Art Cooking: Bone Meal | The Art Assignment | PBS Digital Studios

Art Cooking: Bone Meal | The Art Assignment | PBS Digital Studios



throughout history food has served a subject matter inspiration and of course sustenance for artists food has also been the art on a number of occasions today we're going to recreate a highly original meal that sprang from the mind of a highly original artist and it even comes with a souvenir necklace our meal in question happened in 1971 at food restaurant at the corner of Prince and Wooster streets in New York City's SoHo neighborhood this artist-run restaurant was founded by Caroline Gooden Tina Gerrard suzanne harris rachel lu and this guy Gordon matta-clark who I'll tell you more about later their menu changed every day based on what was fresh and available and what their rotating cast of contributors wanted to make often soups and gumbo and fresh-baked bread prepared in their open kitchen a novel idea at the time on Sunday nights artists were invited to be guest chefs and the most legendary of these meals was offered by matta-clark for $4 you could enjoy the bone meal comprised of oxtail soup a green salad marrow bones stuffed bones frog legs Provencal and pot roast bones with sliced peaches and coffee or tea for dessert this one's gonna be a doozy guys so I've called in some assistance in the form of sound artist Stuart Hyatt who's going to help me deal with what's going to be a rather overwhelming number of dishes and of course bones we don't have the original recipes so we're using the most epic cookbook of all the Internet to pull from a variety of sources for the oxtail soup we're using Jamie Oliver's insanely good oxtail stew recipe which calls for five to six pounds of oxtail cut into about two inch chunks you can ask a butcher to do this for you we've preheated a roasting pan in a 425-degree oven and then carefully add the oxtail to it glugging over some olive oil seasoning with salt and pepper and then scooting it around a little before putting it back in the hot oven for about 20 minutes while that's in there we're gonna prep our veg starting with two leeks yours don't have to be this large unless you want to make a lot of dumb jokes but you're gonna trim them and them in half lengthwise leeks are always full of dirt so we give these an extra wash on the side before chopping them into about one inch segments we're also going to cut up four to five carrots and four stalks of celery in a similar manner and while we're cutting we're going to talk about Gordon matta-clark scudding 'z because they're much more impressive than ours Gordon matta-clark was the child of American artist and Clark and Chilean surrealist Roberto Mata he studied architecture at Cornell but his interest queued much more to dismantling ideas about architecture as well as actually dismantling architecture during the second summer food was open he redesigned the space by making cuttings into the walls and he displayed some of the elements he extracted that fall at the alternative exhibition space 112 Green Street that he co-founded with Jeffrey Liu from there he began making bigger and more ambitious cuts he took a house slated for demolition in New Jersey and literally split the thing in two making a huge cut down the middle and selectively removing pieces of the foundation to then Jack it apart he cut into the side of Pier 52 on the west side of Manhattan he cut through to 17th century buildings in Paris slated for demolition near the Santro Pompidou which was then under construction creating a conical void that opened up views into the structures from the street part sculpture part performance part archaeology Matta Clark's cuttings took dead forgotten spaces and made them alive and poetic if only for a moment revealing the uneasy divides between public and private and the dark side of urban development his work is mind-blowing ly amazing and if you don't agree with me we can just never be friends after all of that what seemed like an enormous amount of cutting is totally doable and also chopping up a few sprigs of fresh rosemary and fresh thyme doesn't seem so difficult either strip the leaves from the stems as best you can then give those a rough chop get out a bay leaf and set these aside we're also going to prep for our roasted marrow bones working from Fergus Henderson's recipe published in The New York Times for this we're gonna wash and prep some parsley because when you're serving bones for dinner you must distract with a considerable amount of garnish remove some of the stalks but not so many that you seem like a crazy person summer rough-chop and some more a fine chop for use later on we'll also need two shallots which will thinly slice we're also gonna get some garlic ready for later on and we might as well have a side-by-side garlic prep competition I have a more strategic precise method while Stuart's I describe this a little more caveman Cookie Monster during this display of teamwork I'll note that food restaurant was truly a communal effort the cooperative energy and labour of dancers musicians and artists of many stripes including many members of the Philip Glass ensemble co-founder Caroline Gooden was an original member of the Trisha Brown dance company instead of food I wanted to have a place to eat with food that I liked that was open when I needed it to be and I wanted to create a work place for artists that had no restrictions on how many hours a day or days a week the artists worked so that they could be free to suddenly drop out as needed to produce their show and still