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


Marlene
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I decided last week to do the short ribs with wine and porcini.  I'm thinking now that I should have read through this thread before starting.  The result was good, but not great for the amount of work/time put into the recipe.  I did change a few things, I put crumpled parchment inside the pot directly over the meat, tied the ribs in case they fell apart, and started about fifteen degrees lower than called for.  I had a heck of a time keeping the simmering constant.  Sometimes the liquid wouldn't be moving at all, so I turned the heat up only to check twenty minutes later and it was simmering too quickly.

Oh, and I soaked the porcini for a few hours instead of the half hour called for, which may have been a mistake as the flavor overpowered anything else.  I think next time, I'll just use Marlene's recipe, which I've done a few times and has been so far my favorite.

Would anyone say the chicken and pork dishes are better, in general, than the beef braises?

I made the short ribs this weekend for a dinner party and was extremely pleased with the results. However, I did adjust the recipe a bit based on reading through this topic (thanks everyone, for being my guinea pigs!) and reading Thomas Keller's instructions in the French Laundry. So I reduced the heat to 275 (way below Molly's level) and cooked the ribs (bone in) for nearly 3 hours. I didn't bother with the parchment paper as I didn't have a covered pan big enough for doubling the recipe, so I used my large roaster and covered whole thing with aluminum foil, with the foil nearly touching the meat. I made them the day before, allowed them to cool in their cooking liquid, and refrigerated them until the next day.

As for the mushroom flavor, I couldn't find porcinis (there appeared to be a Denver-wide shortage of dried porcinis and fresh rosemary--I tried FIVE different grocery stores and finally gave up in disgust), so I used mixed wild mushrooms from Cost Plus--definitely not an overwhelming mushroom flavor.

The only issue I had with the recipe is that it didn't make nearly as much as I thought it would. I doubled the recipe (and then some), using nearly 10 lbs of short ribs (4"--maybe 3" would have been better) and, while you would think I could count to 24, apparently my elementary education was faulty, because I was short by at least one rib by the time I got to serving. So her estimate of serving 6 seemed off to me--but maybe I misread it and it only served 4? (Mental note, since it shouldn't be that hard to count out 2 ribs per person, or even three, next time I'll order by quantity not by weight.) Also, I was very disappointed not to have leftovers because what I remember of dinner was that my few bits of braised short rib were heavenly.

I also augmented the ribs with the root vegetables from the French Laundry recipe because it seemed like there should be vegetables. I know that's another thread, but I have to say I really like the vegetables cooked separately and then reheated in the braising liquid--they kept their individual flavors and textures, but still married well with the flavors of the braise.

All-in-all, I was extremely pleased with her recipe and I want to thank you all for turning me on to her book! :wub:

Feast then thy heart, for what the heart has had, the hand of no heir shall ever hold.
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I have a batch of Marlene's short ribs about ready to go. I browned the ribs in the oven Tuesday evening, sauteed the onions, carrots, etc. on the stove and then added the liquids and boiled that for a bit. When the ribs were done (and a frightening amount of fat had rendered out!), I put them in my crockpot, added the liquid etc. and turned the crockpot on low. Then yesterday I pulled the ribs out of the crockpot (the string made that part easier than I would have thought), strained and degreased the remaining liquid, and refrigerated the two parts separately. My plan for dinner tonight is to finish the sauce with mustard and thickener and reheat the ribs through.

The kicker: I'll be eating early, because I have band practice tonight. My husband, on the other hand, has meetings all afternoon, and he won't even be home until after I've left. What's going to be the best way to manage a two-shift schedule for keeping the short ribs tasty and the sauce thick? My initial thought was to finish the sauce on the stove, add the ribs and heat through, and then put sauce and ribs back into the crockpot for the duration. Will the beurre manie thickening hold up through what could potentially be three hours in a crockpot? Is there a better option? I'm not comfortable leaving stuff on the stove if nobody's around to keep an eye on it.

MelissaH

MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

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YOu could hold this in a braising pot at 200 in the oven, covered if you want and it will be fine. I've never done these in a crockpot so I don't know if it will hold in there

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.

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I guess I could do that. The oven's electric, and I'm not generally as apprehensive about leaving electric appliances on while I'm not around. The cooktop's gas, and therefore out of the question.

MelissaH

MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

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I would never hold this on top of the stove, gas or not. I frequently do hold this in the oven for 2-3 hours at a time, since my husband is always home well after we've eaten, during the week. Actually, if you're oven goes low enough, hold it at 180. Otherwise, 200 is fine. But I like holding things at 180. They stay hot, but don't seem to cook any more.

Edited by Marlene (log)

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.

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I did as Marlene suggested, and held it in a barely warm oven. It worked fine, and both of us definitely enjoyed the results. I think this one's going to be a "keeper" for us. Thanks!

