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Cooking with "All About Braising" by Molly Stevens (Part 1)

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#61 fifi

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Posted 01 March 2005 - 09:05 PM

Mine are plain white porcelain "Diner" from Crate and Barrel. :biggrin:

Sorry Susan, the excuse isn't flying. :laugh:
Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

#62 snowangel

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Posted 01 March 2005 - 09:56 PM

How about two of the three kids are about to kill each other, every night when I get dinner on the table?
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#63 Marlene

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Posted 01 March 2005 - 10:21 PM

So get them to take pictures, or do something with the plating. Or let them kill each other. All in the name of eG education of course.
Marlene
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Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

#64 Taboni

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Posted 03 March 2005 - 05:08 AM

Is there anywhere I can find this short rib recipe as I don't have the book yet and I would like to make these for this weekend?
Get your bitch ass back in the kitchen and make me some pie!!!

#65 Marlene

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Posted 04 March 2005 - 12:03 PM

Up for company this weekend will be the Five Spice Baby Back Ribs!
Marlene
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Practice. Do it over. Get it right.
Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

#66 fifi

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Posted 04 March 2005 - 12:17 PM

If I can find some nice short ribs, I might try the "Red Wine-Braised Short Ribs with Rosemary and Porcini." I am going to halve the recipe and try the parchment in my LC just like she says to.
Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

#67 greenwich st

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Posted 04 March 2005 - 06:28 PM

I made the red wine/porcini ribs a few days ago. I've never made short ribs before, so I can't compare this one to other recipes but I will say that it was a hit at our table. The sauce had a lot of complexity, and the house smelled incredible. It was easy to get right, though a pretty time-consuming project, and I wouldn't do it often (but I didn't find using the parchement annoying. Not sure how important it was to the final result though.) I also tried the broccoli rabe with arugula, which was probably the best version I've tried, although I can't say the addition of the arugula was that noticeable for me -- it wasn''t particularly peppery after cooking and sort of blended in with the overriding bitter-broccoli and garlic flavors.

#68 fifi

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Posted 04 March 2005 - 06:37 PM

Thanks for the heads up on the beef ribs since that is where I am headed. I went to my "big" HEB with hopes for short ribs. They had them but they didn't look that good. I was about to despair and head for the pork (the milk braised recipe) when I saw this strange package of meat. Turns out it was a 2 pound package of gorgeous flanken cut ribs. If I hadn't read about this cut in Molly's book, I wouldn't have known to pick it up for this dish. And with 2 pounds on the dot, it was kismet. (The only other time I have used that cut was to fill in on the poundage for some beef stock and never really thought about them before. It was just a package of beef and bones to me.) Stay tuned.
Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

#69 snowangel

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Posted 04 March 2005 - 06:55 PM

While digging some bacon out of the freezer, I espied a chuck roast that has Beef Rendang written all over it. We are going out tomorrow night, but I do think that this dish in on Sunday night's menu.
Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

#70 pam claughton

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Posted 05 March 2005 - 11:22 AM

I love this book, and not just for the recipes. It's one of the most informative and thorough books on the subject. I think it's a good one to give as a gift to, to people at any level. My sister is somewhat new to cooking, and really liked that the recipes are so detailed and easy to follow.

So far, I've made the Salmon with mushroom, bacon, leeks and Pinot Noir, and it is such a delicious sauce.

I was in the supermarket yesterday and wanted to pick up a roast for her pot roast, and could not remember for the life of me which cuts she said to avoid. Had a feeling I was going to pick the wrong one. Am heading back though, and hoping to do it tomorrow.

The difficult decision will be which pot roast recipe to go with, I think there are 4 or 5 to choose from. Any suggestions?

#71 fifi

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Posted 05 March 2005 - 11:40 AM

I love this book, and not just for the recipes. It's one of the most informative and thorough books on the subject. I think it's a good one to give as a gift to, to people at any level. My sister is somewhat new to cooking, and really liked that the recipes are so detailed and easy to follow.
. . . . .

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Let me second the motion on the gift part. I have done this three times now. I gave my two grown kids little LCs previously. I gave them the book for Christmas. They are getting into cooking (my son, surprise, is more advanced) and love the book. I also gave it to a friend that just got her first LC and she is doing a happy dance.
Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

#72 mamster

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Posted 05 March 2005 - 12:52 PM

Picking a pot roast is easy: if it says "chuck" on the label, buy it. If it doesn't, forget it. There are many chuck roasts, like the chuck eye roast, top blade roast, and 7-bone roast, but all of them make great pot roast or stew meat.

