World’s Best Braised Cabbage

Saying this is the world’s best braised cabbage is not a stretch. It makes the best tasting cabbage you will ever have.

World’s Best Braised Cabbage

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 medium head of green cabbage, about 2 pounds, cut into 8 wedges. (I used a mix: 1/2 from Kilpatrick Family Farm as lose leaves and half grocery store organic.)
  • 1 large (or 2 medium) yellow onions, thickly sliced (KFF)
  • 1 large (or 2 medium) carrots, cut into 1/4‚Ä? rounds (KFF)
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock, or water ( I used homemade chicken stock)
  • 1/4 cup of extra-virgin olive oil
  • Course salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
  • Fleur de sel or course sea salt to finish (I did not use- forgot)

METHOD:

  1. Heat oven to 325 degrees. lightly oil a large gratin dish or 9×13 baking dish (I used the baking dish).

  2. Trimming the cabbage: Peel off & discard any bruised or ragged outer leaves. The cabbage should weigh close to 2 pounds. If cabbage weighs more, save some for a batch of cole slaw (that’s what I did). Cut the cabbage into 8 wedges. Arrange wedges in the baking dish as a single layer as best as you can.

  3. The braise: Scatter onions and carrots. Drizzle oil & stock/water. Season with S&P & pepper flakes. Cover tightly with foil, and slide into middle of the oven. Turn the cabbage wedges at 1 hour, trying to keep wedges together. Cook for another 2 hours or until you see that the vegetables are tender.

  4. The Finish: Once the cabbage is completely tender, remove the foil, increase the oven temp to 400 (this is where I did her variation and drizzled splashes of balsamic vinegar onto the wedges) and roast until the vegetables JUST begin to brown, another 15 minutes or so. Serve at warm or room temp, sprinkle with sea salt.

Glazed Baby Carrots

Simple and tasty way to cook carrots.

Glazed Baby Carrots

INGREDIENTS:

  • Kosher salt
  • 1 lb. baby carrots, tops removed but with a little green left attached (it’s cute)
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • 3 sprigs thyme, picked
  • Pinch cayenne pepper

METHOD:

  1. Bring a pot of well-salted water to a boil. Set up a bowl of well-salted ice water. Blanch the carrots in the boiling water. When they are cooked but still have some crunch, plunge them immediately into the ice water. When cool, use a clean tea towel to rub the skin off the carrots. Reserve.

  2. To a large skillet add the butter, sugar, lemon juice, garlic, thyme, cayenne and about 1/2 cup of water. Bring the pan to medium heat swirling occasionally. When most of the water has reduced and the mixture seems homogenous, removed the garlic and add the carrots and stir until they are coated. Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes or until the carrots are completely coated and hot.

Easy Turkey Stock

I love making stock. Why? It’s the smell (as Agent Smith would say). I love the way it fills the whole house. I ended up simmering it about 15 hours total. I also let it simmer with the aromatic vegetables for the last 3 of the hours.

Easy Turkey Stock

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 large turkey drumsticks
  • 2 large turkey wings
  • 2 spanish onion, sliced
  • 4 carrots, cut in pieces
  • 4 ribs celery cut in pieces
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon peppercorns, cracked beneath a pan or with mortar and pestle
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • fresh parsley and thyme (optional)

METHOD:

  1. Roast the turkey (you should have 5 or 6 pounds/2 or 3 kilos) in hot oven till it looks delicious (see donna pix above). Put them in a big pot and cover them completely with water, 3 to 4 quarts/liters. Turn your oven to 180 or 200 degrees F/80 or 90 degrees C. When the water comes to a boil, put the pot in the oven for 8 hours or over night.

  2. Add the remaining ingredients (if you don’t have enough room, remove the turkey, it will have cooked out by now). Bring to a simmer, then reduce temperature to low, and cook for another hour. Strain into a clean pot. Cool, then refrigerate.

  3. Discard fat that’s congealed on top. Reduce to 1-1/2 to 2 quarts/liters before making gravy.

Spare Rib Vegetable Soup

I made Spare Rib Vegetable Soup

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 lbs. of beef short ribs
  • Olive oil for browning meat
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar and more for flavoring at the end
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 4 beets, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks. Cut off the beet greens and save on the side.
  • 1 large turnip, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 ‚Äì1/ 2 cup roughly chopped fresh dill
  • 1/2 a head of cabbage, shredded

METHOD:

  1. Lightly salt the short ribs. Heat one tablespoon of oil in a stockpot on high heat, and brown the short ribs in batches on all sides. If the pot begins to smoke, turn the heat down to medium.

  2. Remove the browned ribs from the pot.

  3. Add vinegar and stir it around to loosen up any bits on the bottom of the pot. With the heat on medium, add onions and garlic. Brown the onions and garlic then return the meat to the pot and add 10 cups of water, or just enough to cover the ribs. Partially cover and simmer for 2.5 – 3 hours. If needed, add a little extra water to the pot while simmering to keep ribs covered in liquid.

  4. Remove the meat from the pot and cut it off the bone – the meat should be tender and easily pull apart. If there is excess fat or gristle, return what you want to the pot and discard the rest.

