Today is a not atypical dinner problem: I have a guest coming over so I don’t want to utterly wing it, the car smells bad (Amelie spilled milk all over everything yesterday.) so I don’t want to shop, and I have a gorgeous boneless leg of lamb in the fridge. I have a recipe for roast shoulder of lamb, from my cordon bleu cooking class, but philippe just expressed distain for the results of it. Now what?
My first step is usually to form a vague vision of the end result– I want to do a roast leg of lamb, I’ve decided, probably butterflied and rolled. The Cordon Bleu one was stuffed, but I am not going to go shopping for the sausage and chicken liver mixture it was stuffed with.
Now I research how others approach this task, startign with my most trustworth adviser, jaque Pepin, then moving out to Julia Child and a few cooksbooks that look like they might have recipes in that vein, such as anthony bourdain. And I hit up epicurious.
BONELESS LEG OF LAMB STUFFED WITH SWISS CHARD AND FETA
LEG OF LAMB STUFFED WITH WILD MUSHROOMS AND GREENS
HERB-STUFFED LEG OF LAMB
So far Julia has the best recipes, so I will use her book as the base approach.
Next I read a bit of McGee to get my head around the advantages of searing and slow roasting, and what might cause dryness or toughness.
Now I have theory, and examples. I look for patterns– how do most folks tie up a raost? What stuffing is recommended? What temperature/time? Trusting Julia more than other sources, but listening for interesting ideas.
I’m seeing that there seem to be two kinds of stuffing– stuffing for flavor layers, and stuffing that has its own presence: for example, a herb stuffing you would not notice, while the previously mentioned chicken liver/sausage stuffng you would. Julia mentions an olive paste stuffing, and i have some Trader Joe’s tapenade in the cupboard, so I’ll go that way.
Next I like to print out the recipe I’m goign to follow– if it’s Julia, I’ll still print out the epicurious recipe because its’ easier, and make notes on it based on what Julia says. Then I’ll cook.
I’ll let you know how it turns out. My final step is usually to publish the final recipe on my recipe site.
So why did I categorize this post as Strategy? Because this method, I realized, is how I approach business concepts also.
Set a vague goal
Get expert advice, weighing trusted advisers over unknown
Set a specific goal