have a job when they were through okay you'll see that each of our garlic methods are equally effective but if you're still feeling competitive you can always decide the winner by thumb war and let's also prep some lemon juice taking four lemons rolling them to help soften them up and we're using a reamer to juice them then pour through a sieve to remove the seeds and pulp and then when some mysteriously sneak through repeat the process for our stuffed marrow bones were riffing off of Martha Stewart's recipe and while Martha would only use fresh wild mushrooms hand selected by her onstaff forager we're gonna rehydrate a variety of dried mushrooms including porcini xand chanterelles by submerging them in hot water and letting them sit for a while and while the recipe doesn't call for it Stewart went renegade and is chopping some diced onion for what will be the stuffing for the marrow bones and with that it's time for the all-important step of standing back and admiring all of your prep work ah isn't it lovely our 20 minutes has passed and we pulled out the oxtail after it started to turn golden we'll go over to the stove top to make it into a stew and we'll heat up a large ovenproof dish add a tablespoon or so of olive oil and in go our carrots leeks and celery we then add in the rosemary and thyme the bay leaf and give it a stir and let it cook for about 20 minutes stirring frequently over on the right Stuart is making some clarified butter for our frog legs a process through which you melt unsalted butter over low heat to separate the milk proteins that start to gather on top but back to the oxtails we're adding two heaping tablespoons of flour flour cloves and give it a good stir to that we add a hefty cup of red wine a 28-ounce can of good plum tomatoes stir stir and add our ox tails into the mix then fill to cover with either boiling water or beef stock we're using beef stock and bring to a boil over in the butter corner stewart spoons off some of the milk solids that have congregated on top and maintains it at a simmer when the ox tails are at a boil cover them up and send them into a 325 degree oven and let them hang out in there for 5 hours stirring every once in a while I know what you're thinking about this butter why are we going to so much trouble to clarify it when it's perfectly delicious as is two reasons maduk lark was fascinated by the science of food before the restaurant he would experiment in his studio by brewing vats of water and agar the gelatinous stuff from seaweed mixing in sugar yeast salt oils dairy products and all sorts of stuff he spread it into trays and let it fester and dry in two sheets he called these works incendiary wafers after one unexpectedly exploded he also fried photographs of Christmas trees along with sheets of gold leaf and sent them to friends as gifts the second reason we're clarifying butter is because once you spoon off the proteins and boil off the water contained in the butter and after you pour everything but the last bit through some cheesecloth your butter has a higher smoke point for frying those frog legs and also a longer shelf life in Indian cooking this is called ghee and you can buy it off the shelf and many grocery stores all right now is probably when you want to take a break and have a sandwich while the oxtails are hanging out in the oven so I'll tell you a little more history while we're waiting food was part of an ecosystem of experimental art in 1970s lower Manhattan made possible by the cheap grunts of a SOHO that was a far cry from what it is today along with the exhibition space 112 Green Street Avalanche magazine founded in 1968 and documented the work and writings of this new generation of artists whose work was largely ephemeral food which placed regular ads in avalanche became a meeting site and hub for all of the artistic activity happening in the area at the time and while it was never a profitable business it importantly employed and supported a huge number of artists ok guys were about an hour and a half from mealtime and we're now going to assemble the parsley salad that will go on top of our roasted marrow bones into a bowl goes a cup of roughly chopped parsley sliced shallots and two teaspoons of capers then take three tablespoons of your lemon juice add two tablespoons or so of olive oil and whisk set that aside and have it ready to mix with the parsley salad right before serving for our frog legs Provencal we're using a recipe from severe magazine that the version of the dish served at the French restaurant Lachlan ouya in New York loud groan ouya perhaps you know means frog and you're gonna need a good number of them to make this dish for a crowd you can order them from a butcher or find them in the frozen section of some markets or you can just put out a dish and hope they hop on in you'll need to snip apart the legs and then cover them in milk and put them in the fridge to soak for about 30 minutes I think this acts as a tenderizer but if it has another purpose I'm sure you won't hesitate to tell us it's back to our stuffed marrow-bones and our recipe calls for beef marrow bones split lengthwise these will go into a pot of boiling water for about 10 minutes while those are going we add some of our clarified butter to two skillets into one we'll go some chopped onion for the stuffing and into the other we'll go two to three slices of white bread sliced into cubes to make croutons these you'll stir frequently until browned on all sides to the onions you'll add the rehydrated mushrooms which you've secretly drained and diced