bacon

Braised Red Cabbage with Bacon

by Anne Maxfield on January 14, 2019

Accidental Locavore Red Cabbage SlicedWe’ve been lucky enough to get some beautiful red cabbage from our winter CSA share, and since it’s winter braising it seemed like the right way to go. This probably serves 4 as a side dish.

  • 4 slices bacon cut into ½” strips
  • 1 medium onion thinly sliced
  • 1 medium head red cabbage
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper

Accidental Locavore Braised Red CabbagePlace bacon in a large Dutch oven or other large, heavy-bottomed pot with a lid over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and most of the fat has rendered.

While the bacon is cooking, slice cabbage in half lengthwise. Use a sharp knife to cut out the core and discard it. Slice both pieces in half again so you have 4 quarters, then thinly slice each piece crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick strips. Set aside.

When the bacon is cooked, add the onion and stir to coat in the bacon fat. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and cook until the onion softens and begins to brown, about 4 to 5 minutes.

Add the cabbage, stir to coat in bacon fat, and cook until the cabbage begins to wilt, about 4 minutes. Stir in the brown sugar and mustard.

Deglaze the pan with the cider vinegar, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a spatula. Add the chicken broth and season with a few pinches of salt and more freshly ground pepper. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low and cover the pan.

Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage is soft and soupy and the bacon is tender, about 45 minutes. If the cabbage begins to look dry, add more broth or water. Serve and enjoy!

Accidental Locavore Red Cabbage With DuckMy verdict: I’ve made this twice recently and the last time was the best. Might have been because I used some homemade chicken broth, but it was silky smooth and delicious! It’s not a quick side dish, but it’s easy and worth the time.

If you have a dog, try chopping up the core of the cabbage and giving it to him/her. My dog loves it (and zero waste)!

My guess is that you could make it with almost any cabbage, but the cooking time might be shorter with a green cabbage. What do you think?

 

 

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Insta-Pot Short Ribs Braised in Guinness

by Anne Maxfield on October 22, 2018

Accidental Locavore Insta-Pot Short RibsShort ribs are a great winter food and I’ve worked and eaten my way through a lot of short rib recipes.

This one from Gordon Hammersley’s Bistro Cooking at Home has become my go-to recipe and I recently decided to use my Insta-Pot for it.

Use 1-2 short ribs per person depending on size. This is scaled down for 2 people.

Insta-Pot Short Ribs Braised in Guinness

  • 2-4 beef short ribs (depending on size and appetite)
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 4 slices bacon cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1 medium sized red onion, peeled and sliced into 1/2″ rounds (cut across the onion to make rings)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste (if you buy it in a tube it costs more, but you always have it for weird amounts like this)
  • 1 bottle Guinness
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup beef stock

Preheat the oven to 350°.

Generously salt and pepper the short ribs.

Turn your Insta-Pot to “Sauté”. Add the oil and when it’s shimmering, sear the ribs until brown on all sides.

Remove the ribs from the pan, and pour off the excess oil, but don’t clean the Insta-Pot.

Add the bacon, and cook until the fat is rendered, about 5 minutes.

Add the onions and cook until lightly browned, about 6 minutes (don’t worry if the onions start to fall apart–they will).

Stir the tomato paste in and cook, stirring, for another 2 minutes.

Add the beer, vinegar, beef stock, and the ribs. Bring the liquid to a boil.

Cover the Insta-Pot and put it on “Slow Cook” for 6-8 hours until the short ribs are fork tender.

When you’re ready to serve, remove the ribs and onions from the pot and set aside.

Put the Insta-Pot back on “Sauté” and bring the liquid to a boil. Cook until it’s reduced by at least a third (or as thick you want the sauce). Skim fat off.

Taste and check for seasoning. Add the ribs and onions back to the sauce, serve and enjoy!

Accidental Locavore Searing Short Ribs In Insta-Pot

My verdict: This has become our favorite short rib recipe. I serve them with mashed potatoes, usually with horseradish added. It really brings out the flavor and helps to cut some of the richness.

While this is equally as good made in the oven or in a slow cooker, the Insta-Pot advantage is that you can do it all in one pot and the high sides of the Insta-Pot keep the fat from spattering all over your stove when you sear the ribs.

