Weird Crap I Cook: Roast Tuna Head

“So much head I woke up in Sleepy Hollow” – Kanye West

I hear ya Kanye, I hear ya.  Before listening to Dark Fantasy I legitimately had no idea that Kanye West was friends with recreational tuna fishermen, let along had any interest in cooking odd foods.  Shows what I know.  We have so much in common!

Much like Kanye, when I got home from last weekend’s trip to LBI I recognized I had lots of head in my freezer; two from yellowfin tuna plus a hogs head.  I knew I had to cook one of them, and quickly, to make room in the freezer for our upcoming fall beef CSA.  With football Sunday and an apartment full of guinea pigs, er, friends planning to come over, I figured it was time to cook some tuna head.

I ended up thawing the one from earlier in the summer that wasn’t fully cleaned or butchered prior to freezing.  Gotta say, what came out of the trash bags was relatively grim.

Like I said, grim.  This photo is after I cut away the stomach and intestines that had been frozen in with the head.  Don’t worry, I won’t be posting shots of the butchery.  I just wanted to be done with this one before I could stink up the kitchen so did no pausing for pictures in process.  Also, there was still a fish hook in the jaw which added to the horrifying motif

The good news was that there was a bonus strip of belly meat still attached to the head.  The bad news was everything else.  The tuna was freezer burned and generally smelled awful due to the contents of the stomach and intestines being wrapped up with the meat.

At times during the process I considered tossing the whole thing out but instead trimmed away most of the exposed meat and found that underneath was some nice looking pink tuna.  Less meat than if it had been fully cleaned before freezing, but still plenty left to use.  I bagged the collars and belly separate from the head and left them in the fridge overnight.

The next morning I put together a marinade of soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, siracha, and brown sugar.

That giant jug of Kikkoman from Costco has been excellent for a summer full of marinades and sauces.  The full sodium aspect of it just means that I’ve been filling out my friendship anklets better lately

About half of the marinade went in with the collars and belly and the other half went into the trash bag that held the head.  After a couple hours in the marinade the head went into a Pyrex with some of the marinade poured over the top.

If it didn’t smell horrifying, this would be a decent animal head to hang on the wall.  Maybe with a tail on the other side of the wall and possibly a cracked pattern stenciled on the wall.  You know, to show what a wacky homeowner you are

When it comes to roast tuna head, there isn’t a ton of info to be found on the English language internets, so I was basing my approach on a Bizarre Foods episode and knowing that heat + head = edible.  I leaned a lot harder on the second point since there wasn’t any detail on how to cook the head in that episode, just a picture of it coming out of the oven.

With that said, the head went into a preheated 350F oven for about an hour before I checked on it.  It took an incredible amount of restraint not to say “the head headed into a preheated…” in the previous sentence.  I’m addicted to puns like some sort of non-life-destroying, mildly humorous version of crack.  Crack jokes!

After an hour, I didn’t expect it to look any different.  But, I was incorrect with that assumption.

All the skin and bone had this smelling pretty fishyfunky, which is why I had a sturdy chili cooking alongside it in ‘Lil Blue.  This made it extra confusing for every person that stepped into the kitchen and caught a whiff

Shortly after taking that picture, the head tipped over, I poured the rest of the marinade on, and it went back into the oven.

Poor ‘Lil Blue.  It must have been so scary being in that oven alone with the tuna head.  At this point I think her friends are talking to her at parties about how I’m no good for her

After another half hour the head looked fully cooked through so I removed it from the oven and let it cool down a bit for handling.

The head felt like a kettle cooked potato chip at this point; far more brittle than I thought it would be.  Generally this whole experience was pretty enlightening.  Really just for me though

After 30-40 minutes, I called Buschy in for this portion of the documentation since it would be impossible to do myself.  It was really odd to me how easily the head cracked apart, but it made it much easier to scavenge for meat inside the head.

Opened it like a book.  I learned this destructive technique from Janet who loves books but treats every one of them like it’s a perfectly cooked rack of ribs ready to be torn apart and eaten.  Or, like she is also a book but she is a fierce cannibal.  Lets go with the first analogy, far less clumsy and uncomfortable

No need to share a ton of fotos from the mining.  The cheeks of a tuna are relatively small but can be fished out from between the inner and outer head cartilage.  The bulk of the meat is between the top of the skull and the skin and came off in a giant pile.  Aside from pulling some bits of meat from around the eyes, that was pretty much the whole pile.

