January 2012 COTM: Essential Pepin: Meat, Charcuterie and Offal
Please use this thread to discuss and review recipes from the chapters about meat and charcuterie and offal.
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Mixed Sausage and Potato, Pg. 369
Well, my husband has been in culinary boot-camp these past two weeks and last night's dinner really showed how far he's come from grabbing a cup of coffee then running out of the kitchen before he's pressed into service. This recipe had a few more fiddly processes but he made very good use of the skills he's learned and the final dish was wonderful.
The recipe calls for a mixture of kielbasa, knockwurst, and bratwurst. However in the header notes Chef Pepin states that andouille or Italian sausage with or without any number of seasonings may be used because each will contribute their own unique flavors to the onions and potatoes in the dish. So given such leeway we used two large hot and spicy Italian chicken sausages sliced into 3 inch pieces and one large Trader Joe's soy kielbasa also in 3 inch pieces. The other ingredients are onions, small Red Bliss potatoes, and a lot of garlic.
The sausages are cooked in hot oil till browned on all sides, G used a large cocotte, then remove to a plate. Onions and potatoes are cooked in the same fat for 20 minutes, uncovered. The garlic and browned sausages are added, pan is covered, and all is simmered for another 20 minutes. At the point when the garlic and sausages went into the pan G included fresh corn kernels from 2 medium size cobs along with 1/4 c chicken broth and 1/2 c white wine. His reason for adding the liquid was he thought there wasn't very much sauce to adequately cook the corn and potatoes through.
The end result was a perfectly cooked finished dish of spicy meat and vegetables in a sauce that blended all the different flavors together. The aroma was heady, meat tender and juicy, onions and potatoes imbued with exciting taste sensations. A quick saute of collard greens from Bon Appetite Y'All by VA Willis accompanied. Fantastic meal!!
Sausage and Potato Page 385.
Served the sausage for dinner last night. W loved it! Very easy and delicious! Also made the Vegetable soup with Pistou and cornmeal dumplings. It is a meal in itself and was wonderful. I used what I had in the fridge for veggies and used turkey stock instead of water, This a a soup you can create and truly make "yours"
Beef Daube Arlésienne, p. 323
We loved it! I was dubious about various aspects, but it all worked out marvelously. It was basically a really good beef daube, not fancy, but quite delicious, with a very exciting caper & olive garnish at the end. The Arlésienne mixture was more subtle in flavor than I expected. It did a wonderful job of thickening the juices.
Boil 8 small potatoes gently for 8 minutes, then add 4 oz of baby carrots and 8 pearl onions and simmer until tender but still firm. Drain and reserve liquid and vegetables separately.
Cut 4 8 oz beef shoulder blade steaks in half and brown them well on both sides in 1 tbsp olive oil. Add 1 c chopped onion, cook for 2 min. Then add reserved liquid, 1 c dry white wine, 1 1/4 tsp salt, and 1 tsp herbes de Provence. Simmer gently for 1 1/4 hr.
Arlésienne mixture: Finely chop together 2 tbsp toasted hazelnuts, 1 oz toasted bread, 2 garlic cloves, 1/2 loose cup parsley. Stir into dish at the end, along with the reserved vegetables, and heat through for 5 minutes. Stir in 2 tbsp capers, 1/4 c niçoise olives, and a 6 oz tomoato, seeded and cut into 1-inch dice.
He doesn't call for salting the water that the vegetables are cooked in, but they were fine, even the potatoes. I bought the smallest potatoes I could find, but just 4 of mine made 8 oz, so I cut them in half (also, I didn't peel them). We did think there weren't nearly enough carrots and onions as we like. We only ate 1/3 of the meat but all of the vegetables, so I'm going to simmer up some extras to add to the leftovers. I love the frugality of saving the vegetable cooking water for the stew.
For the steaks, he mentions that they are also called flatiron steaks. Well, the flatiron steaks at my butcher's were extremely wide and really flat. They didn't look at all like something to buy 4 of and cut in half. I discussed it with the butcher, and he went and cut me a roast-size piece. At home, I cut 4 steaks about 1 1/4" thick from the roast, then cut those in half for the recipe. It seemed more like what was intended. (Plus I have a nice leftover chunk for another dish.)
