We really enjoyed our little trip to St Augustine, Florida. Sure, it was extremely hot, but it is also July and air conditioning havens were all around. One of the best things was the Wild Reserve. It was mostly big cats. You get to visit at feeding time. They have a 600 pound tiger (not even the biggest of their cats) with food aggression issues. Watching this tiger lunge toward its food bowl, hover over it, growl and show its teeth was amazing and scary, considering we were less than five feet away with just a chain-link fence between us. We also really enjoyed the Castillo de San Marcos. Construction on that fort started in 1672. There was so much to see, it is likely we’ll have to go back to see it all…next time, we’ll just go back in the fall or winter. While it is great to be able to get in the water at the beach, it is also pretty nice to wear a coat, sit on the beach and read. It is a far trade for not sweating your face off with thousands of other tourists...come to think of it; there are fewer obnoxious tourists in the winter, too. Winning.
|We toured the Old Jail. I can never put my face all the way in these circle cut-outs. I can't help thinking of all the filth on the faces that came before me.|
|Old Drugstore. Everything is called old in St Augustine...mostly because it is all old. After all, it is America's Oldest City.|
|All 4' 11" of Ponce de Leon. This picture was taken on the grounds of the Fountain of Youth.|
|This is Magnolia Avenue. It is rated one of America's prettiest streets. It really should be called Oak Avenue since those are Oak Trees instead of Magnolia Trees.|
|Hanging out at Castillo de San Marcos|
|This is the Old Senator. So named because it is crooked and shady. This live Oak tree is over 660 years old.|
|This is the former Ponce de Leon Hotel. This hotel was built by the wealthy Henry Flagler. It is now Flagler College.|
One of the really memorable meals I had in St Augustine was at Red Frog & McToads Grub and Pub. I tried their mini pork shank osso bucco (picture of dish is top left of webpage) and it was amazing! I’m going to try to cook this at home and see if I get the same delicious results.
Berkshire Pork Osso Bucco Recipe
4-6 meaty slices of pork shank, cut 1.5 inches thick
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup onions diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken stock
Ground black pepper to taste
Salt to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven. Add the shanks and brown on both sides. Remove the shanks from the Dutch oven. Reduce the heat to medium, and add the carrots, onions, celery and garlic. Cook and stir until the vegetables have softened-5 to 10 minutes. Add the wine, chicken stock, salt and black pepper. Add the shanks back to the stock and bring to a boil. Put the Dutch oven into the oven and cook the shanks for one to two hours, or until fork-tender.
Remove the Dutch oven from the oven and prepare the Gremolata.
2 tablespoons fresh flat-leafed parsley, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons lemon zest, grated
Check the shanks that they are fully cooked. Take the shanks out of the pot. Reduce the liquid in the Dutch Oven by half and add the gremolata, a classic Northern Italian seasoning. Return shanks to the pot.
Serve the Osso Bucco with risotto or polenta sprinkled with Romano cheese. McToad’s served it with mashed potatoes and brown red-wine gravy.