Bolognese Sauce makes about 8 cups
- — 2 medium onions, chopped fine — 6 ounces tomato paste
- — 4 celery ribs, chopped fine — 1 cup whole milk
- — 2 medium carrots, chopped fine — 1 cup dry white wine
- — 5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced — 1 cup water
- — ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil — 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
- — ¼ pound pancetta, finely minced — 1 ¼ teaspoons sea salt
- — 1 pound ground beef — ½ teaspoon black pepper
- — 1 pound ground pork
Heat oil in a heavy 6-quart pot and saute onions, celery, carrot and garlic over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Increase heat slightly and add pancetta, beef and pork. Cook about 6 minutes, until no longer pink, stirring and breaking up lumps. Stir in tomato paste, milk, wine, water and thyme and gently simmer, covered, until sauce is thickened, 1-1 ½ hours. Add salt and pepper and remove from heat. Cool, uncovered, before refrigerating. May be made 2 days ahead; frozen, it keeps for 1 month.
Short Ribs with Red Miso & Daikon serves 4
- — 2 tbsp vegetable oil —2 tbsp red miso
- — 4 bone-in short ribs — 4 tbsp brown rice vinegar
- — ¼ cup celery, diced — 1 cup mirin
- — 1 cup shallots, diced — 1 cup dry red wine
- — 1 leek, tender parts sliced — 4 cups beef stock
- — 2 cloves garlic, minced
- — 1 10” daikon radish, peeled, halved lengthwise and sliced
Preheat oven to 325º. Salt ribs liberally. In a large Dutch oven, heat oil until smoking and sear ribs on all sides. (Don’t crowd the pan; do this in batches if necessary.) When deeply browned, remove ribs to a platter. Lower heat to medium and add celery, shallots, garlic and leek to pot. Saute until golden, about 6-8 minutes. Meanwhile, mix miso with ¼ cup hot water. Turn up heat and add diluted miso, rice vinegar, mirin and red wine. Reduce by about half. Add beef stock and bring to a boil. Turn off heat. Return ribs and any accumulated juices to the pot. Broth should almost cover ribs (add water if needed). Cover pot with a tight lid and place in oven. After two hours, carefully remove lid and turn ribs over. Add daikon to pot. Cover and return to oven for another hour.
Remove from oven after a total of 3 hours and check for doneness by sliding the tip of a paring knife into a rib. It should yield easily and almost fall off the bone. Cool slightly. Remove ribs and daikon to a shallow pan. Strain broth through a fine mesh into a saucepan, pressing on the solids to extract every bit of juice. Ideally, I prefer to serve this dish the next day. If doing so, you would now refrigerate the broth separately from the ribs and daikon and, once solidified, remove the fat that rises to the top of the cold broth. If serving right away, skim fat from the broth now. If broth seems thin, reduce slightly over high heat. Adjust seasoning. Turn oven up to 400º. Place ribs on a baking sheet and brown for 10-15 minutes until crispy on the outside. Heat sauce with daikon in a saucepan, tasting for seasoning. To serve, place browned ribs and daikon over hot buttered rice or mashed potatoes and drizzle with sauce.
Beef Shank Soup serves 2
- — 1 meaty beef shank — stock or water
- — 1 tbsp olive oil — fresh rosemary
- — 1 yellow onion, diced — sea salt
- — 2 carrots, in chunks — 1 bunch mustard greens, chopped
- — 3-4 fingerling potatoes, in chunks
Heat the oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven and then brown the shank well on both sides. Remove from pot and set aside on a plate. Pour off fat if it looks like more than a couple of tablespoons.
In the same pot, sauté the onion until soft and golden, scraping up any bits stuck to the bottom. (Deglaze with a little red wine if you like.)
Add all the vegetables except the mustard greens and stir with the onion for a couple of minutes. Then put the shank back in, and pour in stock or water (or a combination) to cover. Add a couple of sprigs of rosemary, salt to taste and simmer, partially covered, until the meat is very tender and can be forked off the bone, at least 2 hours.
Once the meat is done, stir in the mustard greens and simmer for an additional 10 minutes with the lid on. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Coconut Beef Stew serves 4
- — 1 pound boneless beef stew meat, cubed — 2 tsp ground coriander
- — 1 tbsp vegetable oil — 1 tsp ground cumin
- — 10 curry leaves (or substitute basil) — ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- — 1 jalapeño, minced — 1 cup coconut milk
- — 1 cup diced shallots — 2 tbsp tamarind pulp
- — 1 tsp turmeric — 3 cups beef stock
- — 1 tsp sea salt — cilantro, for garnish
In a deep, heavy saucepan or Dutch oven, heat the oil over high heat. Add curry leaves, jalapeño, shallots and turmeric and saute for a few minutes. Add the beef, salt and spices, and stir to coat beef well. When meat is browned on all sides, stir in coconut milk, reduce heat to medium and cook for about 10 minutes.
While beef is cooking, pour ¼ cup hot water over tamarind pulp, breaking it up with a spoon. Let it dissolve for a few minutes then push through a strainer, discarding pulp and combining liquid with stock. Add this to beef mixture and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer gently until meat is tender, about an hour. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Serve with rice, garnished with cilantro.
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