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What can I do with this bag of Juniper Berries, besides garnishing G&T's?

The Engineer Feb 20, 2010 12:08 PM

Now that I've used 5 of them in a venison recipe, what can I do with the rest of the bag? I tried crushing one up in oatmeal but it was way too overpowering... any other ideas?

  1. coll Feb 20, 2010 12:23 PM

    I bought them because many sauerbraten recipes call for it ( I'm happy with my own but I never stop trying to tweak it). I've seen gourmet braises of game meat calling for it, hopefully you didn't buy too many. Maybe if you add them to vodka, it will turn into gin?

    3 Replies
    1. re: coll
      p
      precia Feb 20, 2010 06:57 PM

      This isn't helpful at all (sorry) but when I made sauerbraten I subbed a splash of good gin for the berries. I can't say if it really replicated the original flavour, but it was pretty good. Mostly I'd just rather have extra gin than juniper berries!

      1. re: precia
        coll Feb 21, 2010 01:27 AM

        That's what I usually do too, I keep a bottle around just for cooking and guests, but I saw a bottle of juniper berries at the supermarket and I was just in one of those moods to splurge. Haven't opened it yet though.

      2. re: coll
        r
        rainey Feb 20, 2010 09:00 PM

        Second for the sauerbraten. Alton Brown's recipe is excellent. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/al...

        That recipe makes a *lot* of marinade. I deal with it by doing two roasts at the same time. I do my marinating in vacuum sealed bags that keep each roast well surrounded by the liquid. One goes in the oven; the other one goes in the freezer. I haven't found the frozen one to be either too strong in flavor or too mushy in texture. Each roast has enough liquid for a generous amount of gravy.

        The gravy, BTW, is absolutely delicious. I put generous tablespoon or two of sour cream in along with the gingersnap crumbs.

      3. j
        janniecooks Feb 20, 2010 01:18 PM

        Juniper berries are often added to braised red cabbage. Just a few though - 5 or 10.

        1. caiatransplant Feb 20, 2010 01:29 PM

          I poach a lot of fish in dry white wine with crushed garlic, whole peppercorns, a bay leaf and a small handful of whole juniper berries. The fish comes out wonderfully every time (as long as I don't overcook it).

          1 Reply
          1. re: caiatransplant
            c
            chowmel Feb 20, 2010 03:40 PM

            I like to use them in lentil or bean soups. or in a saurkraut and keilbasa dish.

          2. eight_inch_pestle Feb 20, 2010 03:56 PM

            Soup. Cabbage. Mushrooms. Braised or stewed pork (especially w/cabbage). Things cooked in beer. Duck/pheasant/quail. Look up Scandinavian recipes. Scandinavian food is lousy with juniper berries.

            1 Reply
            1. re: eight_inch_pestle
              f
              FullPalate Feb 26, 2010 06:02 PM

              Does "Scandinavian food is lousy with juniper berries" imply the cuisine makes use of them in a many dishes, or is it a recommendation to avoid it entirely?

              I put a couple of them in my pumpkin pie spice mix, just a half a gram.

            2. v
              vincentinparisandrome Feb 20, 2010 04:03 PM

              In a red wine marinade for game (boar, venison) or other strong flavored meat. Splash of olive oil, some crushed berries, a bay leaf, some pepper and wine. A reduction of wine, stock and berries makes a nice sauce for duck or pork.

              1. s
                smtucker Feb 20, 2010 07:00 PM

                Essential for making pastrami. And you use a ton of them!

                1. chefathome Feb 21, 2010 09:39 AM

                  There are some wonderful suggestions here. I always have them on hand to make BBQ rubs, seasoning blends, as well as use in brines for meat/poultry.

                  1. s
                    sedimental Feb 21, 2010 10:07 AM

                    They are wonderful with lamb. I would freeze them you so won't feel like you have to use them all up right now.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: sedimental
                      Olivia Feb 21, 2010 04:20 PM

                      I second freezing them.

                      Also, next time you're crusting something four-legged, add some of the crushed berries.

                      1. re: Olivia
                        k
                        Karen_Schaffer Feb 22, 2010 09:44 AM

                        I third freezing them. They lose potency fast at room temp, and they're not something you use often or heavily. I have a divine recipe for a Juniper sorbet that I'll type in later when I have a chance.

                    2. ChristinaMason Feb 21, 2010 12:48 PM

                      Juniper berries also go well with game and in goulash:
                      http://culinspiration.wordpress.com/2...

