Turkey is boring. So make this rich late autumn feast instead.
6 + lbs. short ribs cut 1/2″ thick and of like sizes. This recipe takes a whole bottle of red wine, so a French Beaujolais works well. It’s not too expensive, but good enough to be the main ingredient. The meat has to marinade overnight in most of the extended mirepoix. Best to divide the short ribs into two glass baking dishes to fit all of the vegetables.
For the marinade: 2 cups sliced celery; 2 cups sliced carrots; 1 cup sliced parsnips on a slant; 2 cups sliced leek; 2 cups parsley sprigs; 1 tsp. juniper berries or 1/4 cup gin. 1 bottle red wine; 1/2 cup red wine vinegar. 2+ tsp. red, green, black whole peppercorn mix. Any leftover celery, carrot, parsnip chunks.
Place short ribs evenly into 2 glass baking dishes. Divide all veggies evenly over the meat in each dish, as well as even amounts red wine vinegar, red wine, peppercorns, parsley sprigs on top. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove the short ribs from the marinade and dry with paper towels. Strain the vegetables from the liquid in a bowl. Reserve both. Dust short ribs with a little flour on all sides. In a large stock pot, brown meat on all sides, in a little olive oil in stages. Remove meat from pot with tongs to a large bowl after each browning stage. Add the strained vegetables to the pot and brown. Add 1/3 cup tomato paste to middle of the pot and brown.
Return the meat, wine liquid from marinade to the stock pot. Turn to medium high heat. Stir all veggies, meat, wine marinade lightly to blend. Cover and place pot on middle rack in oven at 375 degrees for 1 1/2 hours.
Peel 3 cups cipollini onions, add to the pot and stir in. Cover again and bake for another 1 hour until meat is tender. Add chicken broth if needed to keep meat moist. Uncover for 20 minutes to brown. Remove pot from oven and let stand for 15 minutes. Discard bones. Serve meat with veggies, onions, ladled sauce accompanied with horseradish mashed potatoes. Beats turkey!
Braised Veal Shanks
Pilfered parts of Alfred Portale, Michael Romano, Lidia Bastianich recipes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 5-6 veal shanks, 2″ thick, towel dried. A shallow dish of flour to dredge. Coarsely chop-2 carrots, 3 celery stalks, 2 leeks, 1 small onion. Peel and section a large orange. Also on hand, 3 tbs. tomato paste. 1 cup dry white wine. 3 cups chicken stock, olive oil.
In a large stock pot, brown flour-dredged veal shanks in olive oil on all sides. Set aside in bowl. Brown carrots, small onion, celery. Add the tomato paste and after browning it up in the middle of the pot, stir into the veggies. Add the white wine and boil to 1/3 reduction. Add back the veal shanks. Add the orange sections and leeks. Stir. Season with 1/4 tsp. cloves, 4 cloves mashed garlic, 1 tsp. thyme, ground black pepper, salt to taste. Add the chicken stock and bring to boil. Cover. Bake in oven for 1 1/2 hours. Uncover. Bake for another 1/2 – 1 hour until thickens. Serve with horseradish mashed potatoes.
Slice 2 small zucchinis lengthwise, cutting off ends. Place in a baking pan, peel side down. Drizzle with olive oil. Spread a pinch of cayenne on each. Place in the oven until it reaches 400 degrees. Then, broil until crisp on top. Remove from oven. When cool, cut into small chunks. Finely chop 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes.
In a large non-stick fry pan, heat a thin coat of olive oil on high heat. Quickly brown milk-fed veal cutlets, pounded to about 1/4″, on each side. Do it in stages so they don’t touch. Sprinkle with ground pepper and garlic powder. Remove to a plate after each stage. In the same pan with leftover drippings, brown a minced shallot. Add a couple pats of butter. Deglaze with 1/4 cup dry white wine. Add juice of 2 lemons and 1/3 cup capers. Stir. Turn off heat.
In a large pot, add fresh cavatelli to boiling water. After water comes to a full boil again, cook for 5 minutes until tender and not too al dente. Drain. Bring fry pan back to high heat and place veal cutlets and juices back into the sauce until just heated. Serve with shallot, lemon, caper sauce and cavatelli topped with zucchini and sun-dried tomatoes. Sprinkle with romano-parmesan grated cheese.