MelissaH

MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

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Some days ago, I did the braised whole chicken with stuffing with baon on the top. Wow. What a great way to do a big chicken (6+ pounds). I riffed the stuffing from Paula's great Cooking of the Southwester France book and merely stuffed bread slices, coated with a mixture of walnut oil, garlic and thyme. The leftovers made a mighty tasty chicken pot pie, topped with biscuits (thanks Ann, for the recipe!).

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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I had been eyeing that whole chicken recipe. I was thinking of doing that in lieu of turkey so we have plenty of leftovers. First Thanksgiving in a long time at someone else's house, so I'm planning a simplified holiday meal at home first so we have plenty to nosh on later :smile:.

Kathy

Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all. - Harriet Van Horne

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm working on unloading my camera and getting caught up. But, a few days ago, I espied a package of nice country-style pork ribs in the freezer, and I'd been to the farmer's market, where there wasn't much but root crops, and that daikon radish just spoke to me (partly because I remembered that Pork and Daikon braise in the book).

This was another wonderful dish, although I might tone down the sugar a bit next time.

But, very popular, and probably the most photogenic braise I've ever done!

gallery_6263_35_30197.jpg

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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I should have had this cookbook overnighted to me, as the wait for it was excruciating! Thanks to all the thread contributors that sold me on it!

Having more bone-in skin-on chicken breast in my freezer than anyone should (thanks to a B1G1 free sale at CostCo) and realizing I had everything else need except for hard cider, I decided to make Chicken Breast Braised with Hard Cider & Parsnips on my virgin voyage into this book.

I used 4 oz of my homemade maple-cured smoked bacon and Woodchuck Amber Hard Cider. I can say that I wish I had more options for Hard Cider as I would have liked something a bit more dry than sweet, but the store I went to had a limited selection But that is such a small complaint as the dish was incredible!

You will have to forgive the lackluster presentation, as this was made just for fun for lunch, and was only served to me :)

Can't wait to pick a second thing to make from it!

ciderye5.jpg

ciderclosemw1.jpg

Jamie

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Beautiful, Janie!  Oh, and braises just don't seem to photo very well.

Any reason not to use thighs with this and just adjust the time?  I'm long on thighs...

I can't see why thighs wouldn't work out well, or even better.

Jamie

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This weekend I made the World's Best Cabbage. I wouldn't go as far as calling it the best, but it was certainly very good.

Karen C.

"Oh, suddenly life’s fun, suddenly there’s a reason to get up in the morning – it’s called bacon!" - Sookie St. James

Travelogue: Ten days in Tuscany

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Made the Osso Buco on Sunday, which we didn't eat until Monday. I didn't want to spend $16/lb for veal shanks, so I used beef. I'm sure the veal would have been just as good, but we didn't have any complaints with the beef. Very, very tasty. Followed the recipe pretty much exactly, and I don't think I would change a thing. Also, made some risotto, but didn't have any saffron on hand, so it was risotto with parm-reg.

Made the creamy brussel sprouts last week - I love brussel sprouts, and I love cream, so this one is a keeper.

Sorry no pictures of either one.

I like cows, too. I hold buns against them. -- Bucky Cat.

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We are thinking of making the Caribbean Pork Shoulder for the family on Friday so we are going to do a practice run tomorrow. Greg is in the other room getting the spice rub together right now. My local store didn't have a pork roast with the fat/skin on so we are just using the pork shoulder (boston butt) w/out. It is just shy of 4 lbs.

I went through the whole thread and read comments/opinions. There doesn't seem to be any hints other than maybe using pork stock rather than water as a change to the recipe. Oh - other than lower braising temp but I tend to do that anyway.

SO - Any extra tips or hints as far as this dish before we cook it tomorrow?

What side dishes go really really well? I saw baked beans mentioned a couple times............ THANKS!!

More tomorrow........Della

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I made the Caribbean Pork Shoulder for the first time last night. I just used water and it tasted great! Molly suggested serving it with braised cabbage, so I just put in thick wedges of cabbage in the pot the last half hour and they turned out great too.

Next time I'll see if I can find a shoulder with the skin on. Definitely a keeper.

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We are thinking of making the Caribbean Pork Shoulder for the family on Friday so we are going to do a practice run tomorrow. Greg is in the other room getting the spice rub together right now. My local store didn't have a pork roast with the fat/skin on so we are just using the pork shoulder (boston butt) w/out. It is just shy of 4 lbs.

I went through the whole thread and read comments/opinions. There doesn't seem to be any hints other than maybe using pork stock rather than water as a change to the recipe. Oh - other than lower braising temp but I tend to do that anyway.

SO - Any extra tips or hints as far as this dish before we cook it tomorrow?

What side dishes go really really well? I saw baked beans mentioned a couple times............  THANKS!!

