If Mad Men's Draper Were a Crocksman, He'd Have a Fling With the Oven, Too

Don Draper, right, Mad Men's Cocksman.
The Crocksman is a weekly Voracious column about you and your slow-cooker. It runs every Tuesday.
As I mentioned in last week's column, I have a hard time getting TV hooked up at my house. I haven't paid more than $10 for cable in some time, and I keep a pair of rabbit ears on hand at all times. When the big digital switch came down, I got my discount voucher from the government and went down and bought me one of those converter boxes. It didn't help much. In fact, today when I hook it up, I get one channel of all-worship programming in Spanish. So I've given up on TV for now.

This really bums out my wife, who's a fan of all things HGTV and Food Network. But we struck a happy medium a couple months ago, and signed back up for Netflix. Pre-digital switch, I fell asleep to Seinfeld. For the last two months, I've been on the edge of my seat for Mad Men.

The central character is a guy named Don Draper, who has a Rolodex and rash that would put Tiger Woods to shame. Watching Draper come home to his wife and three kids after a roll in the hay with his daughter's schoolteacher can make me cringe. And sometimes it makes me feel a little guilty when Mrs. Draper is hitting him up to confess, like I'm not saying something.

Well, last week, I cheated.

Not on my wife, on my Crock Pot®. It was Easter, and I was jonesing for a leg of lamb. I've never been a big fan of lamb. But I've always been fan of big chunks of meat. So in the early afternoon on Sunday, I made my way over to QFC and picked up a leg: nine pounds.

Now, most people cooking nine pounds of chow are cooking for a herd. I was cooking for my wife. I considered the Crock for about two seconds, then I realized there was no way in hell it was going to fit in my already oversized crock. So, I decided to slow cook the old fashioned way: in the oven.

QFC was out of mint jelly, if you can believe it. But the butcher on hand on 15th -- really, a nice guy who I'll make a point of consulting again -- told me that I didn't want mint jelly anyway. All I needed, he said, was salt, pepper, garlic, and rosemary, all things I already had in my kitchen. Killer.

I covered the lamb with all of the above -- the garlic I crushed first -- and stuck it in the oven for the better part of four hours. The results were mixed. That QFC butcher was spot on with his recipe. The flavor was great, particularly on pieces with a generous amount of the outer, seasoned layer. But I put too much faith in my meat thermometer and overcooked it a bit.

Now that (SPOILER ALERT!) Draper's gonna have to work the bachelor life for at least a little while, I suggest he get familiar with a Crock Pot®. The oven's cool but it gets a little hot. Even for you, Don. Or should I say: DICK WHITMAN!!!

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