Those eyes have to have any regular blog reader a little concerned about what will be coming later in the blog

After picking out some small and large bones, discarding any pieces that got a little too charred in the base of the pan, and chopping the meat coarsely, I had a nice little pile to work with.

Ended up adding the grilled belly meat to this bowl as well.  With the relatively innocuous look of the meat I wish multiple guests hadn’t stumbled into the kitchen earlier in the day while the oven was open and mumbled “holy f*ck” before hustling out of the room

With the meat in the oven to keep warm, I grilled up the collars as an appetizer and an easy entry point into tuna head eating.  Or that’s how I pictured it.

Due to the amount of trimming and the fish being 1/3 smaller than the one we caught last weekend, these collars felt a little wimpy.  Didn’t help that we threw away all of our take out chopsticks recently so people had to use forks to pick at it

The reality was actually a little different since random bites were fishier than the rest and, because I had trimmed so much off, the best meat had to be mined for.  Everyone picked a bit and I added the remainder to the meat bowl.

Just realized I haven’t addressed my plan for the tuna head meat yet.  I guess I was hoping Blog Villain Matt wouldn’t still be reading.  I made tacos.  There, I said it.

Flour tortillas were the only normal part of these tacos though, the other toppings were cubed cucumber, chopped green onion, and a slaw made of green cabbage, homemade pickled carrots, and rice wine vinegar.

Forgot to take this picture before we all made our tocks.  I need to make something soon that Kristi isn’t terrified to hang out in the kitchen with.  The pictures on this blog have been an abomination lately

A good taco featured all of the ingredients plus the tuna topped with a thick sauce made from duck sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, siracha, ginger, and brown sugar.

I could have sipped that sauce in front of a fire and had a wonderful evening.  Also, I’ve come around on these fake paper plates Kristi got for when we host people, but I hate that I think friends are going to poison themselves when they microwave them

Gotta say, these tocks were pretty solid.

The tuna meat, since it was fully cooked through, was relatively firm but not nearly as fishy as I expected from the smell when disassembling the head.  The sauce added a nice strong flavor that didn’t overwhelm the fish but made up for the bland cucumber that added texture but not much else.  Lastly, the combo of the crunchy slaw and scallion gave a nice contrast to the head meat.  Lots of Asian flavors coming together and playing nice.  I will likely end up doing something similar with the other tuna head in the freezer.

I didn’t forget the eyes.

Lets talk about something else

I also didn’t eat them.  Next time, I promise. Let me do this on my own terms, k?

We might have our first guest blogger next week, which will be exciting and likely ego testing for me.  Hope you enjoy the new nauseating blog masthead that could be tweaked soon.

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Weird Crap I Cook: Turducken

I had Turducken for the first time 4 years ago after ordering it frozen from Hebert’s Specialty Meats, the originators of the concept.  It was good though painfully salty even for a salt lover, so I decided if I was going to have it again I would have to make it myself from scratch.  It just took awhile for the perfect opportunity to come again.

With plans to host a Christmas party for a few friends in Boston, I knew the time had come to attempt the prep-heavy and slightly difficult turducken.  For those unfamiliar with turducken, it’s traditionally a deboned chicken, inside a deboned duck, inside a deboned turkey, with layers of cajun stuffing in between each layer and at the center.  Pretty crazy concept.  Basically, you are fitting all of this…

Not sure if it will be noticeable, but we got a new camera and I'm hoping it helps us take better pictures

Into this…

Only the second time laying down newspaper in a kitchen after the tuna head. I knew this was going to get extremely bloody and messy, just hoped none of it would be my blood

I’d never deboned poultry before and definitely had some concerns.  At the same time, it seemed like the type of thing that just required a sharp boning knife and the patience of making lots of small cuts.  The only planned difference between the traditional version and mine was that the middle layer would be chicken instead of duck since the duck I had in my freezer was very small.

Since the turducken should look like a regular turkey when it’s fully assembled, you want to keep each outer layer intact except for the initial cut on the backbone. Aside from navigating around the shoulder blade, the early going is (relatively) easy.

This took maybe five minutes. I went with the chicken first since the duck was small and would be tough to navigate and the turkey needed to have minimal flaws since it's the outer layer. To make my turducken feel better, Pete Ryan's outer layer has a lot of flaws

The chicken and duck layers are completely deboned, including the thigh and wing bones, but the first step is to remove the rib and back area.

