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Zuni Cafe Cookbook: Beef, Lamb, Pork and Rabbit/ Sausage and Charcuterie

January 2007 Cookbook of the Month: the Zuni Cafe Cookbook by Judy Rodgers and Gerald Asher. Please post your full-length reviews of recipes from the sections on beef, lamb, pork and rabbit and on sausage and charcuterie here. Please mention the name of the recipe you are reviewing as well as any modifications you made to the recipe.

A reminder that the verbatim copying of recipes to the boards is violation of the copyright of the original author. Posts with copied recipes will be removed.

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  1. Mock Porchetta (pg. 408)

    This was part of my New Year's Eve dinner. I served this with cauliflower mash and an aspargus and dill salad.

    I loved this pork. This was my first time making this particular recipe. I used a 3 lbs. pork butt and followed the recipe pretty close to form. Within the slits, I stuffed all the herbs and tied it up. It marinated for about 2 1/2 days before I roasted it. It took about 2 1/2 hours to cook and I left it rest for a few minutes while I prepared the sauce.

    For the veggies, I used an assortment of carrots, turnips and parnips. It was slightly over 2 lbs. (which was the maximum in the recipe), but next time, I would up the veggies a bit more. I had plenty of room in the skillet and more pig leftovers then veggies. I like the leftovers to be a bit more balanced.

    The meat was extremely tender and the fat was soft and chewy. I can't say enough, how delicious this was. Plus, the house smelled great which is always a bonus.

    Also, for a zuni recipe, it's pretty low maintenance. The main thing is to plan ahead on prepping the pork.

    Picture of food plate:


    3 Replies
    1. re: beetlebug

      I finally made the mock porchetta last eve (well, started to make it 4 days ago to marinate). Wow. Such porcine goodness!
      I used the seasonings called for, made the slits in my lovely local pastured 2# pork shoulder, and the refrigerator smelled heavenly for days as it marinated (covered w/ a plate, loosely as prescribed)
      I had my doubts about putting in vegetables at same time as pork since I find vegetables take only 1 hour to roast, even at a low temp. But I put in potatoes, onions and carrots a few minutes after roast went into the oven. I roasted for what seemed an interminable time -- certainly more than 2-1/2 hrs, pork did not go up to 185 degrees (though I don't trust my thermometer) and removed because meat was brown on outside and looked well done when I slit into it to peek. Vegetables were pretty much mush and overcooked. There was little fat in the pan, so I just poured in some chicken stock and pronounced it done.
      My guests were saying: Mmmm, lovely, and such. It was scrumptious and soul satisfying.
      Served w/ oven cooked polenta and sauteed swiss chard, preceded by a variation of Carb Lover's awesome spring salad, and followed by apple bundt cake w/ homemade vanilla and cinnamon ice creams (see Sunday Suppers post on ice cream)

      Next time I will add vegetables later so they don't overcook.
      This is a fabulous technique to cook pork (I'm not a fan of pork loin because it's too dry for my taste) This shows that fat = flavor, and the herbs and spices, including fennel made the dish sing. Mmm mmm.

      1. re: NYchowcook

        I also agree with you about the vegetables. For me, they turned black and charred. I guess my pieces were too small.

        1. re: NYchowcook

          I made the mock porchetta again, for mother's day
          I was distracted and so very sloppy with the periodic turning of the roast and the addition of liquid to the pan, and I ended up overcooking it a little . . . still good, but SO much better when done right.

          Don't do what I did. Follow the instructions for roasting to the letter!
          If you cut the veg large, I find the whole roasting time is fine. If you cut them small, adding a little later is a good idea. I also found that the longcooked root veg sucked up a lot of the pan juices, making delicious taters but not leaving much for anything else, so it's esp important to add liquid as you roast.

      2. I second everything Beetlbug says above :)

        I made the mock porchetta already too - the day after Christmas. I had my wonderful butcher (for locals - D&R in the North End) bone a pork shoulder, then seasoned it with the herbs (no capers because I was out), and marinated it for three days. As Beetlebug mentions, it smelled so good roasting in the oven. For vegetables, I used what I had on hand - carrots, one onion cut in wedges, and a handful of garlic cloves. I roasted everything in a cast iron skillet.





        5 Replies
        1. re: Rubee

          Did you cook it to the 185 degrees she calls for in the recipe? Seemed high...

