Your viewing "Braise" (3 posts).

Tonight I made faux osso bucco for dinner, using grass-fed beef shank instead of veal. I used this recipe from Epicurious as the foundation, making some adjustments based on the ingredients in my kitchen. I used red wine instead of white, one beef shank instead of four, water instead of beef stock, and tomato paste instead of diced tomatoes. I also omitted the butter and bacon and increased the amount of garlic.

It took about two hours for the beef to become fork-tender. For me, the real star of the dish was the gremolata. I had no idea what a difference some chopped parsley, garlic, and lemon zest could make. It adds another dimension, a burst of fresh, spring air into what might otherwise be a heavy braise.

I tried the dish with both garnacha and fino. It tasted great with both. The red wine complements the meat and wine, while the fino goes well with the lemon zest in the gremolata.

Dinner isn't this fancy every night. But when it is, I wish I could serve it to the world.


There is just one more week of finals to go, and then, freedom!  For me, this entails a paper and one more exam.  I always tell myself, like it or not, all is temporary.  Better to accept, even appreciate, a moment for what it is than to wish it could change.

On that note, here's a dish I made to relieve some finals-related stress.  This is the first time I've enjoyed eating chard.  No more flavorless, chalky texture.  

To my surprise, this tasted like a slightly spicier version of miso soup.  Umami delight.  Best part - I used what I had lying around.  The chili pepper flakes add a kick, and the Asian pear and beer lend a subtle sweetness.  It's not too sweet (a must for me), and the red vinegar and cheese at the end make everything rich and bright.

Give it a whirl.  This comes together quickly, maybe half an hour to forty five minutes, chopping included.

All right, back to the books.  My body is in sore need of exercise.

Braised Swiss Chard with Sausage
Serves 4-6


4-5 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, diced

4-6 small carrots, diced

3 sausages, thinly sliced

1 bunch swiss chard, rinsed and chopped
(stems and leaves separated)
1 Asian pear, cut into small pieces

1 can of beer (I used Sapporo)

½ to 1 cup of water

2 tbsp. butter
Red chili pepper flakes

Kosher salt

Red wine vinegar

Grated pecorino cheese

How To

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a large saucepan over medium high heat.  Add the minced garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.  Add the diced onion and a generous sprinkle of kosher salt.  Cook for a few minutes, until the onion has sweated.

  2. Add the Asian pear and cook for another few minutes.  Next add the swiss chard stems, chopped carrots, and sausage.  Season liberally with red chili pepper flakes.  Cook for at least five minutes, until stems have softened.

  3. Add the swiss chard leaves and another sprinkle of salt.  When the leaves have cooked down (a few minutes), add the beer and enough water to cover the ingredients halfway.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.  Cook until the leaves have softened, about 15-20 minutes.

  4. Taste.  If desired, add 2-3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar (or other acid).  Ladle the dish into bowls and serve with grated cheese on top.

I found myself craving meat the other day. 
As is often the case, I turned to ideas for a one-pot dish. 

I bought this book during my last trip to San Francisco. 
It's slim and modest, offering nothing but braises and stews. 
But this is certainly the first cookbook I have ever used and not left
simply to be ogled on the coffee table. 

I have made the recipe on page twenty five before, but this time, I improvised, having neither short ribs nor carrots.

I began by browning some stewing beef over fairly high heat.

Out went the beef, and in went the cipollini onions.  I tossed these around in the pan for a few minutes, lowering the heat to a medium.

Then I added equal parts soy sauce and orange juice, along with a generous sprinkling of dried chili pepper.  I used more liquid than is pictured here, adding just enough to cover the meat and onions.

 I turned the heat down to a low simmer and let the pot go for about two hours. 

Eventually the fat rose to the top, as evident here.  After letting the contents cool, I placed the pot in the fridge overnight then skimmed off the hardened fat the next day.  I then reheated the beef, adding some couscous before serving.

Note: This braise is best eaten as soon as possible.  After a day or so, the soy sauce flavor becomes too salty to endure, even for a salt fiend like me.

Up Next: Thanksgiving!

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