Kristi deserves credit for the awse photos in this post and my equally awse apron (with "Weird Crap I Cook" and a picture of the hogs head barbacoa on it). That bad boy got dirty quick

Once you get around to the keel bone (the bone that separates the chicken breasts) you start on the other side from the backbone again.

This felt like switching to the other side of the bed after a year of sleeping on the same side; there was no way to mimic the muscle memory of the first side. Cutting away from me was easier than spinning it and approaching it from the opposite direction

After 10-15 more minutes, I’d arrived back at the keel bone and had to cut the cartilage away from the skin to keep the deboned chicken intact as one piece.  Leaving me with this:

I'll try not to go into this kind of self indulgent detail with each bird. I just thought the whole process was interesting and showed off that I'm good with a blade. Comes from growing up on the tough streets of the 07924, yo

After popping the thigh and wing bones out (easily the most annoying/difficult/messy part of the whole process) I rolled it back up before putting it in the fridge and starting on the turkey.

I think that deboning a single bird, stuffing and roasting it has a lot of potential. Stuffed chicken breasts are always disappointing because the breasts get so dried out, but this thing with crispy skin and stuffed with prosciutto, garlic and spinach would be absurd

Next up was the turkey, which I found to be the easiest bird to debone since it is the largest and the leg and wing bones stay in.

I know, I know, I can't believe I still have fingers to type with either

By the overall standards of the day, I pretty much flew through this thing (in 20 minutes).  The owner at Hebert’s can debone all three birds in something like 17 minutes.  While impressive, the work it took to gain that proficiency is about as enviable as being married to someone who makes you spend your Saturday taking 200 photos of him butchering poultry.

Don't worry, I hate wasting food and I certainly was leaving a little meat on the bones, so I saved the carcasses and other parts for future soup/stock making. Really sorry I made you worry

Onto the duck, the bird I knew was going to be a pain in the ass from the second I saw how small it was.

No, I don't have a cartoonishly ingrown fingernail on my middle finger, I was just squeezing extremely hard to maintain a grip on the tiniest piece of this mangy bird

I love duck, but deboning it didn’t really blow my hair back.  This was a roasting duck, so there just wasn’t much meat to work with.  I had hoped to use a full sized duck, since the local Stop and Shop had them recently, but I had to go with the subpar one in my freezer.

On to the final shot of the duck (prior to considering intentionally stabbing myself to end the annoyance of removing the thigh and wing bones)

Duck looks and smells like raw beef. Weird stuff

With the deboning finished in just under an hour and fifteen minutes, the poultry was unceremoniously dumped into a giant bowl for an overnight stay in the fridge.

I laughed like a psychotic thinking about the babysitter we had Saturday night looking for food in the fridge and stumbling across this

From there I got the bones all bagged up and labeled for the freezer.

This would be a ridiculous thing to do if we didn't make so much soup in the Ryan household

It was time to get started on the most important part of the turducken; the stuffing.  That change from bloody, messy butchering also meant that Janet could return to the kitchen with her magic, gravity-defying chair.

"Yeah, so, daddy, I know you've slowed down with the Purell use recently but I'm going to have to go ahead and ask you to start using it before anytime you come near me. Great, thanks"

Since I don’t have andouille readily available, I decided to start out the stuffing the same way Tim and I start our (regionally) famous “Stuffing of the Gods”.  I sauteed chopped onion, garlic and celery in a little butter for a few minutes before adding a pound of sausage meat.

That's right ladies and gentleman, a fourth animal has entered the meal. Possibly a 5th and 6th too; that tube of sausage looked like it was purchased on the resale market or something

After the sausage had browned, I added a half pound of cubed brown mushroom, 10-15 fresh chopped sage leaves, salt, black pepper, cayenne, and lots of paprika.

"Half pound of mushrooms" has become about as common an ingredient on this blog as salt and pepper

So, finally, it was time to add in the bread from the original ingredient picture that I had been letting get stale for a couple days.  It was really just the 6 slices of wheat bread that needed it; the cornbread was about a week old at that point.  I cubed the slices, let the cornbread break apart on it’s own, added more spices and a little chicken broth, leaving me with this.