off-camera then you're gonna pull the marrow-bones from the boiling water and set to cool for a few moments while you get rid of the scary bone water and try not to retch when they're cool enough to handle scoop the marrow into the onion mushroom mixture and stir it until it all kind of melts together and season with salt and pepper then you go about the unsavory task of cleaning up the marrow bones using the knives that you care least about making more dull hacking and pulling away the remaining meat and tendons happy Halloween you guys let's turn to some smaller dainty er legs and return to our frogs which we've removed from the milk drained and dried on paper towels season these with salt and pepper and then give them each a light coating of flour before arranging them in a dish like they're a super sweet rockets kick line and sing now it's time to fire the unstuffed marrow-bones so we're gonna take about five pounds of center-cut beef marrow bones about three inches long each and arrange them on a foil covered pan these will go into a 450 degree oven for 15 minutes or until the marrow is soft and has begun to separate from the bone we're getting really close now and the ox tails are done so we pull them out of the oven and skim off some of the fat don't worry there will still be plenty of fat in this meal set that to cool for a bit and then we're set up to do side by side frog leg frying heating about 6 tablespoons of our clarified butter in each of two skillets until sizzling add the frog legs being careful not to crowd and cook flipping once and tell golden brown this shouldn't take more than 4 to 5 minutes and we overcooked ours and they started falling apart don't do this cook them in however many batches it takes not to crowd them and when you're done transfer them to a platter you're also going to add a handful of parsley to the mushroom marrow mixture and then toss in the croutons by this point your guests have arrived and are available to help now you're gonna make a sauce for the frog legs by discarding the old butter and adding fresh clarified butter to the skillet adding in a few cloves of your chopped garlic and stir constantly until lightly browned over on the left were filling the marrow bones with the mushroom crouton filling by the way back on the sauce turn off the heat add a tablespoon of lemon juice and season with salt and pepper then drizzle this around and on top of your frog legs scatter some parsley and race it to the table the roasted marrow bones are now ready so we pulled those from the oven and place them on serving dishes for the table we also combine our parsley salad with the lemon vinaigrette we mater finally we are ready to eat and we've decided to do this in a communal family-style not forgetting a big green salad and plenty of fresh bread and butter now with all of these bone intensive dishes don't appeal to you you can consider some other food dinners like Matta Clarke's meal of live brine shrimp served in hollowed-out eggs he also proposed a dinner for sculptors by sculptors where all the utensils would be hammers chisels and screwdrivers and marked a Subaru proposed a dinner that would be served through the window with the crane but that never actually happened now with the original bone meal after the plates were cleared the leftover bones were scrubbed by musician Richard Peck and then strung together as necklaces by Robert Rauschenberg the been assistant sashka takahashi they were then returned to the diners with the idea that they could wear their leftovers home for this critical final step we decided to invite a special guest to our bone meal jewelry designer Allison Ford to enjoy the dinner and also collaborate with us we could pretend like we took these bones from our dinner and poof magically transform them into perfectly clean and dry jewelry making material after we cleared the table and Allison set us up with a spread of supplies we aldo vin to making our own necklaces with our lovely bones the truth is that we tested these recipes in advance harvested the bones and then spent quite a bit of time cleaning and drying them there are lots of ways to clean bones you can consult Google and that will be another fun Halloween surprise but I think there's a reason I couldn't find any photos of the original bone necklaces and my guess is that they were wet and still had gook in them while our dinner may bear little in resemblance to the original matta-clark meal it was a supremely fun and intense cooperative effort I now have a better understanding of why food restaurant only lasted three years with its original members as they became exhausted with the effort and moved on to other things was it art for some yes it was part of a moment when art and artists were consciously exiting the traditional space of the gallery to experiment with in the arena of real life as Caroline Goodman wrote it was a beautiful nourishing vital stim new concept which was a living pulsating hub of creative energy and piles of fresh parsley oh and we also yielded some really impressive works of wearable art the art assignment is funded in part by viewers like you through patreon comm a subscription-based platform that allows you to support creators you like in the form of a monthly donation if you'd like to support the show check out our page at patreon.com slash art assignment special thanks to our Grand Master of the Arts Indianapolis homes Realty you

28 thoughts on “Art Cooking: Bone Meal | The Art Assignment | PBS Digital Studios

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *