Category: Slow Cooking

Chicken, Kale and White Bean Stew

Chicken, Kale and White Bean Stew

Looking for a quick and easy dinner? This Chicken, Kale and White Bean Stew is a one-dish recipe and cooks quickly on the stovetop, about 1 ½ hours, or in a slow cooker, about 3 ½ hours. Simply prep the pancetta and aromatics, sauté, add the seasonings, canned tomatoes, stock, and chicken (no browning necessary), cover and cook. Add the kale and beans 10 minutes before finishing up and dinner is ready!

Slow Cookers

A quick note on slow cookers. Not all slow cookers are not the same. I personally think it is a waste of money not to own a programmable version. The ones with high/low settings are usually inaccurate and the low setting cooks at too high a temperature for a succulent braise or stew. The perfect temperature for slow cooking is 180 degrees F. Anything higher than that cooks at temperatures that denature and coagulate proteins quickly and there is a greater loss of natural juices and flavors.

Chicken, Kale and White Bean Stew

I also like the slow cookers that have a removable, oven-proof insert. This allows you to sauté, brown, etc. in one pan and then transition into the slow cooker with no added dishes to wash. Some slow cookers have many programs available and offer a sauté function and the entire recipe can be made start to finish in the vessel.

If you can’t find or are not a fan of kale, substitute other greens, such as chard, mustard greens for a little zing, or spinach, which only needs to be stirred into the hot stew last minute to wilt.

Putting the Stew Together

Pancetta is a great foundation for this delicious stew. It is, of course, optional for those of you who don’t eat red meat. Add another ¼ teaspoon salt to compensate for the salt the pancetta adds to the dish.

sautéing pancetta

Place the pancetta in a cold large Dutch oven, skillet, or slow cooker that has a removable insert over medium heat and cook until crispy, about 3-4 minutes.

sautéing aromatics for Chicken, Kale and White Bean Stew

Stir in the onions, celery, garlic, peppers, Italian seasoning mix, salt, and pepper flakes. Cover and sweat to release the water and soften the vegetables for 5 minutes, stirring once. Lower the heat a bit if the vegetables are browning.

Chicken, Kale and White Bean Stew

Stir in the tomatoes, reconstituted demi-glace.

Add the chicken, stir to separate the cubes and cover with the sauce. Cover and cook on low heat for 1 1/2 hours stovetop (no more that 180 degrees F – a very gentle simmer) or 3 1/2 hours on low in a slow cooker. The chicken is done when fork tender.

Chicken, Kale and White Bean Stew

This may not look like enough liquid, but don’t add more. The vegetables and chicken exude lots of flavorful juices and adding more liquid now only dilutes the flavor.

Here’s the difference in the amount of liquid, above before cooking and below after cooking.

Chicken, Kale and White Bean Stew

Recipe freezes well, cool completely, place in an airtight container and freeze.

 

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Chicken, Kale and White Bean Stew

Chicken, Kale and White Bean Stew

This Chicken, Kale and White Bean Stew is a one-dish recipe that cooks quickly on the stovetop or in a slow cooker. Lots of flavor and vegetables, too!

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings
  • Category: Stew/Braise
  • Method: Slow Cook

Ingredients

4 ounces diced pancetta
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
12 baby bell peppers, tops removed, sliced lengthwise, or one bell pepper, 1/2-inch dice
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning mix
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 can (15 ounces) fire-roasted tomatoes
1 cup vegetable demi-glace, such as More Than Gourmet
2 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken (white meat, dark meat, or both), cut into 2-inch cubes

Instructions

Pancetta is a great foundation for this delicious stew. It is, of course, optional for those of you who don’t eat red meat. Add another ¼ teaspoon salt to compensate for the salt the pancetta adds to the dish.

Place the pancetta in a cold large Dutch oven, skillet, or slow cooker that has a removable insert over medium heat and cook until crispy, about 3-4 minutes.

Stir in the onions, celery, garlic, peppers, Italian seasoning mix, salt, and pepper flakes. Cover and sweat to release the water and soften the vegetables for 5 minutes, stirring once. Lower the heat a bit if the vegetables are browning.

Stir in the tomatoes, reconstituted demi-glace.

Add the chicken, stir to separate the cubes and cover with the sauce. Cover and cook on low heat for 1 1/2 hours stovetop (no more that 180 degrees F – a very gentle simmer) or 3 1/2 hours on low in a slow cooker. The chicken is done when fork tender.

Notes

Recipe freezes well, cool completely, place in an airtight container and freeze.

Keywords: slow cook, crockpot, stew, braise, chicken stew, kale, white beans, one-pot dinner

 

Braised Country-Style Spareribs with Red Cabbage and Apples

Country-Style Spareribs

Country-style spare ribs are moist and tender when braised low and slow and taste delicious accompanied with red cabbage and apples.

When I was a kid, we had spareribs and sauerkraut a few times a year in fall and winter. I was never a fan of the regular spareribs. Too greasy and not enough meat. Somehow, those spareribs taste better when cooked low and slow on the barbecue with a tangy red sauce.

My mom mixed up the type of meat she used throughout the season and I was happiest when she chose country-style spareribs. These are thick and meaty and when cooked properly, fall-apart tender.