          1. re: mirage

            Yes, I did. I read somewhere that the high temperature is not to ensure it's cooked to well-done, but that it's necessary for the roast to cook long and slow to 185 in order to become very tender.

            1. re: mirage

              I did cook it to the 185, despite my misgivings. I may have pulled it out at 183 or so. I have two different thermometers and they gave different readings. I figured it was close enough and we wouldn't get sick because of the 2 degree difference. The meat was incredibly tender. For whatever reason, I was surprised by that. But, upon reflection, the dry salt brine tenderized the meat and the marinade made it extremely flavorful.

              I think my fennel is old so the herby, lemony flavor was more prominent.

            2. re: Rubee

              Yay for your pictures. That looks beautiful. I have made this and had to do the boning myself. Much better idea to get the butcher to do it for you. This is one of those dishes you serve and it goes completely silent at the table because it's so good.

              1. re: Rubee

                Thanks for the photos. I bought everything before reading all these posts and now am so excited to try it. It sounds as good as the recipe made it sound. I need to get that brine on the meat!

              2. I have made this twice now and I love it. The only thing is I think the fennel seed is a little too overpowering for my taste. The second time I made it I used half the amount of fennel but still seemed a little much. I preseasoned both times for 3 days.

                1. me too on the Mock Porchetta (pg. 408)
                  I used a shoulder roast, and let it sit in the fridge for 3 days
                  totally bowled over by the lemon zest/fennel/sage/rosemary spice rub

                  The prep was actually pretty easy (you have to open the roast up along the muscle fibers to make pockets to stuff the spice mix into) so all it really requires is time. The 2-4 days in advance to prep it and let it sit, then hours of roasting time.

                  I did it with roasted veg - potato, brussel sprouts, fennel, sweet potato

                  It's a good sunday dinner party dish since you don't have to fuss with it last minute, but can hang around drinking wine or whatever while it cooks and smells gorgeous.

                  1. pot-au-feu. I made it exactly as called for but I halved the recipe because it was not something the little ones would go for. I enjoyed it. My husband thought it was amazing. It wasn't difficult but like the delicious roast chicken, it did require the typical 1-2 days in the fridge. I served it with cornichons and sea salt.

                    1. We just finished dinner - mock porchetta...in this case it should have been mock, mock porchetta since I prepped it this morning and only let it sit in the fridge until 4:30.

                      I also used the veggies I had on hand, most of which were not root vegs. I used delicata squash, carrots, sweet potatoes, onions and garlic.

                      The meat has a marvelous taste. Tomorrow I'm making sandwiches from it per JR's suggestion. My husband really loved this. Kept saying "Mmmmmmmmm", "MMMMMMMMM!"

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: oakjoan

                        have you made it with the longer sit time? I wonder what the difference is between half a day, a day, three days . . .

                        1. re: pitu

                          I'll probably never know...too impatient.

                          However, I found that the pork roast (shoulder) did not have quite enough fat. I should have gotten the organic one next to it, but was too cheap to pay $1.10 more per pound. We had leftovers for sandwiches today and it was really good...she suggests that but says to warm the pork...I just used it out of the fridge.

                          1. re: pitu

                            We made the Mock Porchetta last night and although it was very easy to do, and I Did use exactly the ingredients listed in the recipe, I just could not get very excited about the outcome. Because it was a last minute decision on Saturday the heavily seasoned, rolled and tied roast sat in the fridge for about 26 hours. The veggies I used were tiny turnips, Yukon golds, a red onion, a whole garlic bulb - cloves separated but skins left on - carrots. All cut up in medium chunks and/or wedges.
                            The turning and timing were done as directed. The veggies were delicious, but the meat just didn't seem to be as tender as expected - it was a 3.42 lb. pork shoulder.
                            DH loved it - it left me puzzled. There's tons left over so I'll see if the taste is any better "the next day."

                        2. Standing Rib Roast of Pork

                          I made this with a 3-1/2 pound, 4-rib roast of Berkshire pork and seasoned it for about 3-1/2 days using the garlic, coriander, fennel combo. Her instructions for cutting into the roast to season it were very clear and the procedure was easier than I thought it might be. I find the Zuni brines overly salty; I thought it true of the chicken and I thought it true here. But my guests didn’t seem to think so at all. Perhaps it’s just me. I cooked it by temperature, not time, and since I was attending to guests I’m not really sure how long it was in the oven. Perhaps an hour and a quarter? I meant to take it out at 135F but I think it was more like 137F, and then I let it rest for the 20 minutes she suggests, during which time I made the sauce. No measuring, just poured off the fat from the pan, poured in some white wine and about an equal amount of water, and scraped the pan.

