SMOTHERED PORK ROAST OVER RICE
Serves 8 to 10.
"Whenever we drove into Granny's driveway, we would know when she was cooking this dish because its rich aroma would hit us as soon as we stepped out of the car," writes Donald Link in "Real Cajun: Rustic Home Cooking From Donald Link's Louisiana." "This roast embodies the simple, not necessarily spicy, style of Cajun cooking."
• 1 (6- to 7-lb.) boneless pork roast (shoulder or butt)
• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 2 large onions, thinly sliced
• 8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
• 3 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
• 1 tbsp. dried rosemary, crumbled
• 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
• 8 tbsp. (1 stick) butter
• 1/2 c. flour
• 4 c. chicken stock
• Juice of 1/2 lemon, optional
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees.
Season pork very generously with salt and pepper, rubbing seasonings into fat and flesh of meat. Set roast aside for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 hour at room temperature.
In a large bowl, combine onions, garlic, thyme and rosemary, and toss to combine.
In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, warm vegetable oil. When oil is very hot, sear meat on all sides until deeply browned and crusty, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer meat to a plate, reduce heat to medium and stir in butter. When butter has melted, stir in flour to make a roux and continue to cook, stirring, until roux turns a dark peanut butter color, about 10 minutes.
Add onion mixture and cook, stirring, until all ingredients are well-coated and mixture is thick. Whisk in chicken stock and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. Return pork to Dutch oven, spoon some of onion mixture over meat, cover, and cook for about 3 hours, turning and basting pork every 30 minutes or so, until meat will break apart when pressed gently with a fork.
At this point, you can serve the roast right out of the pan. Or transfer roast to a plate, cover with aluminum foil and return Dutch oven to stovetop over medium-high heat.
Bring pan drippings to a simmer (skim off excess fat) and cook until reduced by about one-third, or until it coats the back of a spoon. Add the lemon juice, if desired, and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve roast smothered with a generous amount of sauce and steamed rice.
Nutrition information per serving (of 10) without rice:
Calories 535 Fat 35 g Sodium 170 mg
Carbohydrates 10 g Saturated fat 14 g Calcium 35 mg
Protein 43 g Cholesterol 145 mg Dietary fiber 1 g
Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1/2 bread/starch, 6 medium-fat meat, 1 fat.
BEER-BRAISED SHORT RIBS
This recipe must be prepared in advance. Ketjap manis is an Indonesian soy sauce that is thicker and sweeter than Chinese soy sauce (which can be used as a substitute) and is available in many Asian supermarkets. Mirin is Japanese rice wine and is available in many Asian supermarkets and the ethnic aisle of many supermarkets. From "New American Table" by Marcus Samuelsson.
• 3 tbsp. red chile paste
• 4 lb. short ribs
• 1/2 c. soy sauce, divided
• 4 c. lager-style beer, divided
• 1 tsp. salt, plus more for seasoning
• 11/2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
• 3 tbsp. olive oil
• 2 red onions, thinly sliced
• 4 garlic cloves, chopped
• 1 (3-in.) piece ginger root, peeled and chopped
• 3 bay leaves
• 4 c. chicken stock
• 1/2 c. mirin (see Note)
• 2 tbsp. ketjap manis (see Note)
• 1 tbsp. honey
• 2 green onions, white and green parts, chopped
• 1 tbsp. unsalted butter
Smear chile paste over short ribs. Arrange ribs in a single layer in a baking dish. In a small bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup of soy sauce and 1/2 cup of beer and pour over ribs. Turn to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
When ready to roast, preheat oven to 300 degrees. Remove ribs from baking dish, pat dry and season with salt to taste.
In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, warm sesame oil and olive oil. Working in batches to avoid overcrowding pot, add ribs and brown on all sides. Remove browned ribs to a separate dish. Add onions, garlic, ginger and bay leaves and sauté until onions soften, about 5 minutes.
Return ribs to pot, pour in 3 cups of beer, remaining 1/4 cup soy sauce, chicken stock and mirin and bring to a simmer. Cover, place in oven and cook until meat is tender and falling off the bone, about 3 hours. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Remove ribs from pot to a serving platter and cover with aluminum foil.
Skim fat off top, remove bay leaves and reserve 2 cups cooking liquid. Transfer reserved cooking liquid to a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk in 1 teaspoon salt, ketjap manis, honey and remaining 1/2 cup beer and bring mixture to a boil. Stir in green onions and butter and serve sauce over short ribs.
Nutrition information per serving:
Calories 430 Fat 30 g Sodium 1,260 mg
Carbohydrates 17 g Saturated fat 12 g Calcium 58 mg
Protein 24 g Cholesterol 90 mg Dietary fiber 2 g
Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 bread/starch, 3 medium-fat meat, 3 fat.
