Aietes' Fire Breathing Bulls
a couple big beef shanks (one to represent each bull, perhaps)
3 heads of garlic
couple stalks of celery
a bottle of red wine
crushed red pepper
1) I love beef shanks.
2) Now, get all your ingredients all together!
3) This is a wonderfully easy dish to make, all you need is time. First, dredge both sides of the shanks in flour and shake off the excess. Then, in a pot, heat a quarter cup or so of olive oil on medium heat.
4) Add shanks and brown both sides. This will make some roux to help make some pretty texture for the sauce later. And this step is fun and smells good.
5) Now add everything else! Yep, add the bottle of red wine, chop the vegetables and add them. Do not forget to add all the garlic! A rough chop is all you need because we are going to puree the sauce later. And, add a healthy pinch of crushed red pepper. I know that crushed red pepper is not ancient. To be really ancient, use only black pepper and garlic to generate your heat. However, since we are talking about cooking fire breathing bulls here, perhaps a little license can be granted. So, use whatever heat generator you like. Heck, use habaneros! But, I like crushed red pepper.
6) Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for as long as you can (beef shanks are tough and need at least four hours - but the more the better). At around the 6 hour mark, magic will start to happen. At this point, pull out the pieces of meat and bone and puree the sauce with a stick mixer if you have one or in a blender. Then put everything back into the pot and keep cooking. You can cook this until the whole thing becomes this marvelous paste of goodness. Or, you can stop cooking earlier than that and still have chunks of meat that have fallen off the bone and sauce.
7) I like to serve this one with roasted garlic and flatbread. More garlic, yes!
And, um, beware of king's daughters who fall in love with you on first sight. Don't listen to Horace and his hatred of garlic (epode 3)! This dish is a real celebration of garlic. Enjoy!