                          The roast wasn’t as easy to carve as I’d expected. I thought I’d just slice right through the ribs since the butcher had already cracked the chine for me. Perhaps I was just in a hurry to get the meal on the table, but the first slice was a bit of a mess; the rest were fine. Still not sure what I did wrong there. Maybe next time I’ll crack the chine myself so I know exactly where the slices should be cut.

                          Anyway, my guests claimed it was perfectly done and just devoured it. It took me a minute or so to realize, toward the end of the meal, that my (very polite) guests were surgically trying to get every bit of meat off the bone with a knife and fork. You should have seen the relief on their faces when I said, “Come on guys,” and picked up the bone with my fingers. For all you serious bone-gnawers out there, don’t miss this one. The meat was tasty, but the bones were just divine.

                          I served it with the Zuni Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes (which I’ll post about in the vegetable section) and Molly Stevens Red Cabbage Braised with Maple and Ginger, which was just outstanding and the perfect accompaniment to the roast pork.

                          Truth in advertising: I didn’t have time to take photos at the dinner party. This shot was taken with leftovers, which is why the pork looks pretty dry. And I had no gravy left. But you can sorta get an idea of what it looked like. (And, by the way, leftovers were terrific.)


                          1. Short Ribs Braised in Chimay Ale (pg. 383)

                            Another hit in the Zuni parade. I was slightly concerned about my dish because the butcher sliced the ribs in the english style v. the flanken style. But, it still tasted great although it's not the prettiest dish. Too brown. I have a lot of onion braising liquid left. Any suggestions on what to do with it?

                            I served this with the caesar salad, buttermilk mashed potatoes, and braised cabbage (All About Braising).

                            Pic of dish:

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: beetlebug

                              I'd make some starch mash (i.e. potatoes or parsnips or turnips) just to drizzle that yummy looking onion braising liquid.

                              1. re: beetlebug

                                I also made the Short Ribs. I braised them a day ahead and refrigerated overnight so I could skim the fat, which was good because they had an awful lot of fat. Then I was going to reheat them, but my family got sick (NOT from my cooking), so I ended up freezing them for a week. I thawed them overnight in the fridge, then reheated on the stove, then smeared on the mustard and broiled them.

                                I don't think the refrigeration or freezing affected the flavor - except to make them better. I find that most braised dishes are better made ahead. The only problem I had was that the meat fell off the bone (mine were cut flanken style), so I had to prop them up to finish them in the broiler. Otherwise, extra tender meat was not a problem!

                                I didn't cook the liquid until syrupy because it was salty enough after the braise that I didn't want to concentrate it further. Leftover liquid was not an issue because it was so good, we basically drenched the mashed potatoes with it and ate it with a spoon.

                                One very minor unpleasantness was that the whole peppercorns were hard to pick out in the dark brown liquid, so we ended up biting into a few.

                                I would definitely make these again, and would plan to make them a day ahead again too.

                                1. re: Anya L

                                  I thought the amount of mustard in this recipe was excessive and a bit obtrusive- would cut it back another time.

                                2. re: beetlebug

                                  what to do with the braising liquid? Eggs in Restes--it's in the book.

                                  1. re: beetlebug

                                    I just made this for dinner tonight and had to come post in the thread about it. These were delicious, and I was a little unsure about the dijon crust, but it was excellent, and added a great dimension to the beef. And the onions were mouth watering, I wish that I had some mashed potatoes along with this (and I normally don't really like mashed potatoes) because the sauce with the onions would be so great on top. I was a little worried, because I was using short ribs that had been in the freezer for a while, and that were cut not in the way that she stipulated in the recipe, but this was still excellent. One note: I cooked it on the stovetop in my dutch oven, and then when it was time to broil, I transfered the meat and some of the sauce and onions to a baking dish and put that into the oven and turned up the heat under the rest of the sauce to thicken it, and this worked well. I have a gas oven with a drawer broiler, so transferring everything into the broiler wouldn't have worked for me.