Country-style ribs are more pork chop than ribs. This cut, which  is very meaty and less fatty than spareribs, is from the front end of the baby back ribs and are an economical cut. Cook low and slow, known as braising, which melds the delicious flavors of the meat and vegetables. Braises are best made the day before; defat the top before reheating.

Tip: I rarely brown my meat before braising anymore. I really can’t tell the difference with low and slow cooking. Lots of flavors are released during cooking that more than compensate for not browning.

Country-Style Spareribs

For this recipe I chose to use fresh red cabbage and Granny Smith apples with thinly sliced, caramelized onions, stock and apple cider. Caraway seeds and juniper berries (use a disposable tea filter bag for easy removal) nicely complement the pork and the vegetables. Five minutes before serving, add the vinegar and dill, stir and serve!

Country-Style Spareribs

Watch the Country-Style Spareribs with Red Cabbage and Apples Here.

 

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Braised Country-Style Spareribs with Red Cabbage and Apples

Country-Style Spareribs

Cook this either in a slow cooker or on the stovetop. If you have the time, cool and refrigerate overnight to allow the flavors to meld.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 hours
  • Total Time: 8 hours 25 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings
  • Category: Pork
  • Method: Slow Cooking

Ingredients

  • 2 ½ pounds country-style spareribs
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups thinly sliced onions
  • 1 red cabbage, shredded
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 3 cloves garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 2 juniper berries
  • 1 cups stock or water
  • ½ cup apple cider
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh dill

Instructions

  1. Generously season the ribs with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat the oil over medium heat in a heat-tolerant slow-cooker insert or large Dutch oven. Add the onion to the hot pan and sweat for 5 minutes, Continue cooking until lightly caramelized, about 10 minutes more. Watch the heat, don’t burn the onions, add a little water as needed to deglaze the pan or loosen the caramelized onion juices from the bottom of the pan. This is what colors and flavors the onion.
  3. Stir in the cabbage, apples, garlic, caraway seeds and juniper berries, stock and apple cider. Tuck the ribs into the vegetables and bring to a boil.
  4. Slow Cooker: Remove the insert to the slow cooker, cover and set on low for 6-8 hours, the timing will depend on the amount of heat your slow cooker generates, until fork tender. Turn the pork half way through cooking.
  5. Stovetop: Reduce the heat to low (barely a simmer), cover and cook for 2-3 hours, until fork tender, checking to make sure the liquid is not boiling.
  6. Remove the ribs to a warm platter and cover.
  7. Stir in the vinegar or lemon juice and dill and cook, uncovered, for another 5 minutes.
  8. Add the cabbage to the platter and serve.

 

Watch the Country-Style Spareribs with Red Cabbage and Apples Here:

 

 

 

Osso Buco Milanese

Braised Veal Shanks/Osso Buco Milanese

Fall is officially here and I’d like to share one of my favorite braising recipes, Osso Buco Milanese. These braised veal shanks are tender, moist and flavorful. What makes them “Milanese” is the parsley, lemon zest and garlic topping, called gremolata.

Braised Veal Shanks

To make Osso Buco Milanese use either the stovetop or a slow cooker. I have a slow cooker with an insert that goes from stovetop to slow cooker, saving me an extra pan to wash.

Stovetop Method

Bring to a boil, lower the heat to a gentle simmer, just an occasional bubble or two; the ideal temperature is 180 degrees F. Cover and cook for 3 hours or until fork tender. Be sure to check occasionally that the braise is not boiling. If so, lower the temperature or use a heat diffuser.

Slow Cooker Method

Place prepared ingredients in slow cooker base, cover and set to low and cook for 6 hours or until fork tender.

You’ll notice the difference in cooking times with different appliances. The stovetop is harder to control and cooks at a slightly higher temperature than a slow cooker. You should check the braise periodically to make sure the simmer is under control. If you don’t have a low pilot light for braising or stewing, consider getting a heat diffuser, which lifts the pan further from the flame.

The oven is an option, but I find that it cooks at temperature that is almost impossible to maintain a gentle simmer. The higher heat cooks the meat too fast making it tougher and drier that the other two methods.

Braised Veal Shanks

White Braise

This is a white braise, no need to brown the meat, and uses a dry white wine. I often substitute a dry rosé instead of the white wine, as I frequently (always) have an open bottle on hand.

Place the shanks on a sheet pan and secure the meat to the bone with butcher’s twine. I like to tie the shanks like a present, top to bottom, instead of around the middle. The meat shrinks and the tie around the middle doesn’t hold them to the bone as well. If you have a large shank, you may want to tie again in a different direction as shown below.

Braised Veal Shanks

To season the meat and keep the salt and pepper from strewing around your kitchen counter, place the baking sheet in the sink and sprinkle the salt and pepper from above.

Braised Veal Shanks

The traditional mirepoix, onions, celery and carrots is a must for almost any braise. We’ve added diced pancetta for a richer sauce.

Braised Veal Shanks

Use a traditional bouquet garni, a couple of parsley stems and thyme twigs, a bay leaf or two and a few peppercorns wrapped in cheesecloth. I like to use a Bouquet Garni herb blend from Penzeys. It doesn’t have to be removed and adds great flavor. The blend contains savory, rosemary, thyme, Turkish oregano, basil, dill weed, marjoram, sage and tarragon.

