What could be better than getting to spend time with friends you don't get to see often enough?
Well, what if those friends also tracked down a downright silly number of marrow bones and brought in steaks from an uncle's ranch?
Yeah. I knew I liked Jody and Tori.
A couple of weekends ago, we were lucky enough to spend three days at Tori's family vacation home in Edwards, Colorado. While we were there, we ate and hung out and chatted and went on long walks and explored the area and got massages and ate and ate and ate.
Our first day there, we went into eat! drink!, a terrific specialty wine and cheese shop, and bought a ridiculous assortment of amazing cheeses. They became a part of our more than complete breakfast on Day 2.
Sexy, right? From left to right, we have valdeon, a creamy yet crumbly blue cheese made in Spain from cow and goat milk. It's usually wrapped in sycamore or chestnut leaves and is worth tracking down. Then we have a swiss Morbier, with a layer of ash and a sharp flavor, smooth and slightly goaty Humboldt Fog from California's Cypress Grove Chevre (which we served at our wedding - it's still one of our favorite cheeses), and ridiculously mellow, rich la tur, made of cow, goat, and sheep milk.
And then we ate these delectably crisp/fluffy waffles that Tori made. Such a treat, with blackberry syrup a la Logan, fresh whipped cream, and farm-fresh eggs with their deep sunset yolks. What could be better?
We also got to check out Vail and used our little leggies to walk off at least a half an egg and quarter waffle. I've never been to Vail (in fact, this was our first time in Colorado except for a time when we got stuck overnight in Denver by a canceled flight) and I was surprised at how new everything felt. It was like a European ski village as imagined by set designers. This was a bit of a strange time of year to go, being as it is between the winter ski season and the summer hiking season, but it was still very nice to see the town and wander the pretty lanes.
Jody even got some quick exercise in with a brief foray into bear-busting.
Saturday night was a crazy celebration of meat and meat accessories. The giant box of marrow bones was busted out, along with beautiful giant steaks (filets and New York strips) from Tori's uncle's ranch. Plus we ate a lot more cheese. Phew.
The bones were roasted according to Fergus Henderson's recipe in the New York Times. And I think they turned out just as good, if not better, than the ones we ate at St. John in 2007. (That I never blogged. Ugh.)
The table, ready for us and our two marrow bones apiece.
We had a wealth of accoutrements for the rich marrow. Quick-pickled shallot, capers, a parsley salad with fried capers, and lemon wedges. Marrow needs something sour and pickley to keep the overall effect from being too rich. This was just right.
The marrow, by itself, would have been insanely indulgent. But we've never been accused of being abstemious, so that was not even close to the end of things.
After a brief break, Logan scooped the marrow from a couple more bones and, following Jody's instructions, made a marrow butter for the steaks. He sauteed a couple of shallots, then added a couple teaspoons of rosemary and some balsamic vinegar and reduced the mixture until it was almost dry. After letting this cool a bit, he threw it in a blender with about 3/4 cup of cooled marrow and 2/3 stick of butter. Then he formed a marrow butter log, which went into the fridge to cool.
Meanwhile, Jody was boiling potatoes in super-saturated salt water. Hell on the pot, but heaven for the potatoes! He also seared the steaks on each side and popped them in the oven. for some greenery, Logan made a simple watercress salad with more of the fried capers.
Yup, I think I like these guys in the kitchen.
Here's the finished plate.
Marrow butter may be the best thing I've had on a steak. Wow. Actually, this whole meal was a ridiculously unimaginable treat! For something that is really just meat, potatoes, and a salad, the guys totally outdid themselves.
And that was our way over the top meaty meal. I know the fox that came by the next day was sorry to have missed it.
I can't thank Tori and her family enough for letting us stay at their wonderfully comfortable house! We had a great time and a very fun introduction to Colorado. Hilariously, we'll be back this weekend for my cousin's wedding. And I don't think I mind one bit!