  5. Return the meat to the soup pot and add beets, turnip and canned tomatoes.

  6. Simmer with the lid on for 30 minutes. Add the celery, carrots, dill and cabbage. Simmer ten minutes more. Chop the beet greens up and add during the last five minutes of cooking.

  7. Adjust the flavor of the soup with salt and pepper if needed. Drizzle a little apple cider vinegar into the broth to heighten the flavor. The soup will have even richer flavor the day after it is made.

Boeuf Bourguignon

I made Boeuf Bourguignon.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 lbs paleron, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 cup red Burgundy
  • 6 carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 bouquet garni
  • a little chopped parsley

METHOD:

  1. STAGE ONE: Season the meat with salt and pepper. In the Dutch oven, heat the oil over high heat until it is almost smoking. Add the meat, in batches – NOT ALL AT ONCE! – and sear on all sides until it is well browned (not gray). You dump too much meat in the pot at the same time and you’ll overcrowd it; cool the thing down and you won’t get good color. Sear the meat a little at a time, removing it and setting it aside as it finishes. When all the meat is a nice, dark brown color and has been set aside, add the onions to the pot. Lower the heat to medium high until the onions are soft and golden brown (about 10 minutes). Sprinkle the flour over them. Continue to cook for about 4 or 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add the red wine. Naturally, you want to scrape up all that really good fond from the botton of the pot with your wooden spoon. Bring the wine to a boil.

  2. STAGE TWO: Return the meat to the pot and add the carrots, garlic, and bouquet garni. Add just enough water (and two big spoonfuls of demi-glace, if you have it) so that the liquid covers the meat by one third – meaning you want a ratio of 3 parts liquid to 2 parts meat. This is stew, so you want plenty of liquid, even after it cooks down and reduces. Bring to a boil, reduce to a gentle simmer, and let cook for about 2 hours, or until the meat is tender (break-apart-with-a-fork tender).

  3. You should pay attention to the dish, meaning check it every 15 to 20 minutes, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pot to make sure the meat is not sticking or, God forbid, scorching. You should also skim off any foam or scum or oil collecting on the surface, using a large spoon or ladle. When done, remove and discard the bouquet garni, add the chopped parsley to the pot, and serve.

Basic Brown Veal Stock

Have you ever wondered why your meat dishes and stews taste like crap? You know the ones I mean? The ones were the recipes call for beef stock or beef broth? It’s not because you’re a bad cook. (Well, you might be, but in that case everything you make tastes like crap.) It’s because you’re using that crappy store bought stuff. The stock is the base of dish, so if your base is crap, then the dish will be crap too.

The solution is very simple. Make your own veal stock.

Basic Brown Veal Stock from The Elements of Cooking by Michael Ruhlman.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 10 lbs meaty veal bones and joints (knuckles, breast, shank), cut into 3- to 4-inch pieces
  • 4 large carrot, peeled
  • 4 ribs celery
  • 2 large onion, peeled
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons peppercorns, cracked
  • 5 stems thyme
  • 5 stems parsley
  • 2 bay leaf

METHOD:

  1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F and lightly oil two large sheet or roasting pans. Place the pans in the oven. When the oven and the pans are hot, remove them, and place the meat and bones on them. Make sure they’re spread out so they brown as evenly as possible. Roast them for 30 minutes, then turn them and continue roasting for another 15 minutes or until they’re appealingly golden brown and smell delicious.

  2. Place the bones in a stock pot. Pour off the fat from the pans, add a couple of cups of water to the pans, place them over high heat, and scrape the brown bits stuck to the pan. Taste this liquid. Sometimes the juices from the bones can burn and make this deglazing liquid bitter – if it’s bitter, don’t use it. If it tastes good (its flavor will be much milder than its deep color will indicate), add this liquid to the stock pot, then continue to add enough cold water to cover the bones by a couple of inches, about 10 quarts. Bring the water to a simmer, skimming the surface of any fat and impurities that rise. Place the stock pot in the oven and heat it to between 180 degrees and 200 degrees F. Let the stock cook for at least 8 hours and up to 12 hours.

  3. Meanwhile, clean and roughly chop your vegetables. When the bones have cooked for 8 to 10 hours, remove the stock pot from the oven. Add the remaining ingredients. (For an even deeper, richer stock, roast the vegetables and tomato paste till they are slightly caramelized, and then add them to the stock.) Bring the pot back up to a simmer, skimming as necessary, then return the pot to the oven for another 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

  4. Strain the stock through a colander or strainer as soon as it’s out of the oven. Strain the stock a second time through a kitchen cloth. Refrigerate the stock. Remove and discard the congealed fat on the top of the stock. Use within a week or freeze as necessary.

Braised Cabbage

Braised Cabbage

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 head green cabbage
  • 1 medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1-2 large carrots, cut into 1/4 inch rounds
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock, or water
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, or other fat
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper

METHOD:

Preheat the oven to 325º. Cut the Cabbage into 8 wedges and place in a 9×13 greased dish. Add onions, carrots, chicken stock, and fat. Season with salt and pepper, and red pepper. Cover with foil or a lid.

After an 1 hour flip the wedges. Try to keep them in tact as much as possible.

Cook an additional hour or until the vegetables are very tender.

Crank the oven up to 400º, uncover, and cook an additional 10 minutes or so, until the vegetables start to brown.