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Marlene

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

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Granted, I haven't used the parchment paper so I can't speak to that. I have rarely been able to braise at much above 275 degrees F and I have a separate oven themometer. My most common temp is 250. I pretty much stick to that since I know how things work out generally. Yes, it takes a bit longer but I like the results better.

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Paula, I didn't wet the parchment. I didn't crumple it either, but rather placed it on the pot (LC oval) and pressed it down so it was almost touching the meat, with the ends of the parchment hanging over the sides of the pan, and then I put the lid on.

Now, I've only braised in this pan a couple of times, but the other two times, there was some condensation on the lid when I opened to peek.

This time, there was no condensation on the lid (which there wouldn't be because of the parchment), but when I lifted the parchment, the parchment was not wet.

There was no evaporation of the liquid in the pan. If anything, there seemed to be a bit more liquid, but perhaps the vegetables gave up some more liquid as they braised.

I have made this same braise once before. This time, when I tasted on Sunday, the meat was a succulent as before, but the liquid seemed a bit richer, a bit more concentrated. I reheated it yesterday, as per your instructions, but forgot to taste it. Tonight, we will eat this.

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you did everything right. And I think your assumptions are correct.

The only thing I would do differently is to avoid paper hanging out the sides of the pot.

Frankly, I braise on top of the stove more often than not. I learned so many dishes from women in the Mediterranean who cook that way that I've come to believe it develops a deeper and richer dish. I call it "bottom up" braising .

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Hmmm, I've taken the parchment off halfway through. I left it hanging over the edges because that's what Molly's book says, but as I mentioned, it makes it harder to get the lid to fit properly. Next time, I'll try it not doing that.

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Stracotto with Garlic and Pancetta, Step by Step

I started out by sauteing the vegetables:

gallery_6080_825_48592.jpg

Then added the garlic head, wine and fresh herbs and simmered for several minutes:

gallery_6080_825_15037.jpg

Put the roast and the marinade into a ziplock bag and refrigerated for 24 hours.

Today, I took the roast out and browned it all over in some oil. The recipe calls for doing this in a skillet, but I used the Le Cruset pot that I intended to use for my braise.

gallery_6080_825_37915.jpg

I used a bottle of this for the marinade:

gallery_6080_825_1191.jpg

I strained off the marinade and reserved the veggies. Put the meat aside and poured out some of the fat. Added brandy, and scraped up the brown bits and let reduce. Then I added the marinade, and let that reduce, then a cup of beef stock and let it reduce again, till it looked like this:

gallery_6080_825_51587.jpg

Put the roast in, the pancetta, and garlic and veggies, used parchment paper, and put it into the oven, slow braised for 4 hours:

gallery_6080_825_49992.jpg

I gave up on the parchment paper half way through, but the end product was still amazing:

gallery_6080_825_48173.jpg

Smashed the garlic into a paste:

gallery_6080_825_10963.jpg

Shredded the pancetta and added it to the strained sauce simmering on the stove:

gallery_6080_825_29503.jpg

Sliced, or more correctly shredded the roast and served with mashed potatoes and sauce:

gallery_6080_825_21195.jpg

Before sauce:

gallery_6080_825_18003.jpg

This one was great. The only comment I have is that it's a little salty, due no doubt, to the pancetta. The garlic paste on top is an absolute winner. And it truly smelled heavenly while cooking!

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Tonight I made the country ribs with mango, ginger, chile and coconut milk - delish and I can hardly wait for the leftovers, of which I have multitudes since I'm cooking for one. I'm storing the meat and sauce separately. I do concur with snowangel's green garnish and I might have upped the chile a tad - this is Texas, after all. [i was reminded, though, that my next kitchen HAS to have an exhaust fan - despite my spatter guard, there are tiny grease globules all over my glasses....]

Last week I devoured her prune, green olive, and chicken dish - I love prunes and I'm a sucker for olives [one of my favorite easy baked chicken dishes is from Donna Hay, placing a halved garlic clove face up under each chicken piece, and strewing the pan with green olives and cherry tomatoes after coating the chicken with a mix of lemon zest, parsley, and olive oil]

I think we have a Molly Stevens fan club going here - it's my favorite new cookbook, now that I've broken in Suvir's....there's so much information leading us to success every time out.


Edited by memesuze (log)

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I reheated the Zinfandel pot roast and we ate it tonight. (made on Sunday and reheated yesterday, but not eaten) To test Paula's theory/premise about it being better than ever on day 3.

As usual, kid commitments and whatever prevented me from photoing this. But, suffice to say, byday 3, the roast is not slice-able.

But, it was succulent. Positively silky. Even Heidi ate it. She never eats beef. Never. Third time is a charm (like a hat trick).

Instead of the glazed carrots (last minute preps and kids sometimes do not agree) so I roasted carrots, pearl onions and a ton of garlic. Mashed potatoes. Salad.

Dinner tonight was wonderful.

I'm looking at a couple of her suggestions for the leftovers.

Memesuze, glad you enjoyed the rib/coconut/lime/mango dish as much as I did. I, too, were I not feeding my family, have upped the chile, although the cousin who took ALL of the leftovers (that'll teach me for being generous) reported that there was more heat on day 2 and even more on day 3, but he did advise me to up it next time.

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I've got my next recipe all picked out. Honey Glazed, Five Spice Baby Back ribs.

Somebody stop me. I'm out of control. :biggrin:

Susan, I'm going to have to come down there and start taking pictures for you. Better yet, I'll send someone who actually knows how to take food pictures :blink:

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I've got my next recipe all picked out.  Honey Glazed, Five Spice Baby Back ribs.

Somebody stop me.  I'm out of control. :biggrin:

Susan, I'm going to have to come down there and start taking pictures for you.  Better yet, I'll send someone who actually knows how to take food pictures :blink:

Marlene, I can think of worse obsessions!

And, I will empty the card on the camera, get it charged up, and keep it in the kitchen. It's just that there is always some crisis when I put dinner on. And, I promise to be better about photoing while I'm cooking. One of the things I've been thinking about is that I need new dishes. My dishes are plain white Corelle (tough to break; thanks kids) and so everything looks so, well, plain.

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in case you haven't noticed, all my dishes are plain white corelle. :rolleyes:

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

Sorry Susan, the excuse isn't flying. :laugh:

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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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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.

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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?

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Up for company this weekend will be the Five Spice Baby Back Ribs!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

. . . . .

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.

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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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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.

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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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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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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