If at all possible, make any braise or stew a day before to allow the flavors to meld overnight. Notice how the sauce gelled over night – all the gelatin from the bones makes for a very rich sauce. The fat rises to the top and hardens for easy removal.

Braised Veal Shanks

I know the liquid seems minimal, maybe even sparse, but the vegetables and meat expel juices creating more liquid, which keeps the flavor of the sauce intense. Simply tuck the shanks into the braising liquid, cover and cook.

Braised Veal Shanks

Serve this delicious Ratatouille as a side to the Osso Buco Milanese!

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Osso Buco Milanese

Braised Veal Shanks/Osso Buco Milanese

Osso buco milanese is a rustic dish of braised veal shanks in a rich sauce served with gremolata, chopped parsley, lemon peel and garlic.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 6 hours
  • Total Time: 6 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 portions
  • Category: Main Dish

Ingredients

  • Osso Buco recipe
  • 6 veal shanks (2 inches thick), patted dry
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • lots of freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) sliced mushrooms, such as cremini
  • 4 ounces pancetta, small dice
  • 2 cups diced onions
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 tablespoon minced cloves garlic (about 4)
  • ½ teaspoon coarse salt
  • 2 teaspoons bouquet garni herb mix
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 1 cup stock, such as veal, chicken or vegetable
  • Gremolata
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
    1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    pinch of coarse salt

Instructions

  1. Osso Buco
  2. Tie the veal chops with butcher twine and season both sides with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat the oil in a 7-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
  4. Put the mushrooms in the hot pan in a single layer and sear, stirring once after 2 minutes.
  5. Add the pancetta, onion, carrots, celery, garlic and salt; sweat for 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Add the herbs and stir for 15 seconds.
  7. Note: You can use a tradition bouquet garni (a couple of parsley stems and thyme twigs, a bay leaf or two and a few peppercorns wrapped in cheesecloth). I like to use a Bouquet Garni Herb Blend from Penzey’s. It doesn’t have to be removed and adds great flavor. The blend contains savory, rosemary, thyme, Turkish oregano, basil, dill weed, marjoram, sage and tarragon.
  8. Add the wine, bring to a boil and reduce by one-half.
  9. Stir in the stock and tuck the veal shanks into the vegetables.
  10. Stovetop Method:
  11. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to a gentle simmer, just an occasional bubble or two. Cover and cook for 3 hours or until fork tender. Be sure to check that the braise is not boiling occasionally. If so, lower the temperature or use a heat diffuser.
  12. Slow Cooker Method
  13. Bring to a boil, cover and set the slow cooker to low and cook for 6 hours or until fork tender.
  14. Remove the veal shanks to a warm platter. You have two choices with the sauce: Rustic – keep the sauce in its natural state, or Refined – puree the sauce.
  15. Pour a little sauce over the veal and serve the remainder on the side. Strew the gremolata over the shanks and serve.
  16. Gremolata
  17. Combine the parsley, lemon, garlic and salt in a small bowl.
  18. Cover and refrigerate.

Notes

Make ahead to let the flavors meld.

 

 

Mediterranean Braised Lamb Shanks

We started March with almost summer-like temperatures in the mid-70s and now the first day of spring, we’re expecting a snow storm! I decided to take advantage of the hopefully last cold days to make Mediterranean Braised Lamb Shanks in the slow cooker. Always make a braise the day before, the flavors are much better and it gives you an opportunity to easily remove the fat before reheating.

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Eric went to Stew Leonard’s and picked up some beautiful grass-grown lamb shanks from the Amish country. For the Mediterranean flavors, I’m using sundried tomatoes, Dijon mustard, herbes de Provence, saffron and a lovely Italian red wine. I had ¾ cup of cornmeal in the cupboard and decided to make a soft polenta with some sautéd shaved Brussels as my sides.

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The snow came Sunday night and it was a beautiful sight to wake up to this morning! The sun glistening on the snow-covered limbs and a brilliant blue sky. The snow didn’t even stick to the paved surfaces and the barely three inches we got are melting away quickly!DSCN5036

 

Goodbye Winter!

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Happy Spring everyone!

 

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Mediterranean Braised Lamb Shanks

A flavorful Mediterranean Braised Lamb Shank recipe for the slow cooker. Cook the day before to allow the flavors to come together and to let the fat set for easy removal.

  • Prep Time: 45 mins
  • Cook Time: 8 hours
  • Total Time: 8 hours 45 mins
  • Yield: 8 servings
  • Category: Lamb
  • Method: Stew/Braise

Ingredients

  • 8 Lamb shanks
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more if needed
  • 2 cups diced onion
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup diced carrot
  • 8 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 1 cup sundried tomatoes, not packed in oil
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons dried herbes de Provence
  • Pinch saffron
  • 1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup stock or water
  • GARNISH
  • ¼ cup pitted and sliced Nicoise olives
  • ¼ chopped rosemary, thyme and parsley
  • zested lemon peel

Instructions

  1. Generously season both sides of the lamb shanks.
  2. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven and brown the lamb shanks in batches.
  3. Add a little more oil if needed and stir in the onions, celery, carrots and garlic. Cover and sweat for 5 minutes, stirring once.
  4. Add the wine, sundried tomatoes, mustard, herbes de Provence and saffron, stir to combine, bring to a boil and reduce by three-quarters.
  5. Stir in the tomatoes and stock/water. Add the lamb shanks, cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, until fork tender.
  6. Combine the olives, herbs and lemon peel. Plate the lamb and sprinkle the garnish over the top.