This thread just reminded me that beef short ribs are on sale this week at my supermarket, and I'm going to pack the freezer with beefy goodness.
Matthew Amster-Burton, aka "mamster"
Author, Hungry Monkey, coming in May

#73 Marlene

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Posted 05 March 2005 - 01:11 PM

Picking a pot roast is easy: if it says "chuck" on the label, buy it. If it doesn't, forget it. There are many chuck roasts, like the chuck eye roast, top blade roast, and 7-bone roast, but all of them make great pot roast or stew meat.

This thread just reminded me that beef short ribs are on sale this week at my supermarket, and I'm going to pack the freezer with beefy goodness.

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Um, here in Ontario, I have never ever seen a pot roast or any other package of meat labeled chuck. They just don't do it that way. We got inside round, blade, shoulder, etc, but I've never seen any label say Chuck.
Marlene
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Practice. Do it over. Get it right.
Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

#74 pam claughton

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Posted 05 March 2005 - 03:02 PM

Okay, I found myself a nice little chuck eye roast today, and am looking forward to cooking it up tomorrow. But, I have a question.

My roast is a little smaller, at just over 2 pounds. Should I still plan to braise for about 3 hours? Not sure if size is a factor here or not.

thx,
Pam

#75 fifi

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Posted 05 March 2005 - 05:02 PM

OK . . . First disappointment. I did the "Red Wine-Braised Short Ribs with Rosemary and Porcini" by the book. Actually, the final result is no disappointment. The flavor is wonderful. The disappointment is in the method. After all of the fiddliness of the method, I don't find any difference from what I have done for years with beef short ribs . . . brown, dump in the pot with the wine and seasonings and braise. No parchment, no overnight in a pre-cooked marinade, and certainly not at 325 degrees F. I checked on the pot after 30 minutes and was so alarmed at what was going on at 325, I immediately reduced the temperature to my usual braising temperature of 250. I think that is what saved the final result. Compared to other beef short rib braises I have done in the same pot (LC oval oven), I really don't see what the parchment did for me. *ducking from thrown stones*

I also find it interesting that cookbooks continue to have you marinade in a bowl or other container rather than in a zipper type of plastic bag with the air expelled so you don't have to worry about all of the meat being exposed to the marinade.

This experience does not mean that I am abandoning the recipes in this book. They are still terrific. I am just going to be more judicious and thoughtful about the more "fiddly" techniques.
Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

#76 Taboni

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Posted 05 March 2005 - 05:07 PM

One question I have is what does everyone here use for a braising vessel? I have been using the same 7 quart Le Crueset french oven forever when making stew, etc. and I really don't want to go out and buy their shallower braising pan.
Also my wife bought a Cuisinart slow cooker for me for Christmas, would it be sacrilege to use it instead of the preferred stovetop/oven method?
Get your bitch ass back in the kitchen and make me some pie!!!

#77 patti

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Posted 05 March 2005 - 05:28 PM

I really don't see what the parchment did for me. *ducking from thrown stones*

I also find it interesting that cookbooks continue to have you marinade in a bowl or other container rather than in a zipper type of plastic bag with the air expelled so you don't have to worry about all of the meat being exposed to the marinade.

This experience does not mean that I am abandoning the recipes in this book. They are still terrific. I am just going to be more judicious and thoughtful about the more "fiddly" techniques.

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I'm not throwing stones. I've only used one of the recipes in the book so far, and while it was a delicious success, I can't tell you what good the parchment paper did. The lid to my Le Creuset pot seems heavy enough and fit closely enough that I didn't really understand how the parchment actually benefitted me or the pork shoulder I was braising. I've braised for years, however, I am new to Le Creuset AND to Molly Stevens, so I bow to the experience of others.

As far as the cut of beef roast to choose, I often choose a rump roast, mostly because it's what my mother always cooked. I like sirloin tip, also, but my husband prefers the rump roast.
"I like 'em french fried pertaters." (Billy Bob Thornton as Karl, in Sling Blade.)

#78 Anna N

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Posted 05 March 2005 - 06:03 PM

Um, here in Ontario, I have never ever seen a pot roast or any other package of meat labeled chuck.  They just don't do it that way.  We got inside round, blade, shoulder, etc, but I've never seen any label say Chuck.

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Check out this site: Beef Cuts in Canada to see what used to be called chuck. (Common Beef Cut Names).
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#79 fifi

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Posted 05 March 2005 - 08:23 PM

One question I have is what does everyone here use for a braising vessel? I have been using the same 7 quart Le Crueset french oven forever when making stew, etc. and I really don't want to go out and buy their shallower braising pan.
Also my wife bought a Cuisinart slow cooker for me for Christmas, would it be sacrilege to use it instead of the preferred stovetop/oven method?

