Sunday, 6 October 2013

Two Sheds Brown

Sorry guys. No real post today. Dead on my feet having spent the last three days clearing the end of the garden. removing the old summer house. Carrying out a war of attrition against the colony of false widow spiders that appreciated my last build (some fourteen years ago) and proofing the new build against easy colonisation of the new building.

Thanks to for providing such a perfect DIY build. Apart from the odd 'what the hell does this mean' with regards to the door construction and a remembrance of the pine helter skelltersI enjoyed as a kid  (I got up onto the new pine roof and found it was rather slippery. Managed to hang on to the ridge by my fingertips until my wife had footed the ladder again)  it went up in no time. Joints slotting together like a well made puzzle. We will spend the next few weeks preserving and painting the wood but at around 17:00 BST today I threw the hammer off the roof having fastened the last shingle to the roof and descended the ladder. Once it was secure, I made my way to the front of our new summer house to be met with a glass of Piper Heidsieck and a packet of Wotsit ( We know how to live.

Knowing that today would be the culmination of a three day trial to clear the area, construct the log cabin and make it weatherproof ready for the British Autumn, I had put some nice lamb shoulder shanks in the sous vide on Friday. 48 Hours plus at 62.5 C that turned the shanks into a buttery treat infused with the fresh thyme sprigs and olive oil they had been cooked in.

With my last ounces of strength I hoisted a good sized cast iron skillet onto the stove. Heated it to a searing temperature and popped the lamb shanks onto it. The meat was too tender to brown the shank but sufficient was caught on the pan to crust the bottom with a promise of a fine sauce. I threw in some very finely sliced onion and a clove of garlic before de-glazing the pan with a little Rioja and a touch of balsamic vinegar. I added the jus from the sous vide bag and reduced it whilst removing the jacket potatoes that my wife had put in the oven at 200C an hour earlier from the oven, serving with butter and a good measure of peas I had just steamed.

I plated this simple supper up and transported it to the new summer house where my wife had located a small Paris table and chairs and served a good Languedoc white from Sainsburys (Yes I know red is nice with lamb but not when you are up at 6:30 tomorrow).

Sorry, no photos but after all the toil and nothing to eat since the boiled egg and soldiers to gird the loins ready for the task at hand at 9:15 am the last thing on my mind was a camera. I did prepare a second batch of shanks for later in the week so watch this space.

We sat and enjoyed our hard work. Ate our well planned supper, and planned the rest of our week around wood preserving, lighting and networks. Now I am enjoying a good Armagnac (for medicinal purposes) and am looking forwards to an early night to enjoy my aches and pains in the certain knowledge of a job well done both on the future location of meals and the meal to christen our hideaway at the end of the garden.

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