Keywords: stew, braise, lamb stew, slow cooking

Veal Stew with Sun-dried Tomatoes

Veal Stew

Sometimes I don’t want to work too hard to make dinner. I don’t want to go out to eat and I don’t want takeout, which is usually disappointing. The fact that it has to travel takes away from the
freshness and reheating it doesn’t make it better. When I spotted veal stew meat in the store the other day, I was in one of those moods. But, when you can use the slow cooker and take advantage of the some of the prepped vegetables, such as the peeled baby onions I spotted, it makes life very easy. I had carrots and sundried tomatoes at home. Veal Stew with Sun-dried Tomatoes!

I prefer not to brown the veal. The pieces are small and tender and browning dries it out. Peel a few large carrots and cut in 1-inch pieces and brown over high heat in butter and oil (about a tablespoon of each) with the peeled onions. Sprinkle a couple of teaspoons each kosher salt and herbes de Provence over the vegetables, add a cup of sundried tomatoes (not packed in oil) and a cup of dry wine (red or white). Bring to a boil and reduce by half. Add one cup reconstituted demi glace from More than Gourmet or stock if you don’t have demi glace, and braise for six hours on low.

Veal Stew

One of my favorite ingredients to add to a veal stew is peas, but my husband hates them. I’ll steam some haricots verts for him and make myself a side of peas sautéed in butter with scallions and tarragon – super delicious – but he’ll never know!

Serve the stew over noodles or along side some ravioli.

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Veal Stew with Sun-dried Tomatoes

Veal Stew

A easy recipe with minimal ingredients – takes only minutes to prepare, the slow cooker does the rest. Use frozen baby onions if you can’t find fresh or don’t want to peel them.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 6 hours
  • Total Time: 6 hours 20 mins
  • Yield: 6 portions

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 cup baby onions, peeled, or use frozen
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup sundries tomatoes, oil free
  • 2 teaspoons Italian herb seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup demi glace or stock
  • 2 pounds veal stew meat
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen peas

Instructions

  1. Melt the butter in the oil over medium-high heat large Dutch oven the insert of a slow cooker.
  2. Add the onions and carrots and sweat for 4 minutes, stirring as needed.
  3. Stir in the tomatoes, herb seasoning, salt and pepper.
  4. Add the wine and reduce by one-half.
  5. Stir in the demi glace or stock.
  6. Add the meat, stir to combine, cover and and cook on low for six hours in a slow cooker or on the stovetop on very low heat for 1 1/2 hours.
  7. Just before serving, stir in the peas and let cook for 2 minutes.

 

Braised Pork Chops in Sauerkraut

Winter Storm Jonas

In anticipation of the snow storm, I stocked up at Stew Leonards on Thursday. One purchase was two extra thick center-cut pork chops for Braised Pork Chops in Sauerkraut, using Dr. Pickle’s sauerkraut.

Winter Storm Jonas

We’re right in the middle of Winter Storm Jonas. Don’t you love how all storms now have names! I remember some unnamed storms when we lived in NYC, such as the Blizzard of 1978 – 17.7 inches and Metropolitan Snowstorm of 1983 – 17.6 inches. According to the news, the city already has 15 inches and the storm warning goes through 7am tomorrow!

Winter Storm Jonas

We’re only at six inches and the forecast isn’t too bad here. It’s windy (35-40 mph winds) and I’m glad we’re home and warm. The aroma from the pork and sauerkraut is intoxicating and I’m anxiously awaiting dinner!

Winter Storm Jonas

Final tally was 15 inches! Thanks Bren Landscaping & Masonry for the great job of clearing us out!

Dr. Pickle

I met Dr. Pickle at the Larchmont farmer’s market through my friend Ellen. He’s a delightful young guy who sells his pickles at a multiple locations in the NY/NJ area and through mail order. Wish he came to CT!!

Dr. Pickle

He sets up a table surrounded by wooden barrels filled with his half-sour pickles, probably my most favorite pickle of all, giardiniera, spicy peppers, pickled mushrooms and many more.

Dr. Pickle

He even makes olives! A tasting dish is always filled with samples and needless to say, you leave with more than you intended to buy!

Dr. Pickle

Back to cooking…

Braised Pork Chops in Sauerkraut

Generously season the pork chops on both sides with salt and pepper and brown them in oil over high heat four minutes per side. Remove and drain most of the fat.

I don’t drain or rinse Dr. Pickle’s sauerkraut. It’s so fresh and has a nice crunch; it can be eaten without any additional cooking. If you’re using canned sauerkraut, I recommend draining and then soaking it for 20 minutes in cold water. Drain again

To prepare the sauerkraut, combine dry white wine, very thin slices of Granny Smith apple and onion and some caraway seeds in the pot. Because I don’t drain or soak the sauerkraut, I don’t add any more salt at this point. If you use canned sauerkraut, taste it to determine if it needs a little salt after the soaking. Lay the pork chops on top of the sauerkraut, cover and cook on low for 4 hours turning the chops after 2 hours.

