Tag Archives: braise

Eintopf: Braised Short Ribs with Fennel, Squash and Sweet Potato

It’s a German thing. Although, after reading the ingredients, it seems to be a mash-up of Italian, Asian and German. Typically this traditional German stew includes bratwurst and sauerkraut, but most notably is how it’s cooked. Eintopf translates to “one pot”—a magic word to most home chefs.

This particular recipe, made with bone-in short ribs, is braised until the meat melts off the bone. Fennel — fresh bulb and dried seeds — stars in the braise, while the fronds are sliced for garnishing. Every bite of this stew bursts with flavor, and, as is the case with so many one-pot meals, this dish will only improve with time as all the ingredients sit and mingle.

Using Japanese white sweet potatoes was a new one on us, and we were surprised to see them at our local supermarket. However, they were on the small side so we bought, and used, two.

Now, we made one major alteration. And that is after you drain out the vegetable solids from the pot DO NOT discard the flavorful veggies, blasphemy! Use an immersion blender on the solids and add them to the liquid broth after you discard the surface oil. This not only enhances the flavor profile, but also gives the stew some heft instead of a brothy base.

And you just might about faint when you go to buy the short ribs, the cost had us shell-shocked, and may be prohibitive for some. So go ahead and use chuck roast in its place if necessary.

Eintopf: Braised Short Ribs with Fennel, Squash and Sweet Potato

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 4 lbs. meaty, bone-in short ribs, cut into single-bone portions
  • Salt
  • 1 Tbsp. neutral oil, such as grapeseed, canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 small fennel bulb, trimmed and chopped (about 2¼ cups), top with fronds separated from bulb and thinly sliced
  • 6 shallots, peeled and halved lengthwise
  • 6 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 1 tsp. fennel seeds, crushed
  • ½ tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1 (28-oz.) can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 white sweet potato, such as Japanese sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces, or use an orange sweet potato (2 loose cups)
  • ½ small butternut squash (about 1 lb. 3 oz.), seeds removed, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 14½-oz. can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, scrubbed and grated
  • 4 cups torn or cut fresh greens, such as kale, mature spinach, mustard greens or dandelion greens
  • Warm crusty bread, for serving


  1. Season the short ribs with a sprinkle of salt on all sides. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven set over medium-high. Working in batches if necessary, brown the tops and sides of short ribs, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a large plate and repeat the browning process with the remaining ribs.
  2. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of fat from the pot. Add the chopped fennel bulb, (reserve the top and fronds for garnish), shallots and garlic to the pot, season with salt, and toss to coat in the pan drippings. Sauté over medium-high heat, stirring frequently until softened, 3 minutes.
  3. Add the fennel seeds and turmeric, and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and break apart the whole pieces with a wooden spoon or other cooking utensil. Cook until the tomato juices are thickened, about 6 minutes.
  4. Return the browned short ribs, bone side up, to the pot along with any drippings from the plate. Pour in the chicken stock and bring up to a simmer. Cover and transfer pot to the oven. Braise until the meat is tender, but not falling off the bone, about 2 to 2½ hours.
  5. Increase the oven temperature to 375 degrees. Transfer the cooked short ribs to a plate. Using a colander or sieve set over a bowl, drain out the vegetable solids from the pot and discard (or not, see note above about using an immersion blender), reserving the liquid broth. Skim off and discard as much oil as you can from the surface of the liquid using a spoon or a ladle. (You should have about 3 to 4 cups of broth.)
  6. Return the broth to the pot, add the potato and squash, and pour in the coconut milk. Season to taste with salt and the 1 teaspoon black pepper. Add the ginger and return the short ribs to the pot, nestling the pieces between the vegetables so that the meat is mostly submerged in the liquid. Return the pot to the oven and braise uncovered until the potato and squash are tender, the meat is falling off the bone, and the liquid is slightly reduced, 50 minutes to 1 hour.
  7. On the stovetop but off heat, stir in the greens: The heat from the stew should gently wilt the leaves. Top with the thinly sliced fennel top and fronds. Serve hot in bowls with warm crusty bread for dipping.


Recipe by Yewande Komolafe for NYTimes Cooking

Thai-Style Braised Duck with Green Beans

If you are a duck fan, then you must put this fabulous recipe on your shortlist. Never tried duck? Then this recipe is a great jumping off point. Keep in mind, the duck anatomy has quite a different bone structure than that of chicken or turkey. If you are unsure how to break one down, watch on a video, ask the butcher, or simply buy 4 duck legs.

On another note, all of the meat on a duck is dark meat, even the breast. But with this method all of the meat comes out juicy and tender—not greasy at all! Duck and goose are poultry and considered “white” meat. Because they are birds of flight, however, the breast meat is darker than chicken and turkey breast.