I put the daube in a low oven (300) rather than leaving it on the stovetop. He doesn't offer it as an alternative in this dish, but he does in others. I suppose stovetop is more energy efficient, but I love the ease of oven braising.
I used toasted walnuts instead of hazelnuts because I'm not a hazelnut fan. I skipped the tomato at the end, and probably should have added a splash of wine to compensate. I served the capers and olives on the side because i wasn't sure about them, but we both loved them, so I should go stir some into the leftovers.
I'll definitely make this again. The house still smells great this morning, and we have at least 2 meals of leftovers to look forward to.
Sausage and Potato Page 385
I am curing the sausage and we will have it on Sunday. Will report back. The other sausage that he cures he suggests 2 ways to cook. One way involves leaving the plastic wrap and alum. foil on it and cooking in a 150 degree water bath for a long time. Then unwrapping and serving. I am not comfortable cooking this in plastic wrap. And comments on that?
It's fairly common in sous vide cooking. You'll find quite a few recipes calling for food to be wrapped in food-grade plastic wrap before it's immersed. In fact, you've probably eaten something wrapped in plastic in a restaurant. Perhaps the low temperature is the mitigating factor here. But if you're uncomfortable with it, or unsure whether or not your plastic wrap is food grade, just don't do it. Although many sous vide recipes use the technique, I believe (someone correct me if I'm wrong) that the FDA still recommends against it.
Beef Daube Arlésienne, p. 323
A bit behind on my homework, we had this a week or so ago. A daube with capers, olives, hazelnuts, who'd of thunk, but prodded on by Karen S's excellent review, we decided to try this and are glad we did. I thought it was very good, and Mr. QN found it swoon worthy.
Not much to add to Karen's review, except to say that I did use hazelnuts, and added the tomato, olives and capers to the pot as directed. My only issue with the recipe as written is that the potatoes should have cooked a bit longer (more to the point, I should have checked them rather than relying on JP"s timing), but all in all a success. It tastes better than it looks or sounds!
Alsatian Choucroute garni, p.366
I usually make choucroute at least once each winter, since I love the sauerkraut and cured meat combo so much. Pepin's recipe is a good, conventional version and my family enjoyed.
Onions and garlic are lightly sauteed, in duck or other fat then drained, rinsed and squeezed sauerkraut is addedd to the pan along with aromatics (juniper berries, bay, pepper and caraway), white wine, broth and home cured pork ribs (this was a simple cure with kosher salt and a bit of brown sugar - mine were in the refrigerator for a week rather than a day and it worked fine).
After the mix is brought to the boil on the stove, it cooks in the oven for 1.5 hours. at 300 degrees.
The kraut is then served with garnishes, potatoes and cured meats served with a variety of mustards, Pepin recommends kielbasa, hotdogs, sliced ham, I subbed some weisswust and bratwurst for the hot dogs and rather than cooking them separately, put the choucroute back on the stove and cooked them in there.
Im not sure this recipe was an improvement over my usual stovetop versions, which usually has some double cooked bacon in it to add a layer of flavor, but it was very good and is a fine, lavish winter meal for a large group - I felt like there was a little too much fluid at the end and would recommend a bit of a reduction in the amount of broth. The cured fresh pork was a highlight, very juicy and tasty cooked in the kraut. This is a really easy dish once you buy the meat components, and I do recommend.
Slow-Cooked Pork Roast, Pg. 362
I took the title of this recipe literally and used a Slow Cooker for the roast. The result, I'm happy to say, was very, very good.
The recipe is simple: a 2 lb.pork sirloin roast is rubbed with a marinade consisting of: dark soy sauce, honey, dry (oriental) mustard, ground ginger, ground cumin, cayenne, and in my case peanut oil but the alternative is canola. Pre-heat oven to 275F, put the meat into a roasting pan, cook for about 3 hours turning 3 times. Make sauce with the juices by adding water, bring to a boil in the pan and scraping up all the fond.