 

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Braised Pork Chops in Sauerkraut

If you’re using canned sauerkraut, I recommend draining and then soaking it for 20 minutes in cold water. Drain again, taste and add salt if needed and add ½ cup cold water to make up for the lost liquid.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 25 mins
  • Cook Time: 6 hours
  • Total Time: 6 hours 25 mins
  • Yield: 4 portions
  • Category: Pork
  • Method: Slow Cooking

Ingredients

  • 2 thick center-cut pork chops
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pint sauerkraut
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • ½ cup cold water, if you drained the sauerkraut
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds

Instructions

  1. Generously season both sides of the pork chops with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over high heat and sear the chops for 4 minutes per side. Remove to a plate and drain the fat from the pot.
  3. Stir in the sauerkraut, onion, apple, wine (water if needed) and caraway seeds and bring to a boil.
  4. Return the chops to the pot, placing them on top of the sauerkraut and cover the pan.
  5. Reduce the heat to barely a simmer and cook for 2 hours. Turn the pork chops and cook for another 2 hours. The chops are ready when they’re fork tender.

 

Slow-Cooked Brisket in Red wine

I learned to make brisket from my Mother-in-Law Ruth. We always had pot roast when I was a kid. I love this dish immediately; with it’s beefy flavor and tenderness. I’ve made many different versions over the years, and this slow-cooked brisket in red wine is simple and classic.

The slow cooker is my best friend over the colder months. A braise cooks low and slow and fills the house with a wonderful savory aroma. A large  7-quart slow cooker makes enough for leftovers for or the freezer.

This recipe is best made in advance. Cook and chill overnight, then defat the brisket by scraping the solid fat off the top. Slice the brisket and put into a roasting pan and cover with the sauce and vegetables.

To freeze, place the vegetables in a self-sealing freezer bag, wrap everything tightly, and pop into the freezer. Cook the meat from a frozen state. Thaw the vegetables and add for the last 30 minutes cooking time.

Slow Cooked Brisket in Red Wine

Line up all your ingredients and tools. Since first writing this post, I’ve stopped browning meat. I find it’s an unnecessary messy step.

Brown the Meat

Five-pounds front-cut brisket
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Place the brisket on a tray or plate and season both sides with salt and pepper.

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Heat the oil in a 7-quart Dutch oven or stovetop-proof slow cooker insert over high heat. Add the brisket, fat side down and sear for five minutes. Flip it over and sear another five minutes. Return to the tray. I am using two 2 1/2 pound cuts and repeated the process. Don’t hesitate to set the timer to remind you when to turn the meat.

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Mis en Place

If this is a term you aren’t familiar with, it means everything in its place. To cook efficiently, it’s best to have all the prep work done in advance. No missing items and no last minute scrambling to chop something in the middle of cooking, which creates a calmer work environment.

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2 cups small diced onion
1 cup small diced celery
1 cup small diced carrot
4 minced garlic cloves
1 tablespoon dried thyme
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
2 cups dry red wine, such as a cabernet sauvignon or merlot
1 1/2 cups stock or water
6 carrots, peeled and cut into two-inch pieces
5 all-purpose potatoes, peeled and cut into approximately three-inch pieces

Add the onions, celery, carrots and garlic to the pan with the meat juices, stir  and sweat for five minutes, stirring once halfway through. Stir in the herbs.

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Pour in the wine and stock and bring to a boil for 10 minutes. This reduces the wine a bit and intensifies the flavor.

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Stir in the carrots and potatoes.

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Lay the brisket on top of the vegetables.

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Don’t forget those meat juices – pour them in!

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Cover with water or stock until halfway up the meat. Do NOT cover the meat with liquid. Slow cooking is all about an exchange of flavors between the vegetables and the meat in the cooking liquid. Both exude juices throughout the cooking process. Too much water results in a thin, weak sauce. Have patience and let the slow cooking process work to make an intensely flavored and tender dish.

 Set at a simmer for eight hours.

The key to slow cooking is low and slow. Low temperature, a very gentle simmer, just a few bubbles here and there, and slow cooking time. This method keeps the meat moist.

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Cool the brisket and refrigerate overnight.

Remove the hardened fat by scraping a spoon across the top. This was a particularly lean brisket, very little to remove.

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Remove the potatoes and chunky carrots to a plastic bag and seal tightly.

Thinly slice the brisket on the bias.

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Pour a couple of ladlefuls of sauce in the bottom of the pan.

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Lay the sliced brisket on top.

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Cover the with the remaining sauce and vegetables. Separate the vegetables from the meat if you are freezing.

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Freezing Instructions

Place a sheet of plastic wrap directly on top of the brisket to prevent oxygen from getting to it.

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Cover with foil the same way. Then lay the plastic bag of vegetables on top.

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Cover tightly with foil and freeze.

Reheat

From the Refrigerator: Preheat the oven to  400ºF and roast for 40 minutes, or until the gravy is bubbling.

From the Freezer: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and cook for 1 hour. Stir in the vegetables and continue cooking for 20 minutes more, or until the gravy is bubbling.