                                  2. Mock Porchetta.

                                    I made this last night and it was really really good. But I made a larger roast than she recommended --closer to 4 lbs (and didn't follow her advise on cutting it in half), so about the temperature...I was stupidly counting on 2 1/2 hours cooking time, with a toddler and in-laws waiting, but after 3 hours, it was only at 60 degrees. I finally took it out at 65 and it was good, but next time I will 1) buy a smaller roast and 2) allow more time.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: ronla

                                      Ha! I wish I had read this thread (and this post) prior to cooking Christmas dinner! My 3.5 pound pork roast was in the oven for over 3 hours and still only got to 155 or so, maybe 160 in spots. At that point with hungry family and toddler and baby bedtime looming, I pulled it out of the oven and called it done. I would have had to cook it for a few more hours to get to 185! I thought maybe there was a misprint in the book, and now I see I should have checked the head notes re larger sized roasts. Oh, and I didn't have time to salt and stuff and rub it until this morning (about 3 hours prior to cooking). And you know what? It was still super delicious. Love this book.

                                      By the way I cut the veggies on the large size and had about 2.5-3 pounds. I used potatoes (beautiful rose potatoes that were sooooo yummy after bathing for hours in pork juice), turnips and parsnips. They weren't overcooked at all.

                                      And I got to make the whole thing in my brand new all clad roasting pan. Thanks Santa!

                                    2. Skirt Steak (p.369).

                                      Ha - maybe the simplest recipe in the book - salt for a few hours, rub with oil and cook. I seared it on a hot flat cast-iron pan. What I'll take away from this 'recipe' is once again her method of salting beforehand. I used 3/4 tsp sea salt for 1 pound of skirt steak, and refrigerated for about 4 hours. The seasoning really permeates the meat as opposed to simply salting before cooking. It turned out tasty and juicy, and I served it with cubed avocado tossed with salsa verde (p. 294) - on the "Vegetables/Sauces & Relishes" thread.


                                      1 Reply
                                      1. House-Cured Pork Chops

                                        I brined the (large but not double) pork chops for 2 days and ended up having to freeze them for a couple of weeks. I thawed them overnight in the fridge; since they were already cold, I didn't do the chilling step called for in the recipe. I sauteed them over medium for exactly 18 minutes, which is how long the recipe said cold chops would take, and they were perfectly cooked. I thought 2 days of brining was a long time - the recipe actually says to brine for 2-4 days - but the flavor of the chops was just right. The chops were fairly firm in texture, without being tough, and weren't dry, although they could have been juicier - but I think that's "today's lean pork". I served them with the marinated spiced prunes, which had, unfortunately, been marinating a little long, but were still pretty good and complemented the pork. I also served smashed butternut squash and brussels sprouts with bacon and shallots.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: Anya L

                                          I love the wet brined pork chops -- in addition to those perfect amounts of salt and sugar, I like to use bay leaf, chiles, and star anise.
                                          divine. subtle.

                                          1. re: pitu

                                            Oooooo. Love the idea of star anise. I often add touch of cinnamon and cloves, but will have to try this. It sounds terrific.

                                        2. Sounds like a great meal!

                                          1. I made her rabbit sausage twice, first time using rabbit, second using veal and pancetta. They were wonderful! I added tons more sage than the recipe calls for.

                                            1. Mork Porchetta,

                                              I have to say, I just love the idea of a Cookbook of the Month. Loved reading everybody's experiences with this book. I originally checked it out of the library about a year ago and returned it without making a thing. The recipes all seemed weird (pigs feet in stock?) Now I find that I my cooking improves with experience, I'm looking to read more about technique and what makes food taste really good. So I'm really enjoying this book.

                                              I made the mock porchetta last Sunday after trying (and failing) to find a rack or pork to make the Standing Rib Roast of Pork. I used a 3 lb roast, filled it with the herbs as instructed and tied it up. It really didn't look like the picture in the book, but actually more like the shape of a very large pork tenderloin. I could tell it was done after only 2 hours, not the 2 1/2 or so she says, probably due to the shape. A

                                              after reading others descriptions, I made sure to cut my vegetables large. I used a combination of fennel, carrots, and potatoes, although next time I would add some large onion chunks.

                                              I thought this was very good, although I have to say I prefer my pork shoulder braised. I was not a tender as I would have liked. I also though the crushed fennel was a little overpowering, but I had trouble stuffing it all into the slits in the meat so alot of it ended up coating the outside, more like a dry rub.

                                              It was good for a sunday family dinner, but a little casual for a dinner party. But that's just my opinion!