Here's what I did: Mixed the marinade increasing the amounts of the ingredients, poured it into a zip-lock bag, added a 3 lb. pork loin and massaged the meat with the mixture.... closed the bag, put it in the fridge and marinated the meat over night. The meat was actually frozen when I did this. In the morning the meat was put into the slow cooker with all the marinade. It sat on a roughly chopped onion. It cooked for about 8 hours on Low - or till the Pats won the game. Cooked to perfection. Tender, juicy, full of flavor, and we loved it. We made sandwiches with the sliced meat adding a slice of cheddar, a few lettuce leaves and ladling the pan juices onto the insides of a soft roll. White bean puree and spicy hot salsa were condiments along with tortilla chips. I'll keep this in mind for Super Bowl. Absolutely delicious.
I think the marinade would be great with other meats too...
Braised Pork Roast with Sweet Potatoes, Page 364.
This dish is made with a boneless pork roast. It starts out on the stovetop for an hour with a liquid composed of water, soy sauce, Tabasco, red wine vinegar, honey, and cumin. Then sliced sweet potatoes and wedges of onion are added. After 15 more minutes on the stove, it goes into the oven, uncovered, for 45 minutes. The meat was cooked, the vegetables were tender, but the sauce never became "dark and caramelized" as written. Nothing horribly wrong with the dish, but nothing great either. And having recently cooked a Vietnamese caramelized pork dish, this one was pale in comparison. Edible, but no second helpings and not too excited about the leftovers. P.S. The pan was a mess to clean up. Served it with the Piquant Broccoli on page 416.
Happy to share this recipe! It is on the blog Ridiculous Hungry; the writer of same has been around on Chowhound as inaplasticup:
And if you really want your socks knocked off, try her Vietnamese street tacos, made from the pork recipe:
Braised leg of lamb (p. 352)
Made this yesterday, following the recipe pretty much exactly, and liked it very much. As JP says, a nice change from roasting a leg of lamb. The one hitch--and not really a hitch, at that, was the quantity. The recipe said "serves eight" and I was serving four. We ate most of the meat. I think it would have served six OK, but would have seemed skimpy for eight. I did serve it as part of a fairly light menu--if there had been a rich starch accompaniment the meat might have gone farther.
I had thought we'd have enough left over for a family dinner (3 of us) but there's not much. On the other hand there's lots of the really good liquid left. I may just thicken that, serve it as a rich gravy over mashed potatoes, and let the meat be more of a garnish than the main event.
JP simmers this on top of the stove for three hours. I might try it in the crockpot sometime, or in a low oven.
Sausage and Potato Ragout, Page 368.
I was looking for something cozy and easy, and this fit the bill. I deviated from the recipe by using unpeeled baby red potatoes instead of the peeled fingerlings that were called for. I had hot Italian sausage in large links. In spite of pulling all the sausage meat out, reworking it, and shaping it into balls, they kept turning back into little cylinders. Something in their DNA, I guess. The sausage balls are cooked first in a small amount of water, then the water is cooked off, the sausage is removed, and the drippings are made into a roux. Then more water is added along with sausage, potatoes, onions, garlic, bay, thyme, and jalapeno. When it is all cooked, and the sauce is nicely reduced, parsley goes on top.
This was perfect for a snowy evening. My sausage was pretty hot, so that plus the jalapeno made it spicy and warming. Not a company dish, but easy, homey, and comforting. I served the zucchini and tomato fans as a side dish.
Pork Tenderloin Medallions in Port (page 360)
This recipe called for a large pork tenderloin (1 1/4 lb) cut into 8 medallions. They were seasoned with salt and pepper and cooked in butter and oil in a large skillet. They are then put on a dish and put in the oven to keep warm. Pepin says to cook for 2 1/2 minutes on each side, with the thickness of my pork it took a bit longer to get them cooked.