View Post


You are in good shape, my dear, for braising just about anything. Try out both the slow cooker as well as the LC. I think you will find that the results in both will be very satisfying. It is just a matter of timing. I tend to default to the slow cooker when I just want to turn it on and go shopping.
Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

#80 Marlene

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Posted 05 March 2005 - 08:28 PM

I did the 5 spice ribs tonight. I'll have pictures tomorrow, but first a few observations.

The recipe calls for covering the pan tightly with tin foil. Next time, I'll use a pan with a lid. I had to braise the ribs every 30 minutes, and after a while, the tin foil cover no longer fit so tightly. I'd braise them a little longer next time.

I'd also add more glaze when broiling them. And when I did the rub, I'd add some cayannne and garlic, the rub was just overall to sweet.

My guests loved them, but I wasnt' as thrilled as I might have been with this particular recipe.
Marlene
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Practice. Do it over. Get it right.
Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

#81 Marlene

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Posted 05 March 2005 - 09:18 PM

pictures. Starting with the rub:
Posted Image

After the rub has sat for 24 hours, braise them in ale and molasses, and then brush a glaze of honey, soy sauce and ketchup on them and broil:

Posted Image

Cut into pieces:
Posted Image

Served with baked potatoes, and a tomato, bleu cheese and onion salad
Posted Image

followed by molten lava cake
Posted Image
Marlene
cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.
Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

#82 snowangel

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Posted 05 March 2005 - 10:45 PM

OK . . . First disappointment. I did the "Red Wine-Braised Short Ribs with Rosemary and Porcini" by the book. Actually, the final result is no disappointment. The flavor is wonderful. The disappointment is in the method. After all of the fiddliness of the method, I don't find any difference from what I have done for years with beef short ribs . . .  brown, dump in the pot with the wine and seasonings and braise. No parchment, no overnight in a pre-cooked marinade, and certainly not at 325 degrees F. I checked on the pot after 30 minutes and was so alarmed at what was going on at 325, I immediately reduced the temperature to my usual braising temperature of 250. I think that is what saved the final result. Compared to other beef short rib braises I have done in the same pot (LC oval oven), I really don't see what the parchment did for me. *ducking from thrown stones*

I also find it interesting that cookbooks continue to have you marinade in a bowl or other container rather than in a zipper type of plastic bag with the air expelled so you don't have to worry about all of the meat being exposed to the marinade.

This experience does not mean that I am abandoning the recipes in this book. They are still terrific. I am just going to be more judicious and thoughtful about the more "fiddly" techniques.

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Fifi, several thoughts:

I have found her temps consistently too high, except for the shorter braises (like the salmon). For me, too, given the shcedules of my kids and their comings and goings, lower and longer is better.

So, do you have access to two similar sized LC's? (I don't). Try one with the parchment, one without. You are science oriented, do a test for us! The last time I used the parchment, I followed Paula's instructions (wetted and crumpled, not over-hanging under the lid). I will continue to use the parchment because I have 1,000 sheets of the stuff (a gift).

I don't marinade in a bowl. Always a ziplock. It's easier to stuff it into my overcrowded fridge.

Yes, you are right. The recipes are wonderful. The advice on meats and the various cuts and the stuff on other ingredients is wonderful. Some of it is just flat ditzy, and I circumvent and make it easier whenever possible.

Marlene, thanks for the notes on the ribs. I will dutifully pencil then onto the recipe. That's one of the things I do. When someone on this site posts info/comments/recommendations on a recipe in a book I have, I make the notes. I loved marked up cookbooks.
Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

#83 gourmande

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Posted 06 March 2005 - 12:24 AM

There are some interesting observations here that I hope will, at some point in time, make their way to Molly's kitchen experts for future editions/revisions.

I have braised in the same LC pots I've owned for over 30 years, they are both quite deep (two round, one oval) and I have had fabulous results regardless of the "head space" in the vessel. I plan on trying the parchment cover (just over the food, NOT extending beyond the vessel; I just don't see the point to that) for my next braise, and my thought is that the only benefit will be that it will eliminate the need to scrape the sides down in the pot. I stand to be corrected, but please allow me the time to test my theory...

Also mentioned by others is the oven temp. I too have found it necessary to reduce the temp (from what is suggested) to maintain a gentle simmer. Mind you, I've always braised at lower temperatures so that didn't really surprise me. I have found this same problem with many other recipes, particularly in recipes from "celebrity" kitchens... Could it be that while they are scaling the recipe ingredients for home use they are forgetting to factor in home "hardware" in all its capacities?