On the plus side, duck meat’s rich flavor and color provides a red meat eating experience with the health benefits of poultry. Duck meat is rich in iron and protein like beef but is leaner and has fewer calories like its poultry counterparts. Plus, duck fat is healthier with less saturated fat and more omega-3 fat than beef.

Speaking of the fat on a duck, you want to make sure it gets rendered down. The Hubs decided to render the extra pieces of fat and skin in another skillet, and when crisp he removed them from the hot oil on a paper towel-lined plate, sprinkled with salt and ate as a snack once cooled. With the remaining leftover oil (we had 3 cups!), he will freeze the fat and save it to make duck confit sometime in the future.

Once bottom browns, turn the pieces. Eventually liquid will evaporate and duck will cook in its fat only. At this point lower heat and continue to cook duck, turning occasionally, until it becomes tender, about 1 hour. While the skin does look nice and brown, it will not be crispy once it steams with the beans in a covered dish.

Rice would make a fine accompaniment, but we paired ours this time with Roasted Parmesan Potatoes, which were wonderfully crispy on the outside, meltingly tender on the inside. Stock will be made from the unused pieces of the duck, such as the back and wings.

Thai-Style Braised Duck with Green Beans

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: moderate
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  • 1 duck, quartered, or 4 legs
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 Tbsp. ginger, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. garlic, minced
  • 2 small chiles, seeded and minced
  • 1 1/2 lbs. green beans, trimmed
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. nam pla (fish sauce) or soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. lime juice
  • Cilantro for garnish, coarsely chopped


  1. Remove excess fat from duck. Season with salt and pepper and put in a skillet or saute pan that will fit it comfortably. Turn heat to medium and cover. Check once you hear sizzling; duck should be simmering in its own fat and exuding liquid. Adjust heat to create a steady simmer.
  2. Once bottom browns, turn. Eventually liquid will evaporate and duck will cook in its fat only. At this point lower heat and continue to cook duck, turning occasionally, until it becomes tender, about 1 hour.
  3. Transfer duck when tender to a plate. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of fat. Turn heat to medium and add onion; cook until it softens, about 5 minutes. Add ginger, garlic and chilies and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add beans and sugar and turn heat to high; cook, stirring occasionally, until beans begin to brown, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add 2 tablespoons water and nam pla (fish sauce) or soy sauce. Put duck on top of bean mixture and bring to a simmer, Cover and cook until both beans and duck are very tender, 15 to 30 more minutes, adding a little more water if necessary to keep mixture moist. Uncover and stir in lime juice; taste and adjust seasoning, then sprinkle with cilantro and serve.


Recipe by Mark Bittman for NYTimes Cooking

Braised Pork Ribs and Potatoes with Fried Herb Crumbs

Here’s a lovely long braised dish perfect for a cool weather weekend afternoon into evening. Baby back ribs are braised till they fall off the bone, then garnished with an herby crumb topping. Plus a bonus recipe for Braised Leeks with Bacon and Cream.

Admittedly, we always think of baby back ribs as an outdoor barbecue kind of dinner. It has never dawned on us to showcase the ribs as a cool weather meal. Now that we have enjoyed the fruits of our labor, these ribs are sure to make a showing again in the near future.

The bread crumb topping is optional, but adds a tremendous depth of flavor and a nice crunch factor. Cracking the new potatoes in half with the tip of a knife helps them to release their starch and therefore thicken the sauce a bit.

As an accompaniment, we prepared a side of Braised Leeks with Bacon and Cream (shown below), originally from Molly Stevens “All About Braising” cookbook. A while back, we enjoyed the same recipe using thyme, but minus the cream. Either option braises the leeks slowly in chicken broth until they collapse into blessed tenderness.

On our initial trip to the grocery store, there were only a few lousy looking leeks with hardly any white parts, so we rethought our scouting expedition and went to a local Asian Mart known to carry great produce. Their leeks were phenomenal, the best we’ve ever seen.

Try to coordinate the cooking times of both the ribs and the leeks so that they are done braising at about the same time.

