This Christmas Dad received Michael Psilakis’ new book “How to Roast a Lamb” from my sister and I immediately fell in love with it. I’m not the type of person that makes New Years Resolutions, but one thing I’d like to do this year is cook more from the cookbooks I own. Psilakis says that if you take one recipe from his book it should be his recipe for Garlic Confit. I have been eyeing the recipe since December 25th and thought this would be the perfect project for a long weekend with my dear friend Beth. We set aside most of the day on Saturday for this project. And of course, we made the mistake of buying twice as much garlic as needed and had to run back to the store for jars for a second batch! This process went from mid day to late night.
I’ve never run a marathon before but I imagine it is similar to peeling 350 cloves of garlic.
About 100 cloves in, we were feeling good. Laughing, drinking and perusing a copy of The Slammer (don’t ask).
200th cloves in, Beth and I called our good friend Alison (aka Big Al) who we also grew up with. While sitting outside in the California sun on an ironing board eating fried chicken, she told us that the trick to keeping the garlic smell off your hands was to run them under cold water without rubbing them together. She was 200 cloves too late. And on top of it all, Beth was operating with a cast on her arm from a snow boarding accident…so both her hands and her cast went back to Florida smelling like garlic!
Around the 300th clove while spreading the garlic on bread and moaning, we came up with a list of bonuses to this recipe including:
- It will change your life. Spread it on french bread, mix it in a salad, make a marinade out of it, rub it on your body. As Beth says, “I don’t think I will ever look at garlic cloves again in the same way. There is something beautiful about the way the buttery, soft clove gives easily under the pressure of the knife and spreads so smoothly.”
- Your house/neighborhood block will smell like a sumptuous garlic treat…therefor you will become very popular.
- Like all preserved foods, this will be helpful if/when the apocalypse and/or the rapture comes.
- Handling the oil will vastly improve your cuticles.
- This will help keep away vampires, or at least the bad ones (this does not include Edward from The Twilight Series).
At 11pm that night, the marathon was over. All the garlic was in tiny beautiful jars.
I’ll finish this post acknowledging that on Monday at 1pm Beth snuck a jar in a carry-on bag on a flight back to Florida.
Life Changing Garlic Confit
- 12 heads of fresh garlic (about 150 cloves or 3 cups), peeled
- 1 cup good olive oil
- 1 cup canola oil
- 10 sprigs fresh thyme
- 20 black peppercorns
- 1 fresh bay leaf or 2 dried bay leaves
Assembly: Grab a good friend and a bottle of wine. Peel the garlic. Add the garlic and remaining ingredients and put them into a Dutch oven. Bake at 300 degrees for about 1 hour and 15 minutes until the garlic is golden and tender. While it is hot, I recommend smearing it on fresh bread and dusting it with Maldon sea salt – this will change your life. Jar the rest, pressing a square of plastic wrap on the oil each time you use it. Make sure to use clean utensils each time and it will last about a month.