More tomorrow........Della

Although Molly doesn't really call for it, I always reduce the liquid in this particular recipe. You could add a tablespoon of butter and flour mixed together if you want to thicken it a bit more. I tend to serve rice with this and of course, baked beans are always a good side for pork braised or smoked! I'm also the one who uses pork stock, just because I tend to have some around usually!

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.

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  • 2 weeks later...
We are thinking of making the Caribbean Pork Shoulder for the family on Friday so we are going to do a practice run tomorrow. Greg is in the other room getting the spice rub together right now. My local store didn't have a pork roast with the fat/skin on so we are just using the pork shoulder (boston butt) w/out. It is just shy of 4 lbs.

I went through the whole thread and read comments/opinions. There doesn't seem to be any hints other than maybe using pork stock rather than water as a change to the recipe. Oh - other than lower braising temp but I tend to do that anyway.

SO - Any extra tips or hints as far as this dish before we cook it tomorrow?

What side dishes go really really well? I saw baked beans mentioned a couple times............  THANKS!!

More tomorrow........Della

Although Molly doesn't really call for it, I always reduce the liquid in this particular recipe. You could add a tablespoon of butter and flour mixed together if you want to thicken it a bit more. I tend to serve rice with this and of course, baked beans are always a good side for pork braised or smoked! I'm also the one who uses pork stock, just because I tend to have some around usually!

Well, we made the dish and didn't LOVE it - it was "ok" but nothing special. Maybe I did something wrong?

So - we ended up making the Jerry Traunfeld Herbfarm Braised Short Ribs and they were great.

I'll try the dish again another time

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Making the Bisteces Rancheros right now.........should be done in about 15 minutes.

Really easy - I hope it tastes great! Others have posted that is it good.

I'll report back.

Side note - when you skin the peppers and de-seed them DO NOT RUB UPPER LIP for any reason. OUCH!!!!! :wink:

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I should have had this cookbook overnighted to me, as the wait for it was excruciating!  Thanks to all the thread contributors that sold me on it!

Having more bone-in skin-on chicken breast in my freezer than anyone should (thanks to a B1G1 free sale at CostCo) and realizing I had everything else need except for hard cider, I decided to make Chicken Breast Braised with Hard Cider & Parsnips on my virgin voyage into this book.

I used 4 oz of my homemade maple-cured smoked bacon and Woodchuck Amber Hard Cider.  I can say that I wish I had more options for Hard Cider as I would have liked something a bit more dry than sweet, but the store I went to had a limited selection  But that is such a small complaint as the dish was incredible! 

You will have to forgive the lackluster presentation, as this was made just for fun for lunch, and was only served to me :)

Can't wait to pick a second thing to make from it!

ciderye5.jpg

ciderclosemw1.jpg

Jamie

Reading this inspires me. I have some cider hardening in the fridge and will get the chicken tomorrow. The weather's finally turned here; alas, it was pleasant hanging out in the park on Thursday, without even a jacket, as my gkids fed the spoiled rotten Wissahickon ducks who don't even have to dive for dinner much less make it. :wink:

"Half of cooking is thinking about cooking." ---Michael Roberts

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This weekend I made the World's Best Cabbage.  I wouldn't go as far as calling it the best, but it was certainly very good.

Ok, if this isn't the BEST, which is? Or what would you do to this recipe to make it THE best?

"Half of cooking is thinking about cooking." ---Michael Roberts

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  • 4 weeks later...

I got this book for Christmas -- what to make first, what to make first? I had borrowed it with interlibrary loan a year or so ago and made a few things -- I especially liked the Bisteces Rancheros. It seems like there was a particular vegetable dish everyone was raving about earlier on this thread, but I don't have time to reread all twenty pages. Anybody have a rec or three for me?

~ Lori in PA

My blog: http://inmykitcheninmylife.blogspot.com/

My egullet blog: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=89647&hl=

"Cooking is not a chore, it is a joy."

- Julia Child

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Lori, I seem to remember Chufi enjoying the recipe for end of season green beans, though it may be a bit too end of season now!

I really like the braised chicken breasts with hard cider and parsnips, though I cut the cider with chicken stock and use a bit less rosemary. There's a picture of it on this page--it's really good!

I also made the stuffed cornish game hens; I love game hens, though, so I might be a bit too partial to recipes containing them.

Hope you enjoy your new book!

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I got this book for Christmas -- what to make first, what to make first? I had borrowed it with interlibrary loan a year or so ago and made a few things -- I especially liked the Bisteces Rancheros. It seems like there was a particular vegetable dish everyone was raving about earlier on this thread, but I don't have time to reread all twenty pages. Anybody have a rec or three for me?

Lori, if you still have brussels sprouts, her recipe will make lovers out of haters. Oh, and the braised leeks are wonderful. Be sure and make plenty so you have leftovers for a quiche!

For the other thing, got anything hanging out in the freezer that should go? What's on special at the market this week? I have many favorites from the meat categories, so give me some guidance!

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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