Lovingly derived from Birdie Sandler Strahl’s original, enhanced by daughter Betsey Strahl Levine’s creative touch:
4-5 lb. first cut fresh brisket of beef. Not too lean, need some fat. Serves about 8-ish. It shrinks. In a dutch oven, brown brisket well on both sides to sear. Take out and place on dish. Brown at least 3 large sliced onions, the more the better. Put the brisket back into the pan and season with generous amount of paprika, pepper, garlic powder, salt. Pour 16 oz. canned tomato sauce over the meat.
Bake at 350 degrees tightly covered for one hour. Uncover and add 1 cup sweet Jewish or another fruity red wine. Bake covered for another hour. Uncover and take out the pot roast and slice against the grain. Put sliced meat back into the pot and make sure it is covered with liquid, add chicken broth if necessary. Bake another hour or until it falls apart.
Serve with hot horseradish and Dr. G’s Potato Latkes.
Spicy start to 2017. Trim a 2 lb. leg of lamb and cut into 1-2″ chunks. Dry on paper towels. In a stock pot, brown meat, in stages to assure browning. Sprinkle meat with garlic powder and ground black pepper. Stir. When browned, remove meat to a bowl. In the same stock pot, to the browned bits, add a little olive oil and brown 1 red and 1 yellow onion, sliced. Add 1 yellow or orange bell pepper, sliced. Brown. Add 2-3 jalapeño peppers, de-seeded and sliced. De-glaze with 1/2 cup chicken broth and stir. Turn off heat.
In a small bowl, mix 2 tsp. coriander, 1 tsp. turmeric, 1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger. Turn up heat and add 1-2 cans whole San Marzano tomatoes. Stir tomatoes with peppers and onions. Sprinkle half the spice mix over them. Add the lamb with any juices into the pot. Stir. Sprinkle the rest of the spice mix over the lamb and sauce. Stir. Bring to boil. Cover. Turn to low.
In a small bowl, mix together 1 tsp. cardamom, 1-2 tsp. cayenne, 1/4 tsp. ground cloves, 1 tsp. ground cinnamon, generous 2-3 tbs. sesame seeds. Can add 1 tbs. poppy seeds as well. In a small fry pan, heat 4 tbs. olive oil. Toast spice mix in the olive oil, stir and when hot, pour into stock pot. Add a little water to the fry pan to get any leftover spices, scrape and add to pot. Stir spices and olive oil into lamb and tomatoes thoroughly. Bring back to boil. Cover. Simmer on low for 2-3 hours.
An hour before serving, add raw carrots, chunked; small or diced potatoes; and/or large cauliflower florets. Serve when vegetables are cooked tender but not mushy. Can add a handful of frozen peas until tender, a couple of minutes. Stir and serve in large bowls with naan and chutneys.
Sautéed Veal Chops with Balsamic & Thyme.
Bring 1″ veal rib chops to room temperature. Pat dry. Season on both sides with ground black pepper, garlic powder, dried thyme, sea salt to taste. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
On the stovetop, heat a dry sauté pan until hot. Place chops into pan and sear on both sides for 4 minutes each side until carmelized. Place pan with carmelized chops into the preheated 400-degree oven and bake for additional 4-5 minutes, depending on preference for medium-rare to medium. Remove pan from oven. Place chops on plate to rest for 5 minutes.
On the stovetop, under low heat, place 3 tbs. butter into the original sauté pan with veal drippings, and add 3 tbs. Fini or best Balsamic vinegar to deglaze for a sauce. Scrape and stir to incorporate all drippings. Serve chops drizzled with sauce, roasted fingerling potatoes and string beans. Serves 2.
La Crema 2014 Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon.
1 prime strip steak / person from Citarella or your favorite butcher. Pat dry each steak. Press cracked black peppercorns into each side of the meat. In a large preheated cast iron skillet, sear steaks dry until blackish on each side. Finish in preheated 400 degree oven to desired wellness from 3-6 minutes depending on thickness of steaks. Remove from pan. Add 3 tbs. butter to same skillet and brown a finely diced shallot. Add chopped Crimini mushrooms, and 2 cloves mashed garlic. Stir until mushrooms are tender. Add 1/2 cup Pinot Noir and another 1-2 tbs. butter, stir and reduce liquid by half. Cut steaks into thick slices and plate. Pour sauce over them. Prefer steak sliced so the sauce permeates the meat. But, can plate steaks whole with sauce over each as well.
Drink the rest of the Pinot with dinner. Serve with string beans and a crusty bread. Ready for a rowdy Clinton-Trump debate.