While these aren't major issues for many of us - we can easily adjust recipes to our needs, environment and equipment - they could present a real problem to those who are more intimidated in the kitchen ... and all marketing aside, that could turn a best seller with longevity into a clearance item.

Just rambling...
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#84 Marlene

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Posted 06 March 2005 - 07:07 AM

I have to agree with the others here on temperature. I've consistently had to lower the temp usually by 50 degrees from what Molly states in her book.

Having said that, the book is a tremendous source of information on braising, and with the exception of the ribs I did last night, I've been pretty pleased with her recipes.
Marlene
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Practice. Do it over. Get it right.
Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

#85 Marlene

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Posted 06 March 2005 - 08:20 AM

Okay, I found myself a nice little chuck eye roast today, and am looking forward to cooking it up tomorrow. But, I have a question.

My roast is a little smaller, at just over 2 pounds. Should I still plan to braise for about 3 hours? Not sure if size is a factor here or not.

thx,
Pam

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I would have answered this, but I honestly don't know the answer! Instinct says less time, but I'm no expert at braising yet!
Marlene
cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.
Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

#86 mamster

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Posted 06 March 2005 - 10:49 AM

I'm about to start the maple-glazed short ribs recipe, and I have a tip for all you short-rib fans out there. For some reason, AAB doesn't mention it, but the best way to brown short ribs isn't in the pot or under the broiler: it's roasting them. Put them bone-side down (or just lay them flat if they're flanken-style) on a broiler pan or just on some foil on a half-sheet pan (the pan has to have a rim) and roast them at 450 for about 45 minutes. No smoke; you can prep the rest of the recipe while they're browning; and if you're doing a reasonably sized batch, it takes about the same amount of time. You do have to clean another pan, but compared to having to clean the entire kitchen after browning them on the stove, big deal.

I learned this tip from Cook's Illustrated and have never browned short ribs any other way since.
Matthew Amster-Burton, aka "mamster"
Author, Hungry Monkey, coming in May

#87 Safran

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Posted 06 March 2005 - 12:55 PM

...I also find it interesting that cookbooks continue to have you marinade in a bowl or other container rather than in a zipper type of plastic bag with the air expelled so you don't have to worry about all of the meat being exposed to the marinade.

This experience does not mean that I am abandoning the recipes in this book. They are still terrific. I am just going to be more judicious and thoughtful about the more "fiddly" techniques.

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Since when has any of us followed recipes to the letter anyway? Adapating is what makes it fun, no? :wink:

#88 fifi

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Posted 06 March 2005 - 02:37 PM

I will be trying the parchment with a recipe that I do often. And I do think Paula's method makes more sense so I will do it that way. I don't have two pots the same size to do a real side by side. I could possibly borrow the 2 1/2 quart oval that I gave my sister for Christmas but she won't let it out of her sight. Anyway, this particular recipe is so predictable that I think I will notice a difference.
Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

#89 Anna N

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Posted 06 March 2005 - 04:56 PM

Today we had Molly's "Top Blade Steaks Smothered in Mushrooms and Onions" and it is a definite keeper. I was very concerned that there simply was not enough liquid (the recipe calls for only 1/2 cup of sherry which pretty much reduced to nothing as I deglazed). But, in the end there was plenty of sauce and the meat was meltingly tender. I actually used cross-rib steak as I didn't have top blade but I treated it exactly the same as in the recipe. I cut off the strip of three small bones and tossed it in the pan to add whatever flavour might be there. I also only had white button mushrooms so I am sure with the cremini and the portobellos it would be even better.
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#90 cjsadler

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Posted 07 March 2005 - 08:32 AM

I'm about to start the maple-glazed short ribs recipe, and I have a tip for all you short-rib fans out there. For some reason, AAB doesn't mention it, but the best way to brown short ribs isn't in the pot or under the broiler: it's roasting them. Put them bone-side down (or just lay them flat if they're flanken-style) on a broiler pan or just on some foil on a half-sheet pan (the pan has to have a rim) and roast them at 450 for about 45 minutes. No smoke; you can prep the rest of the recipe while they're browning; and if you're doing a reasonably sized batch, it takes about the same amount of time. You do have to clean another pan, but compared to having to clean the entire kitchen after browning them on the stove, big deal.

I learned this tip from Cook's Illustrated and have never browned short ribs any other way since.

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Yeah, this is definitely one of CI's greatest tips ever. I do this everytime now too-- so much cleaner and easier.
Chris Sadler





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