How to Host a Dinner Party Like Clare de Boer
This is a warming winter menu that's meant to be shared and get messy. If you don't want to drop noodles on the table and have olive oil streaming down your chin, this probably isn’t for you.
I host at home an egregious amount — probably once a week. I love to cook dishes that are kind of outside the framework and repertoire of King. When I’m home, I get to drink while I cook. I get to play the music I want to listen to and generally eat during the entire process. It's such a lazy pleasure.
But the most important thing to me, if you're hosting a dinner party, is that you're participating in the celebration. This is a menu that allows you to hang out with your friends and focus on them. You can put the beef shank in the oven first thing in the morning and let that just tick away, very low and slow. You can make the batter for the cake and the custard well in advance. The only thing that needs last-minute attention is the finishing of the pasta, which is a three-minute process.
And that's why, I think, it's really, really useful to have the full set from Great Jones. It includes all of the essential components to cook this meal and so many others. For example, you need to have a stockpot (Big Deal) and a pan with curved sides (Deep Cut) to make pasta; I cook my noodles 70 percent in the boiling water and 30 percent, actually, in a bath of emulsified butter. You get this incredibly silky, lush texture, and then when you ultimately place the beef shank on top, the whole thing just comes together beautifully.