                                              1. Roast Leg of Lamb, p. 394-399

                                                I had a half boneless leg, 2 lb 9 oz, so I followed her spring lamb suggestion (400 degrees to 124 degrees, rest to 140), though I still took it out of the refrigerator 4 hrs in advance. It took about an hour to roast and 10-15 minutes to rest. The meat turned out gorgeously, a lovely pink inside, with a few grey and red pieces at the extreme for those that like them. Everyone was happy.

                                                I tried pounding rosemary, which seemed to have no effect whatsoever, so after a while I chopped it and the garlic finely, then mixed them with salt, pepper, and Dijon mustard to form a paste that I spread all over the lamb the day before. I did not tie the lamb back up into a roll, but left it flat instead, because I've found people really like the crusty bits on the outside, so leaving it flat lets more crusty bits form.

                                                Um, I have to admit that I totally ignored her instructions on how to carve it, and just sliced it as seemed easiest. Maybe I'll graduate to this level of complexity someday. My guests didn't seem to care. I did make a quick pan sauce (vermouth and chicken broth) with what few drippings I had (there was no fat to pour off! Very lean lamb, apparently) which I drizzled over the sliced mea. People were eagerly tipping the platter to spoon some onto their servings. Very tasty.

                                                I served it with leftover potato puree and horseradish cream from Goin's/Lucques braised ribs, which I had served for Christmas Eve. And preceded it with Goin's avocado & citrus salad, reported on in the Lucques winter post.

                                                1. Brasato (pg. 373-377)

                                                  This was delicious. Don't be scared by the number of pages the recipe covers. It's a really easy recipe. Rodgers just goes into detail for each step.

                                                  There is a bunch of initial prep work that easily broken down in the days prior to eating.

                                                  Season with salt and tie the meat up.

                                                  Reduce a bottle of red wine to about 1/2 cup. Also, to make life easier, I used boxed beef stock instead of home made.

                                                  To cook, brown the meat and then place it into the braising pot. Arrange a moat (her words) of veggies around the meat. The veggies are carrots, celery root, onions, garlic and bay leaves. Add the liquids and then braise for close to 4 hours. (you can flip or not flip depending on your schedule).

                                                  Then the tortuous wait as you smell the meat cook. The meat really shrinks up in the pot but there is still plenty for leftovers.

                                                  It was actually harder to finish the dish up. Rodgers has you take out the braising vegetables and then press it through a strainer until you have about 1 cup of mixed veggie puree. I thought it would be easier to put it through a ricer. This was a mistake because when I squeezed the ricer, the veggies didn't go through. Instead, it squirted right back at me. Erg.

                                                  So, I followed her directions by putting it through a strainer and this wasn't that easy either. I kept pressing the veggies with a wooden spoon but it was slow tedious work. (Probably because I was starving at this point and just wanted to eat). The puree is then added back into the sauce.

                                                  This was delicious. Hearty and meaty with a bit more complexity because of the reduced red wine. I served this with mashed potatoes.

                                                  Note: I tried eating the unsquished braised veggies. Oddly enough, these didn't taste good. Too mushy and too salty. I guess it needed the sauce to balance it out.

                                                  No pic because it wasn't a pretty dish. Too brown. But, the taste made up for the homely look.

                                                  1. Oxtails braised in red wine: p. 377

                                                    This was part of the Christmas meal we made that I described in the Lucques Winter dishes thread.

                                                    This recipe is very similar to other recipes I have tried for braised oxtails, and I like the simplicity of it. I should disclose that this recipe was prepared by Hubbie, who is the braising master of the house, and my role was limited to tasting and adjusting seasonings (for which not much was needed). I would also comment that we were not entirely happy with the quality of the oxtails we found. It was very hard to find these just before Christmas. The flavour of the oxtails was excellent, but they were a little stringy and tough. I am not sure if this was the fault of the recipe or the meat, but I lean heavily towards it being a fault of the meat, as we have made similar recipes to this in the past, and they have worked out fine. The oxtails were still tough the next day, when I ate them as leftovers. So I think it really was the meat. Let this be a reminder, good ingredients make good food. But we still happily ate them. The sauce is so yummy. We used the chicken stock and the pig's foot. I really love adding pig's foot to braises, it really adds an incredible depth of flavour, and very cheaply too I might add. We can buy them in Chinatown for very cheap. For the red wine, we used a standard zinfandel, it was what we had around the house that we were willing to use for cooking.