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Slow Cooked Brisket in Red wine

Braised Beef

A delicious slow-cooked brisket is great anytime. Make ahead and freeze for a special occasion.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 hours
  • Total Time: 8 hours 45 minutes
  • Yield: 10 servings
  • Category: Meat
  • Method: Braise/Slow Cooking

Ingredients

1 five-pound front-cut brisket
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 cups small diced onion
1 cup small diced celery
1 cup small diced carrot
4 minced garlic cloves
1 tablespoon dried thyme
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
2 cups dry red wine, such as a cabernet sauvignon or merlot
1 1/2 cups stock or water
6 carrots, peeled and cut into two-inch pieces
5 all-purpose potatoes, peeled and cut into approximately three-inch pieces

Instructions

Place the brisket on a tray or plate and season both sides with salt and pepper.

Note: Line up all your ingredients and tools. Since first writing this post, I’ve stopped browning meat. I find it’s an unnecessary messy step.

Heat the oil in a 7-quart Dutch oven or stovetop-proof slow cooker insert over high heat. Add the brisket, fat side down and sear for five minutes. Flip it over and sear another five minutes. Return to the tray. I am using two 2 1/2 pound cuts and repeated the process. Don’t hesitate to set the timer to remind you when to turn the meat.

Add the onions, celery, carrots and garlic to the pan with the meat juices, stir and sweat for five minutes, stirring once halfway through. Stir in the herbs.

Pour in the wine and stock and bring to a boil for 10 minutes. This reduces the wine a bit and intensifies the flavor.

Stir in the carrots and potatoes.

Lay the brisket on top of the vegetables.

Don’t forget those meat juices – pour them in!

Cover with water or stock until halfway up the meat. Do NOT cover the meat with liquid. Slow cooking is all about an exchange of flavors between the vegetables and the meat in the cooking liquid. Both exude juices throughout the cooking process. Too much water results in a thin, weak sauce. Have patience and let the slow cooking process work to make an intensely flavored and tender dish.

Set at a simmer for eight hours. The key to slow cooking is low and slow. Low temperature, a very gentle simmer, just a few bubbles here and there, and slow cooking time. This method keeps the meat moist.

Cool the brisket and refrigerate overnight.

Remove the hardened fat by scraping a spoon across the top. This was a particularly lean brisket, very little to remove.

Remove the potatoes and chunky carrots to a plastic bag and seal tightly.

Thinly slice the brisket on the bias.

Pour a couple of ladlefuls of sauce in the bottom of the pan.

Lay the sliced brisket on top.

Cover the with the remaining sauce and vegetables. Separate the vegetables from the meat if you are freezing.

Freezing Instructions

Place a sheet of plastic wrap directly on top of the brisket to prevent oxygen from getting to it.

Cover with foil the same way. Then lay the plastic bag of vegetables on top.

Cover tightly with foil and freeze.

Reheat

From the Refrigerator: Preheat the oven to  400ºF and roast for 40 minutes, or until the gravy is bubbling.

From the Freezer: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and cook for 1 hour. Stir in the vegetables and continue cooking for 20 minutes more, or until the gravy is bubbling.

Notes

Mis en Place

If this is a term you aren’t familiar with, it means everything in its place. To cook efficiently, it’s best to have all the prep work done in advance. No missing items and no last-minute scrambling to chop something in the middle of cooking, which creates a calmer work environment.

 

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Pot Roast

Before we get into the Pot Roast recipe, here are some tips on making a perfect braise.

A frequent mistake made in braise recipes is adding too much liquid at the start of cooking. This dilutes the sauce. It takes a little faith to put your meat and vegetables in the pot with only a cup of
braising liquid. It pays off in the end when you’re rewarded with a very flavorful sauce from an exchange of flavors between the vegetables, the braising liquid and the meat juices.

Pot roast is a large piece of meat, but don’t be tempted to add more liquid than I suggest. I have taken pictures to show you that the braising liquid increases early in the cooking process. Everything cooks thoroughly and the flavor is robust.

Pot roast is a very simple braise. Brown the seasoned meat and set aside. Sweat the onions, add large pieces of carrots and potatoes, some bay leaves and braising liquid.  Cook until tender.

Braised dishes are best if left to sit overnight. It intensifies the flavor and, since the meats used in braising are fatty, the fat sits on the surface and solidifies overnight, just scrape it off before reheating.

Slice the meat and place on a platter surrounded by the vegetables and cover with a little gravy.

Pot Roast Method

 

Season both sides of the pot roast with salt and pepper.

Heat the oil in a 7-quart Dutch oven or large saucepan with a cover over high heat. Add the seasoned pot roast to the hot oil and lower the heat slightly. Brown the top turn and brown the bottom.

Remove the meat and add the onions to the hot pot over medium heat. Cover and sweat for 3 minutes. Uncover, raise the heat a bit and sauté for several minutes until lightly browned.

Toss in the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Stir in the stock, potatoes, carrots, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Return the meat to pot, pushing a few vegetables aside to snuggle the roast in. This is where it takes a little faith. The amount of liquid is minimal.

Bring this to a boil, lower the heat to barely a simmer, cover and let cook for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until fork tender. For a slow cooker set on low for 6 hours.

This picture shows the pot roast after 3 hours cooking (I used a slow cooker) – notice the increase in liquid at the halfway point.

Cool the roast, refrigerate overnight and then remove the fat. Reheat, slice and serve. The gravy thickens from the starch in the potato, no need to add flour.