This stuff was freaking delicious and had a great spicy heat. I was a little overly concerned about saltiness at this point, meaning that the stuffing could have used a little more seasoning, but it was still pretty diesel

And with that I was ready to throw in the towel for the day; I let the stuffing cool down then added it to the fridge with the birds.  That’s right folks, we’re not even halfway done with this post!  You still got a lot more partial reading, rapid scrolling, and deep exhales at jokes that fall flat left to do!  It’s my Christmas gift to all of you, even those that don’t celebrate Christmas; like one gift to unify everyone.  I don’t think people are making a big enough deal out of this.

The next day I was up and at ’em and handling poultry far earlier in the day than I wanted to.  It was time to put this baby together like an edible Lego airplane stuffed with passengers.  Started with the turkey, pressing the stuffing into every nook and cranny.

Just in case you were wondering, I still have grotesquely long fingers that bend the wrong way. I also know how to stuff the living sh*t out of a turkey

Then the chicken and another generous layer of stuffing.

Not sure if you noticed the two strings laid under the birds in advance which proved crucial. Really I am just trying to distract you from the hands that look like a Karloff-era Dracula

And finally, the duck with a central pile of stuffing.  Looking down at this pile of poultry and stuffing, I started to realize that the hardest part may still be ahead.  I hadn’t really processed that I would need to eventually tie this all back together to look like a regular turkey.

I'm thinking this apron will need to be retired in 4-5 years when Janet starts bringing friends over. Except when the WCIC apron is in the wash, then an exception needs to be made

Bringing this thing together was a process that would be difficult to describe.  Basically, it was a lot of pulling outwards, pressing together, and tightening of the two strings I had laid underneath the birds.  So here are three photos to explain part of the process:

Seemed impossible at this point

Starting to see hope with one string tied

Getting it to this point was 75% of the battle. This whole process is exhausting to review

Now come the poultry lacers, something I’d never used before and always thought were tiny fondue skewers or something when I had seen them in people’s kitchens.   When pressed into the turkey (and the layers below) they would give me anchor points to pull the whole shebang together.

Brilliant concept, but totally unclear to me what these are used for aside from turducken

Like lacing up a pair of sneakers, I wound some kitchen twine through the holes and pulled tightly to bring the center together.  Ended up looking very manageable.

That's a pretty dece looking sneaker

With that, the turducken got flipped right side up in a roasting rack, received an ample sprinkling of salt, pepper, and cajun seasoning, plus a few pats of butter to keep the skin moist.

Would have gone with my usual method for keeping turkey skin moist by putting a couple slices of bacon on top, but decided it would be a little excessive. In reality we finished the bacon with breakfast and I was pretty bummed

After covering with tin foil, the turducken went into the oven at 250F for what figured to be 6-7 hours of roasting.  I planned to remove the foil halfway through cooking once there were enough juices in the base of the roasting pan to baste the skin.

With the ‘ducken cooking, the only remaining item was making stock for the gravy.  So, the turkey and chicken necks headed into a pot with onion, garlic, celery, and carrots before being completely covered with water.

Broth the way my mommy taught me, to make gravy the way she taught me. I don't even know if it's the right way, but it's the way I like my gravy to taste

With the bird(s) in the oven, I realized why roasts, ham and turkeys are such great entertaining food; you don’t have to do anything until carving time.  Over the next six hours I overheated in my tacky Christmas sweater, listened to Now That’s What I Call Christmas four times, and toasted the surprise engagement of Buschy and Annie.  Mostly, I thought about the Turducken.

Finally, the internal temperature had reached 165F, and the ‘ducken was ready to be pulled.

I had a feeling I couldn't avoid burning the skin in the center and by the legs. It was stretched pretty thin in those spots

While the meat rested for 30 minutes, I pulled the roasting rack out of the pan, cut off a couple of the outer strings, and drained off some fat to get started on the gravy.

I know I've said this before, but it really looked just like a regular turkey. Janet agreed with me too

Gravy is pretty easy to make (as outlined previously on this blog), basically you whisk flour, salt and pepper into the pan drippings until it’s well mixed and there isn’t any excess liquid.  Let that cook in the pan for 10 minutes or so, whisking regularly, then stir in broth until the gravy is the consistency you are looking for, heating as you go.  Only wrinkle for this one was that I added a splash of Southern Comfort for sweetness, flavor, and because it’s been in the damned liquor cabinet for 3 years untouched.