                                                    I have to add, this is a meal made for red wine! The E. Guigal Cote Rotie La Landonne 1991 is a stunning wine, and it went perfectly with this recipe. We kept the sides simple, more pureed pototoes, simply prepared green beans. I think it would be a no-brainer to match any nice wine to this meal. I am loving cooking from these books, as they are very wine-friendly.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: moh

                                                      Moh, so glad you tried this one as well, I'm in good company. It's too bad that your oxtails were a little tough; after the 2 12 hours of braising time sealed with parchment paper, I felt my meat needed at least another 45 minutes. I used a 15" saute pan with lid, and after having used the parchment and checking the meat as Judy suggests, I simply placed the lid back on and continued to cook. At this point the pan liquids should be reducing so I didn't bother replacing the parchment, but I did cover the meat completely until I got it to where it was coming off the bone. At that point I continued to cook and reduce with the lid askew, 40 minutes at a time - twice after the additional 45 minutes, and the meat was perfect, if not TOO soft (possibly), but seemingly perfect.

                                                      Out of my own beef stock (and she recommends her own recipe), so I opted for her choice B - which is to braise a store-bought chicken stock and a pig's foot. What I'd noticed about her recipe was that she REDUCES the beef stock (option A) for anyone choosing to use the beef stock, but if you choose option B where she recommends chicken stock and a pig's foot, this stock isn't reduced. After I had softened the pig's foot I had decided that I preferred to do a beef stock reduction after all (saved the foot for soup), and because I was short on time I used a decent quality store-bought beef stock. I used more; I reduced 6 cups to about 3, turning the stock thicker and darker - "syrupy" as she calls it. I also used a pinot noir (which I always have for cooking). Judy recommends several other red wines for this, but I prefer the flavor of this type of red in general for cooking and used what I had.

                                                      This is a very simple recipe, but Rodgers continues to impress me. She is thoughtful about every step and detail and wants the reader to experience the dish as meant; rarely does a cookbook author go through this much attention to detail; I continue to learn from her, just love her style.

                                                      I think I spent a total of 2 hours browning the meat, I had included short ribs as well and the meat was salted well in advance, about a couple of days, which is what she urges you to do; I wouldn't compromises either the salting in advance or the thoughtful browning - browning every side and angle since the pieces can be a bit difficult because of this cut. This dish took me an entire day, but it is one where you can easily multitask, so it took me a lot longer than necessary. It worked out perfectly since I was planning this meal for the next day.

                                                      I highly recommend this one; just as thoughtful as her roast chicken and bread salad, but more time consuming. BUT - you can plan ahead with this one. Once you've read through what she wants you to do, no need to read her instructions again except for skimming through procedure and ingredients if necessary - only briefly. I added extra brandy to this, this was truly delicious, one of those dishes that is an experience.

                                                    2. I just made the Le Miroton recipe last night. In the Zuni book, the recipe is written to use leftovers from the pot au feu, but I had leftovers from a boeuf bourguignon/beef stew thing I bastardized (quite yummy) so I tried it. I don't believe I have seen a review of it yet, but let me know if I have missed a post.
                                                      Anyways, it was a really nice way to use leftover beef. You start by wilting alot of sliced onions in a little olive oil until they are soft, not caramelized. Then you sprinkle with a little flour, cook a bit, add pot au feu liquid and heat until a bit thickened but stil liquid. Then proceed to layer the onions, sliced beef, a few slices of tomato a couple of times until you have filled your shallow au gratin dish. Top with some fresh breadcrumbs that were tossed with a little olive oil and white wine. Bake until bubbly and crisp, about 15 min.
                                                      It was excellent! I love onions cooked like that, and the red tomatoes peeking out from the lace of browned breadcrumbs made it a really attractive dish as well as tasty. You would never peg it for leftovers. The description said it was the French version of shepherd's pie or corned beef hash.
                                                      The recipe was written for one serving that you could multiply easily. I doubled it and it was more than enough for my 16 year old son and I. We ate it with a side of braised chard/kale mixture.
                                                      I would like to hear if anyone else has tried this. If you haven't, I encourage you to do so.

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: pcdarnell

                                                        I always have leftover liquid when I make braised or stew-y beef dishes, and this sounds like a cool way to make them into the next night's dinner. We never have leftover meat though - do you think it'd be flavorful enough without the meat, maybe subbing mushrooms for the beef?