Braised Pork Ribs and Potatoes with Fried Herb Crumbs

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 3-4 lbs. baby back ribs
  • 1 tsp. pimentón de la Vera
  • 4 garlic cloves, bashed and peeled
  • 4 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1½ tsp. cumin seeds, lightly crushed
  • 5 oz. white wine
  • 1 large. onion, peeled and finely sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups chicken stock, homemade, ideally
  • 3/4 lbs. new potatoes

For the Crumbs

  • 4 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and finely grated
  • 3 oz. fresh white breadcrumbs
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 6 sage leaves, shredded


  1. Arrange the ribs in a large dish, add the pimentón, two of the bashed garlic cloves, two tablespoons of the olive oil, a teaspoon of the crushed cumin seeds and 2 ounces of the white wine. Toss to coat the ribs, then cover and leave to marinate for at least three hours (or put in the fridge overnight).
  2. Heat the oven to 340F. Heat the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil in a deep casserole dish on a medium-high heat. Take the ribs out of their marinade (keep the marinade for later), and sear for four to five minutes on each side, until browned all over.
  3. Transfer the ribs to a plate, add the onion to the pan and sauté, stirring, for 10 minutes, until brown. Add the remaining garlic and cumin seeds, stir to combine, then return the ribs to the pan.
  4. Pour in the remaining 3 ounces of white wine, leave to bubble for a minute, then add the bay leaves, stock and reserved marinade. Season well and bring to a boil, then cover and transfer to the oven to cook for an hour to an hour and a half, until the meat is tender and beginning to pull away from the bones.
  5. Crack the new potatoes in half with the tip of a knife (this helps them to release their starch), then add to the casserole dish and cook for 30-40 minutes, until the potatoes are cooked through and starting to break apart a bit and thicken the sauce.
  6. Meanwhile, make the herby crumbs. Put the oil in a frying pan on a medium-high heat, fry the garlic for 10 seconds, then add the breadcrumbs, lemon zest and sage.
  7. Remove the lid from the casserole, sprinkle the crumb mix all over the top, then bake uncovered for a further 20 minutes.
  8. Then put under a broiler for a couple of minutes to crisp the top. Serve in shallow bowls with lots of the lovely sauce.


Recipe from José Pizzaro

Russ’s Braised Pork and Sauerkraut

COVID-19 and its variants are following us into 2022, so invite good luck into your new year. For the Pennsylvania Dutch, that means pork and sauerkraut, which is good luck because pigs root around with their snouts in a forward motion. (You always want to move forward, not backward in life, of course.) Sauerkraut is made with cabbage, which is considered lucky because it’s green just like money.

It is also a household tradition on my husband’s German side of the family to serve pork and sauerkraut on New Year’s Day. A tradition I couldn’t quite get jiggy with when we first started dating twenty-plus years ago; however, I am now a huge convert. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em, right?

This year the plan was to host a small NYD dinner party, thus the large piece of meat. Unfortunately, all of those folks came down with COVID a few days prior and were under quarantine, so it was just the two of us… I guess we didn’t start the good luck process early enough?

One minor switcharoo we made this time was using some hard cider brewed by son Daniel instead of the beer, lending a slight apple taste to the dish. Along with garlicky mashed potatoes, our other side was Whiskey-Glazed Carrots.

The Hubs made sure the COVID crew got part of the good luck meal too. He drove over all of the leftovers the following day. Paying it forward. See, their good luck has already started…

Russ's Braised Pork and Sauerkraut

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 1 Tbsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano, ground finely
  • 1 bone-in or boneless pork shoulder, 5-6 lbs.
  • 3 large onions, peeled and sliced
  • 8 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 4 lbs. sauerkraut, drained
  • 2 bottles amber beer
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 stalk rosemary
  • 6 stems thyme, tied in a bunch
  • 1 Tbsp. black peppercorns
  • 6 juniper berries (optional), lightly crushed
  • Olive oil


  1. At least 8, or preferably 24 hours before cooking the pork, combine the first five ingredients and rub all of over the pork. Wrap the meat tightly in plastic wrap, place on a plate and refrigerate. Remove meat from refrigerator and allow to warm at room temperature about an hour before you plan to cook it.
  2. Make a bouquet garni with the peppercorns and the juniper berries (if using them) and set aside. Be sure to double or triple the cheesecloth.
  3. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. In a large Dutch oven with a tight fitting lid, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil over a medium high flame until shimmering. Unwrap the pork shoulder and brown on all sides, about 15-20 minutes. Remove meat from pot and set on plate while you complete the next steps.
  4. Add the sliced onions to the pot and sauté until they be come translucent. Add the chopped garlic and sauté for about one minute. Add the drained sauerkraut, then the 2 bottles of beer. Mix everything together well, making sure to deglaze the bottom of the pan. Add the bay leaves, thyme, sprig of rosemary and the bouquet garni. Mix well again with the sauerkraut and onions.
  5. Return the pork shoulder to the pot, nestling it into the sauerkraut. Place a sheet or parchment or aluminum foil over the pot, then put on the lid, ensuring that it fits tightly. Place the pot in the preheated oven and cook for 2 hours. Turn the roast, then return it to the oven for another 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until the meat is very tender and falls apart easily.
  6. To serve, remove the pork shoulder from the pot to a platter to carve. Remove the bay leaves, rosemary sprig, thyme and bouquet garni and discard. Give the sauerkraut mixture a good stir and serve with the pork.