Refrigerated overnight:

Fat removed before reheating:

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Pot Roast

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 7 hours
  • Total Time: 7 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 portions
  • Category: Beef
  • Method: Braising

Ingredients

2  pounds chuck roast
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, peeled and sliced lengthwise
4 garlic cloves, peeled and lightly smashed
1 cup stock or water
1 1/2 pounds red or white potatoes, cut into 6 lengthwise slices
4 large carrots, peeled into 4 inch chunks
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Instructions

Season both sides of the pot roast with salt and pepper.

Heat the oil in a 7-quart Dutch oven or large saucepan with a cover over high heat.

Add the seasoned pot roast to the hot oil and lower the heat slightly. Brown the top turn and brown the bottom.

Remove the meat and add the onions to the hot pot over medium heat. Cover and sweat for 3 minutes.

Uncover, raise the heat a bit and sauté for several minutes until lightly browned.

Toss in the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Stir in the stock, potatoes, carrots, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Return the meat to pot, pushing a few vegetables aside to snuggle the roast in. This is where it takes a little faith. The amount of liquid is minimal.

Bring this to a boil, lower the heat to barely a simmer, cover and let cook for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until fork tender. For a slow cooker set on low for 6 hours.

Cool the roast, refrigerate overnight and then remove the fat. Reheat, slice and serve. The gravy thickens from the starch in the potato, no need to add flour.

Sofrito Braised Country-Style Spare Ribs with Rice and Beans

 

I’ve been busy preparing for the onslaught of Eric’s friends for the Super Bowl. Dinner is Sofrito Braised Country-Style Spare Ribs Over Rice, Beans & Chorizo.

No one has a favorite team this year and I expect a rather low-key (no yelling or expletives) evening. They arrive around 4ish and expect noshes. I like to mix up the Super Bowl recipes and not always rely on salsa and chips and chili. Here’s a recipe for a quick and easy appetizer, Buffalo Wing Dip.

Check out some of these links for delicious dessert ideas!

Triple Chocolate Brownies

Apple Pie with Crumb Topping

Spare Ribs

Heat the oil in a 7-quart covered Dutch oven or heat-proof slow cooker insert over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot (it quivers a bit), add the onion, cover and sweat for five minutes.

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Stir in the green pepper, tomatoes, salt and pepper flakes; bring to a boil, lower a bit and continue cooking until the liquid reduces about ten minutes.

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Add the garlic, sherry wine vinegar, coriander, turmeric, jalapeño and bay leaves, stir and cook for 30 seconds, just until fragrant. Pour in the stock and stir to combine.

Note: this is more liquid than I would normally use, but I want 2 cups of the flavorful liquid to cook the rice.

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Set the spare ribs in the sofrito and bring to a boil.

Stovetop Method: lower heat to barely simmer and continue cooking until the pork is fork tender, about two and one-half hours.

Slow Cooker Method: Set the slow cooker on low and cook until the pork is fork tender; check at six hours and adjust accordingly.

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Cool and refrigerate overnight. Skim the fat before reheating.

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Rice

Heat the oil in a small sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the chorizo and sauté until golden brown, about five minutes. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate.

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Put the strained sofrito sauce and rice in a medium-sized covered saucepan. Bring to a boil and lower the heat to simmer, cover and cook for the recommended time on the package.

Note: Follow instructions on package for cooking in Microwave.

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Stir in the beans, chorizo and cilantro; continue cooking until heated through.

To serve: Spoon the rice mixture in the middle of the plate, top with the spare ribs and ladle sauce over the top. Serve remaining sauce in a gravy boat.

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Braised Sofrito Country-Style Spareribs with Rice, Pink Beans and Chorizo

Make this a day or two in advance to let the flavors meld.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 hour
  • Total Time: 8 hours 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Braise

Ingredients

  • Spare Ribs
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups diced onion
  • 1 cup diced pepper
  • 2 cans (15 ounces) fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 10 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 2 tablespoons sherry wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 4 cups chicken stock (water or vegetable stock is fine)
  • 4 pounds boneless country-style pork spare ribs
  • Rice
  • ½ pound chorizo, skin removed and ¼-inch dice
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups strained sofrito sauce, return the vegetables to the pot
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pink beans, rinsed and drained
  • ¼ cup roughly chopped cilantro

Instructions

  1. Spare Ribs
  2. Heat the oil in a 7-quart covered Dutch oven or heat-proof slow cooker insert over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot (it quivers a bit), add the onion, cover and sweat for 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the green pepper, tomatoes, salt and pepper flakes; bring to a boil, lower a bit and continue cooking until the liquid reduces about 10 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic, sherry wine vinegar, coriander, turmeric, jalapeño and bay leaves, stir and cook for 30 seconds, just until fragrant. Pour in the stock and stir to combine.
  5. Note: this is more liquid that I would normally use, but I want 2 cups of the flavorful liquid to cook the rice.
  6. Set the spare ribs in the sofrito and bring to a boil.
  7. Stovetop Method: lower heat to barely simmer and continue cooking until the pork is fork tender, about two and one-half hours.
  8. Slow Cooker Method: Set the slow cooker on low and cook until the pork is fork tender; check at six hours and adjust accordingly.
  9. Cool and refrigerate overnight. Skim the fat before reheating.
  10. Rice
  11. Heat the oil in a small sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the chorizo and sauté until golden brown, about five minutes. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate.
  12. Put the strained sofrito sauce and rice in a medium-sized covered saucepan. Bring to a boil and lower the heat to simmer, cover and cook for the recommended time on the package.
  13. Note: Follow instructions on package for cooking in the Microwave.
  14. Stir in the beans, chorizo and cilantro; continue cooking until heated through.
  15. To serve: Spoon the rice mixture in the middle of the plate, top with the spare ribs and ladle sauce over the top. Serve remaining sauce in a gravy boat.