I over-floured this one just a little bit. It showed when the gravy sat for fifteen minutes and poured like an extra-thick milk shake

It even had a little bit of a Cajun look to it. You could see the paprika in the color

Now for a quick photo series I like to call, “Anatomy of a Near Christmas Disaster”, as documented by Nathan McConarty, Esquire. (I promise this post is almost over, this is just a brief sidebar before the final two fotos and descriptions).

The stupidity just oozes out of this one. "Let's put a towel under the cutting board so it doesn't get the other easy-to-clean cutting board underneath dirty. Just wait one moment while I lift this slick plastic cutting board supporting a precariously balanced roasting rack holding 15 pounds of meat."

Annnnnd the only rationale outcome from the previous statement has been realized. I love the looks on Kristi's face and my face, pure "OHHHHH NOOOOO!!!". Luckily, the Shaws Cupcake tray brought by Sarah Busch stopped the turducken before it rolled off the table and exploded on the floor. Christmas disaster averted

With that scare done, it was time to get eating.  The coolest part of carving a turducken is the realization that what you’re looking at isn’t a normal roast turkey.  Instead of carving thin slices parallel to the body, you cut straight across the body in thick slices.

You can clearly see the layers from this shot; duck at the bottom, then chicken, then turkey, with the sweet sausage stuffing in between each layer

Although not my most often used utensil, the electric carving knife is crucial for turducken (thanks Ken and Carolyn!) since the meat would be pulled apart by anything less than the sharpest traditional carving knife.  The goal was to cut it into 1/2″ slices that could be transferred to the platter whole so all guests could “oohhh” and “aahhhh” at the layers.  I said that was the goal.  My guests got a scrambled version for the most part, accentuated by cursing and holiday surliness.

Each slice looked a little different and featured a different amount of each bird and stuffing. Interesting food

Not much to be said about the turducken (which must seem like BS after wasting an hour of your life reading this post).  The process and unveiling of the finished product is almost as important as the actual eating, just very cool to see it all come together.

Taste-wise, the stuffing was moist from cooking inside the three birds and the sausage, cornbread, and cayenne helped distribute salty/sweet/spicy flavors throughout the meat.  With each bite you never knew exactly what bird you were eating since they were all very tender, though the turkey ended up a little dry.  Nothing a little pour (read: slice) of the far too thick gravy couldn’t alleviate, though, and all in all it was pretty delicious.  Well accompanied by Nate and Emyo’s cheesy taters, Con and Trish’s broccoli raab and shallot, and the future Buschy’s roasted vegetable soup.  Bawmb.

In the end we ate a lot more of it than I’d expected; Kristi and I had one night of leftovers and then we made an awesome stew with the remaining turkey from the ends.  Not sure what I will be posting next but we are looking forward to 5 days of over-the-top eating in Michigan for Christmas.  Merry Christmas to some, Happy Holidays to others, but mostly just enjoy the day off and cook something good.  Cheers!

Weird Crap I Cook: Hunters Pie with Roasted Bone Marrow Gravy

I wrote this entire post and wordpress reverted back to only the first sentence despite saving often.  I don’t think the original was brilliant, but my rage in the aftermath didn’t lend itself to good writing.  My apologies in advance.

Every once in a while I get stir crazy to use some of the awesome things I keep in my freezer.  This post is about one of the meals that came out of those fits.

I pulled a pound and a half of ground venison and a stick of beef marrow out of the freezer to thaw for a few days and thought about what to make.

Didn't bother showing a shot of the marrow since I covered that a couple posts ago

Ground venison is extremely lean which makes it dry and chewy when cooked.  A variation on shepherds pie seemed like the best way to hide some of the texture issues.

Before I dive into the cooking, my friend Annie is selling pies to raise money for charity through the Pie in the Sky program.  It’s an awesome cause, pie is delicious, and… pie is delicious.  Click here to buy yerself a pie.

I started out with the ingredients that would take the longest to cook.  In this case, the celery root that would become the top layer of what I decided to call “hunters pie”.

Won't dwell on the celery root prep process too much, it's been well covered in my recent celery root blitz

Along with a peeled yukon gold potato and a half onion, the cubed celery root went into a pot of boiling half milk/half water and salt to cook for thirty minutes.  I was hoping that the celery root puree would be smoother than the traditional mashed potato layer but also thicker than the layer I added to the moussaka.

While that cooked, I started working on the middle layer of the pie that would have been corn in a normal shepherds pie.  With the top and bottom layers featuring strong savory flavors, I needed a solid contrasting sweetness.  Cooked carrots seemed up to the challenge.