After you cook the pork you added 1/3 cup of port to the skillet and bring to a boil, you cook that for a minute, then add 1/2 cup chicken broth and 1 1/2 tablespoons of ketchup, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. I don't think I let the sauce cook long enough as I would of liked it to be a little thicker. At the very end add chopped sage then serve the sauce around the pork.
I thought this was fairly easy to put together for a weeknight, and offers a different method to cook pork tenderloin which is usually on my weekly menu.
Pork Tenderloin Medallions in Port, page 360
We LOVED this dish! The pork was tender and succulent, and the sauce was absolutely delicious.
I made a few minor changes. Since it was for the two of us, I cut the recipe in half. Then I also cut my half tenderloin into 6 pieces instead of just 4, because I thought 3 on a plate would look nicer, and they were still plenty thick. I used a tablespoon of butter instead of half a tablespoon of butter and half a tablespoon of oil, because it was easier to measure. My chicken broth was a particularly flavorful container of chicken mushroom juices, leftover from some dish in the past and stashed in the freezer for just such an occasion. And I simmered cooked the sauce for at least 5 minutes to intensity it more. It was still thin, but more concentrated.
This will definitely become a regular recipe for me, which is saying a lot, because I'm far, far more likely to try a new recipe than return to an old one. Let me repeat: we LOVED this dish.
Pork Tenderloin Medallions in Port, Pg. 360
After what JulesLP and Karen_Schaffer wrote I don't have to say a word. But of course I shall. This recipe produces probably the best rendition of pork tenderloin I have ever had. We loved it completely.
From a 1 3/4 lb. tenderloin G sliced 10 steaks, as Pepin calls them. These little beauties, when finished and sauced, were absolutely delicious. It's amazing what such a short sear creates. With the sauce they are things of beauty with a heavenly aroma just waiting to be savored. Our broth was perfect and the Vinho do Porto sweet and luscious so created a thick unctuous deep maroon sauce.
I served the tenderloins with roasted eggplant and a simple panzanella from Mediterranean Harvest. We Loved This Meal. G really loved the meat... he had five pieces! There are two left that he'll have for lunch today. This recipe will definitely make more appearances at Casa G & G.
Puerto Rican Pork and Beans - p 368
The process for the recipe is insanely easy: brown off some country-style ribs; throw in some other stuff; cook for hours; EAT! And trust me, you most definitely will want to eat! The smalls coming out of the saute pan were amazing: onion, pork, garlic, oregano. What's not to like?
The only edits I made to the recipe were to omit the cilantro (my significant other hates it) and to remove the pork from the bones and present it in more of a "pulled" fashion. I think it was a good move...and not terribly laborious since the meat was very tender. I also found the extra time it took to deal with the pork useful, as my beans/sauce still had a little too much liquid...but after 15 min of reduction I think the consistency was perfect.
Anyway, I like the final presentation, shown below, and will make this again!
Thanks for your review AOski! Looks like a winner. I think this is the recipe for those of us who don't have the book.
One question-- in the online recipe, he describes the dried kidney beans as picked over and washed, but he doesn't describe any soak. DId you soak the kidney beans?
Hmmm, sounds like this would be a perfect candidate to be made in the slow cooker....
Puerto Rican Pork and Beans, slow cooker variation
So, given our nomination thread discussions, I have convinced myself that my life would be better if only I could find some good slow cooker recipes. What better place to start than COTM? This recipe seemed to lend itself naturally to slow cooker adaptation, so I gave it a whirl.
I followed the recipe (link above) pretty closely to start. Browned my pork in a dutch oven. While the pork was browning, I had time to do all my remaining prep. As I chooped up my veg, I just threw everything into my slow cooker stoneware.
By the time I put all the veg and herbs in the slow cooker, my pork was nice and browned. I put that on top of all the veg in the slowcooker and deglazed my dutch oven with 2 c of cold water. when that came to a boil, I added the kidney beans in to the boiling water and then dumped the water and beans into the slow cooker with everything else. I wanted to cut the water back a bit to avoid a watery mess (recipe calls for 4 c water). I ended up having to add a little more water though to make sure all the beans were covered (prob about 3 c total). Set SC to high, programed for 6 hours and went to bed.
the result.... a hearty, savory dish awaited me in the morning. No gloppy, watery mess! Beans cooked beautifully for me. Like AOski, I took the meat off the bone and it fell apart into large chunks easily. I packaged everything up in the fridge and just had a great lunch of pork and beans with some brown rice. Not earth shattering, but very good. I will add this to the slow cooker repertoire.
pic is of the dish pre slow cooking. It will not win any beauty pageants post.