Notes

Make this for Super Bowl Sunday or any dinner.

Veal and Turnip Stew

This recipe for Veal and Turnip Stew was inspired by the remaining ingredients from a photo shoot.

I had carrots and a bag of pearl onions that pair so nicely with veal. Tarragon is one of my favorite herb and a few fennel seeds add to the anise flavor I like so much. thought they’d add an interesting layer to the stew. Substitute 1 1/2 teaspoons herbes de Provence for the herbs in this recipe, if anise doesn’t appeal to you.

Peeling pearl onions is a bit tedious and the task is made easier by blanching. Bring a pot of cold water with a couple a teaspoons of salt to boil and pop the onions in for 2 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. Slice the bottom off with a sharp paring knife stopping short of the skin on the far side. Pull that skin towards the top and slide the remainder off.

This stew with it’s delicious sauce is great with egg noodles.

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Veal and Turnip Stew

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 6 hours
  • Total Time: 6 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 portions
  • Category: Veal
  • Method: Slow Cooking

Ingredients

2 pounds boneless veal shoulder or rump, cut into 1-1/2 inch cubes, trim excess fat
2 teaspoons Kosher salt, divided
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 medium celery stalks, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup dry white wine
24 pearl onions, peeled
1 pound turnips, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
3 medium carrots, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
5 peppercorns
Bay leaf
1 cup stock
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water
1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas
2 tablespoons finely chopped tarragon

Instructions

Place the veal on a tray and season both sides with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

Heat the oil in large sauce pan or Dutch oven over medium heat.

Stir in the onion, celery and garlic, cover and sweat for 4 minutes.

Add the wine, raise the heat to high and boil until the wine is reduced by one-half, about 3-4 minutes.

Stir in the turnips, carrots, fennel seeds, peppercorns, bay leaf and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Pour the stock over this, give a stir, and set the veal cubes on top of the vegetables.

Stovetop Method: Cover and cook for 1 1/2 hours at barely a simmer or until the veal is fork tender.

Slow Cooker Method: Set the slower cooker on low and cook for 6 hours or until the veal is fork tender.

Just before serving toss in the peas and combine the water and cornstarch and pour into the hot stew. Stir frequently until the sauce has thickened. Garnish with chopped herbs and serve.

Notes

Substitute 1 1/2 teaspoons herbes de Provence for the herbs in this recipe, if the anise flavor doesn’t appeal to you.

 

 

Pulled Pork

Pulled Pork

I purchased a three-pound Berkshire pork shoulder to make pulled pork using the smoker on my gas grill. I’ll serve this with mini Cheddar cheese muffins and a side of creamy coleslaw.

I’m not a barbecue expert and had to peruse many recipes before I was able to decide how to put this together. My daughter requested the moist version using vinegar, instead of a dry rub, which is my preference too. The finished pork is tangy and fall-apart tender.

To infuse a smoky flavor I sparingly used ground chipotle that offers heat and earthy undertones. Most recipes incorporated either a tablespoon of ground mustard or a couple of tablespoons of regular mustard. I thought 1/3 cup of a stone-ground was the best choice.

All ingredients measured and the pork shoulder.

1 large onion diced – about 2 cups

Four smashed garlic cloves – place the side of your knife over each clove and smack with the heel of your hand.

Stir onion, ketchup, mustard, brown sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, and chipotle.

After 2 hours, notice the expelled juices. It is definitely not necessary to add more liquid.

Finished pulled pork

Finished pulled pork

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Pulled Pork

Serve this with mini Cheddar cheese muffins or biscuits and a side of creamy coleslaw.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 hours
  • Total Time: 8 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 10 portions
  • Category: Barbecue
  • Method: Slow Cooking

Ingredients

1 large onion, large dice
1/2 cup Ketchup
1/3 cup stone-ground mustard
1/4 cup packed brown sugar (either dark or light)
1/4 cup apple-cider vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
4 smashed garlic cloves
1 tablespoon ground chipotle red
3 pounds pork shoulder, trimmed of fat
1 tablespoon coarse salt

Instructions

Mix the onion, ketchup, mustard, sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, and chipotle together in a slow cooker.

Season the trimmed pork with salt and pepper and place on top of the sauce mixture. Turn the meat a couple of times to coat with the sauce.

Set the slow cooker on low heat and timer for 8 hours; turn the meat every 2 hours. Place the pork on a board and let cook for 20 minutes.

Shred the pork with a couple of forks and return to the pot. Cool and refrigerate overnight. Remove the hardened fat and discard.

Serve or freeze for another day.

Notes

Don’t be tempted to add more liquid; the meat will expel juices and fat and add volume. You want the sauce to have an intense in flavor!