I had an extremely random Danity Kane reference in the previous sentence before I decided I was trying too hard to be funny. So, that actually does happen occasionally, but obviously not enough

The plan was to dice the carrots small, season them with salt, pepper and equal parts maple syrup and olive oil, then oven roast over high heat.  My goal was to have the carrots cook completely with a crispy outside to give an additional contrasting texture to the pie.

Hate using tin foil like this, but you can destroy a pan when maple syrup is involved

With the carrots ready to go, I prepped the ingredients for what would eventually become the gravy.  Pretty simple really, just tossed some thick sliced mushrooms with olive oil, salt and pepper and placed them in a pan with the stick of bone marrow.

To clarify the Danity Kane comment (thus eliminating any trace of humor from the reference) I had a former coworker that sang parts of the song constantly, particularly an upstate New York accent take on the line, "Baby, are you up to the challenge?". Danity Kane was a group created on a P. Diddy reality show. I really have no easy out from this caption

Both pans headed into a 425F oven on the top rack to cook for 20 minutes, including five minutes under the broiler to add some color.

Will never get used to sending a whole frying pan into the oven. Not because of the cooking, but just because I am pretty stupid and forgetful so I will try to remove it from the oven by the handle without a towel

With the carrots and the gravy base almost complete, I began work on the ground venison base for the hunters pie.  Sticking to all that I know about venison and how well it goes with onions, I started off with caramelizing a medium chopped yellow onion in a little bacon fat and butter.  Once the onions had some nice color, I added a little more butter and 3/4 pound of the ground venison.

Never ceases to amaze me how deep red in color raw venison is. I love this meat, thank god I am friends with people who choose to hunt in their spare time instead of spending a majority of their Saturday trying to remember who the winner, runner-up, and sneaky stars were on each of the first 7 seasons of American Idol

A few minutes later, all ingredients for the pie and the gravy base were done simultaneously.

When I saw this I sounded like Dr. Dre at the start of "Dre Day". Way too many stupid music references in this post but this one is incredibly accurate

That crazy char bubble on the front side is why the foil was necessary. That pan was going to end up in the trash otherwise

This obsession will end soon, but celery root puree is really the bee's knees

The fat had rendered out of the marrow and that remaining lump in the center is actually hollow. Smelled awesome

With all of the layers prepped, they all headed into a casserole dish for baking.

Easily one of the most boring fully assembled final dish shots I've ever taken. Completely anonymous pile of food. That could be an iced carrot cake under there

The whole dish went into a 350F oven to cook for 20 minutes together.  While that was going on, I pulled the mushrooms and remaining marrow solids out of the pan and transferred them to a cutting board.   The remaining fat and juices went over medium heat on the stove top with a hearty sprinkle of flour to cook for 6-8 minutes stirring regularly.

Gravy making is impossible to photo document as a one man crew; too much whisking involved. Kristi was exempt from action shots due to a fussy Janet

Once the color of the flour and drippings had darkened a little bit, I poured in a good splash of dry sherry, probably around a half cup, whisking constantly.  After the clumpy remaining mixture cooked for another minute or so, I whisked in an additional half cup of beef broth and added the chopped mushrooms and marrow solids back in with salt and pepper.

That's a nice looking gravy. Gravy is the friggin' best

And, sadly, with that the photos are done for this blog post.  I somehow never took the time to snap a shot as I spooned out each bowl.  In a bowl, the components were all clearly visible, with the ribbon of bright orange carrots clearly dividing the celery root mash from the ground venison mixture.  Wasn’t visually stunning or anything, just nicer looking than the white on white contrast of the last picture in the blog.

The pie was one of the best things I’ve made in a long time.  The ground venison had just the right amount of caramelized onions and saltiness to make sure it stood out among the other ingredients.  The carrots didn’t have quite as much texture as I had hoped, but the sweetness and carrot flavor was a a great contrast to the salty layers.  The celery root was like creamy mashed potatoes with a strong black pepper and celery flavor.

Despite being the most balanced dish I had ever made, the true hero was the roasted bone marrow and mushroom gravy.  The sherry flavor was rich, sweet, and wine-y, and the mushrooms had taken on a flavor that was close to truffles during the roasting process.  A perfect topping to the dish.

Thanks for reading, will share my first experience with slow roasted bolognese next week.