BRAISED RABBIT WITH DANDELION GREEN SALAD
"Dandelion greens, with their sharp, peppery bite, are the best to use in this dish, but milder arugula or frisée can be substituted," writes Sam Beall in "The Blackberry Farm Cookbook" (Clarkson Potter, $60). "We love the delicate flavor of rabbit, but preparing chicken, guinea hen or gam hen legs using the same method creates an equally delicious dish." Rabbit is available at many Lunds and Byerly's stores (www.lundsandbyerlys.com) and Specialty Meats & Gourmet (494 County Rd. A, Hudson, Wis., 1-800-310-2360,www. venisonamerica. com), and is often available at Clancey's Meats & Fish (4307 Upton Av. S., Mpls., 612-926-0222, www.clanceysmeats.com). In the spring, dandelion greens are sold at co-ops and some supermarkets.
• 4 c. low-sodium chicken stock
• 4 c. water
• 1/2 celery rib, halved
• 1/2 carrot, peeled and halved
• 1/4 Vidalia or other sweet onion, peeled
• 2 tsp. vegetable oil
• 4 (8-oz.) rabbit leg quarters, or 1 (3-lb.) rabbit, quartered
• 2 tsp. fine sea salt, plus more to taste
• 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
• 3 tbsp. grapeseed oil
• 11/2 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
• Leaves and tender stems from 2 lb. dandelion greens
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, combine chicken stock, water, celery, carrot and onion and bring to a boil.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat vegetable oil. Sprinkle rabbit legs with 2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, place in skillet and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Add browned legs to Dutch oven, cover, place in oven and cook for about 2 hours, until meat begins to fall off bone.
In a small bowl, whisk together grapeseed oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Toss greens in mixture and divide among four plates. Remove rabbit legs from braising liquid (they should still be warm), place one over each mound of greens and serve.
Nutrition information per serving:
Calories 360 Fat 21 g Sodium 1,390 mg
Carbohydrates 17 g Saturated fat 4 g Calcium 290 mg
Protein 29 g Cholesterol 57 mg Dietary fiber 5 g
Diabetic exchanges per serving: 3 vegetable, 3 lean meat, 2 1/2 fat.
beef in green mole
To toast seeds and nuts, heat an empty skillet over medium heat. Add sesame or pumpkin seeds and cook, stirring often, until they are very lightly browned and smell toasted. Transfer to a plate to cool. "This mole is from the central part of Mexico, where my mother was raised," writes Priscila Satkoff in "The ¡Salpicon! Cookbook" (Chronicle Books, $40). "Unlike dark moles, which are made with dried chiles, it is green with tomatillos, lettuce, pumpkin seeds and green serrano chiles. I prefer cubes of beef brisket for this stew, but you could use beef chuck if brisket isn't available."
• 2 lb. beef brisket, cut into 2-in. pieces
• 1 gallon water (16 c.)
• 1 onion, quartered
• 3 garlic cloves, crushed
• 1 tsp. fine sea salt
• 1/2 c. sesame seeds, toasted
• 1/2 c. shelled pumpkin seeds (petipas), toasted
• 6 tomatillos, husked, rinsed and coarsely chopped
• 6 outer romaine lettuce leaves, trimmed of white ribs and coarsely chopped
• 1/2 c. chopped white onion
• 2 serrano chiles, seeded, deveined and minced
• 2 garlic cloves
• 1 tsp. black peppercorns
• 4 whole cloves
• 2 c. beef broth from brisket (see recipe below)
• 2 tbsp. canola oil
To prepare brisket: In a Dutch oven over high heat, combine brisket, water, onion, garlic and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until meat is tender, about 21/2 hours. Drain in a sieve over a bowl; discard onion and garlic. Reserve 2 cups beef broth and transfer beef to a platter, covering with aluminum foil.
To prepare mole: In a large bowl, combine sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, tomatillos, lettuce leaves, onion, serrano chiles, garlic, peppercorns and cloves. In a blender, purée mixture in batches, adding reserved beef broth as needed to make a smooth sauce. Transfer mole to a bowl.
In a Dutch oven over medium heat, warm canola oil. Add mole, taking care not to splatter. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring often, until nicely thickened, about 20 minutes. Add brisket and cook until heated through, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and serve with steamed rice.
Nutrition information per serving:
Calories 430 Fat 29 g Sodium 685 mg
Carbohydrates 9 g Saturated fat 6 g Calcium 45 mg
Protein 38 g Cholesterol 51 mg Dietary fiber 4 g
Diabetic exchanges per serving: 2 vegetable, 5 lean meat, 3 fat.