                                                        1. re: yamalam

                                                          I think the mushrooms would be great. I hardly had any beef in my version anyways. The sweetness of the onions is pretty dominant, and I think the texture of the mushrooms would be a great substitute. The narrative in the recipe also suggests some gently cooked green in place of the tomatoes which sounds good with the mushrooms.
                                                          I am looking forward to trying the mushrooms. Thanks.

                                                      2. I just made the short ribs in Chimay ale from Page 383 (actually Hoegaarden, which I had on hand) so I thought I would see what others here have said about it. I loved it. I made it for a friend's birthday dinner and he loved it. Even my picky daughter loved it. I thought the mustard was a great addition, though I probably used less than the full amount. I, too, have oniony braising liquid left over.
                                                        Oh, and I served the short ribs with braised cabbage and spaetzle. My first attempt at spaetzle. They were pretty good but I need more practice.

                                                        5 Replies
                                                        1. re: NYCkaren

                                                          I had my eye on the spaetzle, but feel a little daunted by the whole process. Did they taste wonderful, even if they didn't look perfect?

                                                          1. re: LulusMom

                                                            Everyone liked the spaetzle, even picky Margaret. I actually didn't use the recipe in this book. I used one from Epicurious. Maybe I'll try the version in this book next time.

                                                            1. re: NYCkaren

                                                              Good for you, and good for Margaret! I really do have to buckle down and try this spaetzle recipe soon (and I've promised myself I'll make a go of making gnocchi this year).

                                                              1. re: LulusMom

                                                                In my opinion, spaetzle are much easier than potato gnocchi - I've made them a lot, and will take a look at the Zuni recipe. I find that recipes vary considerably in terms of the amounts of flour, eggs, milk, etc.

                                                                1. re: MMRuth

                                                                  That would be wonderful if you could let me know if you think it looks like one of the more workable recipes.

                                                        2. Well, Fall is upon us and its time for a roast! I thought I'd revive this thread to see if anyone had any new insights into the Mock Porchetta recipe? If I make it on friday morning for saturday evening is that enough time? What were your favourite things to serve with it? With all those root veg, does it need a starchy side dish? Salad seems like the way to go, maybe? I think I'll cut the fennel seed a bit as one guest is not a fan, but otherwise I plan to stick close to the recipe. Will I go mad trying to tie the beast up? Rubee's photos look so perfect.
                                                          Any hints much appreciated.

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: waver

                                                            I haven't made it recently - but I can say it's pretty much foolproof recipe-wise. Friday is good for Saturday - just make sure you rub the marinade when you roll so it really flavors it.

                                                            Please report back if you make it!

                                                            1. re: Rubee

                                                              So this Mock Porchetta worked out well, delicious in fact. Easy to do and I was surprised how inexpensive the piece of pork was. I had only two minor problems, the first was that when I untied the strings holding the raw roast together it pretty much fell apart into a few strangely shaped pieces which was great for getting the flavouring into it, but a real @#$@% to put back together. Has anyone tried just poking a bunch of holes in the thing and stuffing in the flavouring that way? Hmmmm. Also the drippings at the bottom of the pan were quite burnt. But the vegetables were awesome (I left the pieces large per advice above) and the pork really tasty and the timing as written in the recipe wass perfect. I think the leftovers will make awesome sandwiches. Actually if I had to make a bunch of sandwiches for a party I might just make this roast ahead of time.

                                                          2. I'm in the middle of a DIY gut kitchen renovation, so I don't get to do too much cooking these days. But yesterday I got to cook Christmas dinner at my MIL's house! I made a standing rib roast of pork based on the Zuni recipe, which I have cooked in the past, and it is amazing and you should definitely try it if you haven't already. This time I didn't get to salt in advance, and I used a garlic-rosemary rub instead of the garlic, fennel & coriander. It was fantastic anyway. I'm sure the pork helped -- I used an organic black berkshire pork from Ottomanelli on Bleecker St. in NYC. But the temperatures, timing, and the trick of cutting the meat from the bone to season the inside of the roast are wonderful. Paired with Zuni polenta (among other things).

                                                            1. Not sure why I never posted on this thread before.

                                                              I made the rabbit mixed grill with rabbit sausage last week and my god they are tasty. Bouncy tender little love packets. Totally worth the effort, Judy Rodger's approach to rabbit is absolutely brilliant.

                                                              And the look on our nanny's face when I made bouncing bunny ear gestures with my hands was priceless. Tasty tasty rabbit.