slap me silly!" good meal for a grand total of about $15 worth of food. That's about 5% of the price we spent the night earlier at yet another annoying night out at an establishment that local and national outlets have told us is one of the best restaurants in town. Whew! We had opinions.

The wine was lovely here. The 2009 Domaine des Tours Vin de Pays De Vaucluse Réserve ($25 - Vin Chicago) is the third label of top-of-the-heap Châteaunuef-du-Pape house Chateau Rayas. The Chateau des Tours is Côtes-du-Rhône-based and typically more grenache-heavy, more reminiscent of Mr. Reynaud's iconic CdP blending percentages. This is the Domaine des Tours, which is usually more of a Rhône-y grab-bag blend, this one being grenache, counoise, syrah, cinsault, merlot and dious. We've loved it in the past (Domaine: 2006 here and 2007 here. 2006 Chateau here). This drinking reminded us why we fell in love with this wine in the first place. Silky, so balanced, subtle and proper hits of all one would want from a Rhône red in the right order, and perfectly medium-bodied. Pretty dark fruits, savory notes everywhere. Even something I thought tasted like green olives, rosemary and parsley had a baby. Then Mrs. Ney brought the ($8!) green peppercorn grinder to the table. That's exactly what it was. Loved it. And we need more, because this was a gosh-darn good pairing, as this wine has been with food nearly every time we've had it (meatloaf! Freakin' meatloaf! It was good with meatloaf!).

This seems to be the theme over the last two years. We go out to a restaurant the world tells us is good. It's not, and we come home and eat home food the next night that utterly destroys the supposed restaurant-world hype.

We were mad. And then, the next night, we weren't. Hey, world. You're paying a $200 tax on your dinner because you can't be bothered to learn how to cook.

Good food at home isn't easy, but it also isn't that hard.

No comments:

Post a Comment