Braised Pork Loin (Page 364)
Calls for 2 lb pork loin and mine was a little over that. I inserted the garlic in the the narrow slits I made in the meat, salted and peppered prior to browning in olive oil. I drained the oil and sauted the onions, carrots (8oz of each) and chopped ginger until limp (deviation from recipe!). I put the meat back in the pan and added the soaked sun dried tomatoes (used smoked sun dried another deviation from recipe) and some chipolte since I was out of the jalapeno the recipe called for. It was supposed to cook over low heat for and hour and a half but we turned it off in a little over an hour. The flavor was great but the meat was kind of tough and dry. Since it was so quick and easy to put together I would make it again but maybe using a butt or something like that.
Lamb Shanks with White Beans, p. 358
This very easy stew was quite nice - not company-worthy, perhaps, but very homey and we enjoyed it.
Lamb shanks brown without any extra oil in a pot, then add an onion in 1" pieces, a carrot in 1/2" pieces and six or so garlic cloves, chopped, 8 oz of white beans that had soaked in 5 cups of water for about half an hour, 3 bay leaves, thyme (I used fresh) and some salt. Boil gently, covered for about 2 hours and serve, passing tabasco sauce along with.
As I said, this made a very nice supper.
Lamb Shanks with White Beans, Pg. 358
Made this for Sunday evening meal and we Loved it. A 2.11 pound lamb shank was more than enough for two people. I halved the recipe so used 3/4 cup beans - cannellini - that I soaked in water while I prepped the rest of the ingredients. The meat browns in a large DO with no extra fat for about 30 minutes. This took 20 minutes for us. Then as Mirage states chopped carrots/onions/garlic are added, then bay leaves and S & P. The beans and water are added at this point and the whole is left to bubble away for 2 hours. A delicious, slightly thick brothy sauce was created and the meat was falling off the bone tender and silky. The beans were perfectly cooked; everything well seasoned What a delight. Will def. make again...
Grilled or Pan-Seared Marinated Flank Steak (page 318)
A one-and-a-quarter pound (mine was one-and-a-half pounds) flank steak is marinated for at least one hour, up to 24, in honey (I used pine honey I brought back from Turkey a couple of years ago), dark soy sauce, chopped garlic, ground coriander, and cayenne pepper and then grilled or pan-seared for one-and-a-half minutes on each side. I marinated the steak for about seven hours. Since grilling is not an option for me, I pan-seared it in a cast-iron skillet that had been preheated for a full five minutes. Whether grilled or pan-seared, the steak is then put in a 160F degree oven for 10 minutes to rest.
At least, that’s what I thought I did. When I went to take the steak out of the oven, I discovered that my oven, not being able to hold 160 degrees, had turned itself off. So I turned it back on, set it for something like 250 degrees, and put the steak back in for about 5 minutes.
As you can see, the steak was very rare. I’m fine with rare meat, but even I would have preferred this a bit better done as it probably would have been had my oven not turned itself off. The marinade, however, was great. You’re instructed to bring the leftover marinade to a boil and serve it with the sliced meat. I wish there had been more marinade. Because of the honey, it was very thick so not really pourable. Maybe next time I’d thin it slightly with water so it would be more like pan drippings. I just served this with a salad, but with a thinned out sauce I’d want mashed potatoes to sop up that delicious marinade.
Grilled or Pan-Seared Marinated Flank Steak - p. 318.
Marinated 3 hours. Definitely not enough marinade to pour into a saucepan and bring to a boil as indicated in the recipe.
This marinated meat taste-wise and sliced is a perfect candidate for fijitas.
Served with a salad, braised turnips and brown rice.