Mistake in Anne Burrell's Cook Like a Rock Star
I was given a copy of this cookbook recently and decided to make the Sweet & Spicy Sausage Ragu on p. 109. I've never made any of her recipes before, and some of her techniques are a little different than I'm used to, so I decided to follow her steps at least for the first time I made it.
You puree and slowly brown a mixture of onions, celery, fennel, and garlic in olive oil. After about 30 minutes, when you've built up a good amount of fond (or as Anne calls it - crud), you are told to add tomoato paste, brown it a little, then add red wine and reduce it. Then you're supposed to add in the Italian sausage and brown it. What? How can you brown meat while it's in a sauce???
I knew that something was screwy, so I watched a video on the Food Network of Anne making a Bolognese sauce that used a very similar series of steps. And - duh! - you brown the meat BEFORE you add the tomato paste and wine. I feel like such an idiot - I know better, but, as they say, I was just following orders.
Anyway, if you happen to make this recipe, which smells incredible as it's cooking, you should reverse steps 3 and 4 as listed in the cookbook. I'm sure it won't make a huge difference in the finished product, but still...And yes, I had read it through several times before starting to make it, and didn't pick up on the mistake.
I have made this recipe several times and wondered if that was a typo...yet everytime I make it I forget until I've already added the paste and wine! It still comes out AMAZING...one of the best things I've ever made. So, I'm sure it would be even better if the meat was actually browned first!
I've found her recipes to be pretty spot-on otherwise. The only thing I've made from that book that I wasn't crazy about was her roasted chicken. The roasting method itself was fine, but the gravy ended up being WAY too lemony...to the point where no one wanted to eat it.
Ive only made 1 recipe from her cookbook: baked ricotta. I was pretty disappointed with it as there just aren't many dishes that seem appealing to me. I should have known better than to buy it though as I usually am not interested in what she makes on her show. I like her personality and style... the food not so much
I gave Cook Like A Rock Star to my son for Christmas (along with a set of cookware, knives, and so on). He told me several recipes didn't work from the book. He wasn't specific but he said he tried following the directions but the food "didn't come out right." Not sure what he was referring to but maybe there are other prep errors in this one.
She must need a better editor... or has A.D.D. I was reading a review of a recipe of hers recently and she had two ingredients listed, but they weren't included in the instructions at any point. There was something else awry, too, that I don't recall. VERY sloppy work.