                      1. j
                        jns7 Feb 22, 2010 08:53 AM

                        Homemad sauerkraut

                        1. greedygirl Feb 22, 2010 09:18 AM

                          Great with savoy cabbage.

                          1. b
                            Brandon Nelson Feb 22, 2010 10:13 AM

                            I just bought a jar to make some charcroute garni. Nothing like a great big plate of cured pork, saurkraut, and taters to chase away the winter chill.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Brandon Nelson
                              oakjoan Feb 22, 2010 10:54 AM

                              Choucroute garnie is what I use juniper berries for as well. We just had it last week. Smoked pork chops, (sometimes also with kielbasa) with sauerkraut -sauteed onions, garlic and some chopped carrots stewed in the sauerkraut first, then pork chops are sauteed until a bit brown...nestle them in the sauerkraut, stew for a short time and devour with lots of strong, hot mustard. One of the best meals on earth.

                            2. c
                              cocktailhour Feb 22, 2010 01:27 PM

                              In addition to all these great ideas, I use them as a rub for duck-grind a few with rosemary, thyme, bay, orange zest and rub all over the duck.

                              i have also used them with pheasant.

                              1. m
                                mickeygee Feb 22, 2010 05:43 PM

                                Epicurious has a nice recipe for Martini Salmon, which uses the berries (along with some vermouth/gin) I've made it for company, and been complimented on it. If I remember, it was pretty easy too.

                                1. The Engineer Mar 5, 2010 08:07 AM

                                  Thanks for so many ideas! I'm going to freeze them and break them out in the fall, when most of the suggestions will really hit the spot.

                                  1. eclecticsynergy Apr 25, 2011 11:47 AM

                                    Reviving the thread with a suggestion here: Not goulash - Pörkölt.

                                    Contrary to what my Austrian grandmother taught me, the Magyars consider goulash to be thin and souplike, containing potato. What I always thought of as goulash is actually this pörkölt!

                                    -2 lbs. beef chuck, trimmed and cut into 2-in. cubes (can use venison)
                                    -1/2-3/4 c. red wine
                                    -pinch tarragon, optional
                                    -1 sm. onion, finely diced (not too much onion, please, it overwhelms the dish)
                                    -1/2 Hungarian or red bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
                                    -1 Tbsp. butter + 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil, or the equivalent amount of lard/bacon grease
                                    -2 Tbsp. tomato paste
                                    -2 cloves garlic, chopped
                                    -1 c. broth (I used vegetable)
                                    -2 (heaping) tsp. good quality sweet Hungarian paprika
                                    -1 tsp. dried marjoram
                                    -1/2 tsp. caraway seed, preferably ground
                                    -8 whole juniper berries, optional
                                    -salt and pepper, to taste (I added a little smoked salt for that “cooked-over-an-open-fire” flavor)
                                    -dash of cayenne pepper or hot Hungarian paprika

                                    1. Put the meat in a bowl, pour over the wine, add the tarragon (if using), and marinate while you prepare the other ingredients.

                                    2. Heat the butter and oil over medium heat in a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Add the onions and red pepper, season with black pepper, and sweat until the onions are translucent.

                                    3. Add the tomato paste and cook 60 seconds, stirring to prevent burning.

                                    4. Next, add the meat, leaving the marinade behind in the bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. When the meat begins to color, lower the heat and stir in the paprika. You must stir constantly to avoid burning the paprika (which releases a bitter flavor). To be safe, you can add a splash of broth to the pot when you incorporate the paprika.

                                    5. Add the caraway, garlic, marjoram, hot pepper, and juniper berries and pour in the remaining broth. Cover.

                                    6. Reduce heat to a simmer and braise for at least 1 hr. and up to 3 hrs., depending on the toughness of your meat. Uncover for the last 30 minutes to thicken the sauce. Adjust for salt, pepper, and spiciness, and serve over your favorite starch.

                                    1. l
                                      LUV_TO_EAT Apr 25, 2011 01:23 PM

                                      I recall seeing a recipe that TV years ago using pork tenderloin, milk, honey and juniper berries. So I googled exactly that and this is what I found.

                                      Pork Roast Braised with Milk and Fresh Herbs (Maiale al Latte )

                                      http://epi.us/776G8R

                                      It wasn't exactly this recipe but this sounds pretty good as well.

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