Figure on 1-2 ribs per person, depending on the size (and whether you want leftovers).

Like most braised meats, these are even better the next day (and you can get a lot more of the fat off).

Click here for the original recipe.

 

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Accidental Locavore PigThis year, not only was there a pig, but also a lamb…

This is a re-run of my post after the event last year in case anyone wants to attend week 2. We talk about nose-to-tail eating, but how does it really work? Come and see what happens when two chefs take on all the parts of a whole pig.

We’ll be focusing on using all the parts of the pig–smoking ribs and bacon, making a variety of sausages and stuffing the head to make headcheese (one of my favorites from last year!).

There’s still time support Slow Food Hudson Valley and get tickets for the second part on Saturday, March 25 from 10-4.

Saturday, the Accidental Locavore and about a dozen people watched three chefs tackle a pig. It was part of a two-day program Slow Food Hudson Valley put on to promote snout-to-tail eating (which reminds me–what happened to the pig’s tail?) or “butchering, preserving and sausage making a heritage pig.

Accidental Locavore Tom and Half PigWe were in a freezing cold farmstand on Kesike Farms in Red Hook NY, watching Chef Tom work his way through half of a hundred-pound pig. He did it with very few tools, and the ones that he’d chosen were all easily acquired, if not already in your arsenal. For the whole pig all he used were two boning knives, two hand saws and a sharpening steel. One of the hand saws, a Japanese, flexible bladed one, was a recent purchase from Lowes. In case you’re interested in breaking down any sort of animal (bigger than a chicken), remember knife first, then saw.

As he went through the pig he used a technique he referred to as “seam butchering” or finding the seams between the bones or muscles and using them as reference points. Between American and various European methods, there are a lot of ways to butcher a pig—choices you get to make as you cruise along.

Once Chef Tom got through cutting the pig into his basic cuts, he went back section by section, boning almost everything except the baby back ribs. He showed up his way of tying up various hams and roasts. While he was working, there was a lively discussion of the best ways to use each of the parts. Neck bones (which I forgot to ask for) are supposed to make your regular tomato sauce just amazing! Cumin, for some reason, played a major role in almost everything—it was simply the joke of the day.

After Tom was finished with his business, Chef Dan whisked away a lot of pork for stew and got to work, with help from some CIA students, on our lunch, a southwestern pork stew/chile, which was great and might actually have had some cumin in it…

Accidental Locavore John and TomThen Chef John stepped up to demo how to prep the various pork products for bacon, sausages and headcheese (yes, you use the whole head). He made a brine, using some for a loin and injected another piece with brine, explaining when you would inject versus when you would submerge. The liquid injected, should be 10% of the weight of the meat you’re using. The head and feet also went into the brine. We’ll see what happens to them next week.

Accidental Locavore Injecting BrineAfter the brining, John showed us how to do a bacon cure. It’s essentially a dry rub with salt, sugar, and whatever spices you want to add to the mix. You coat the bacon with the cure, cover it (or put it in a Ziploc) and refrigerate. Every other day, you need to flip the meat so it gets cured evenly. Another thing to look forward to next Saturday!

Accidental Locavore John Making SausagesFrom there we went on to making sausages. When you make sausages, it’s really important to cook and taste the meat before you stuff it. I always thought you just made a mini patty and fried it. No, no, no. Chef John said it’s not a good way to see how the finished product will actually taste and the texture is completely different. His way? Make a sausage-sized log, wrap it tightly in Saran Wrap, and poach it until it’s done. Then taste and adjust the seasonings. We ended the day, tasting his sweet Italian sausages and a southwestern green chile sausage. Both were really great and even better? We got to take some home.
Accidental Locavore Testing SausageI can’t wait for next Saturday! Lots of smoking going on next week. And we’ll get to try our bacon, make some tasso, have some ribs, even some headcheese. Sound tempting? There are spots available so come join us–Slow Food Hudson Valley has all the info.

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Potato Salad With Lemon and Mint Recipe

by Anne Maxfield on August 25, 2016

Accidental Locavore Baby PotatoesPotato salad is a summer staple.

As good as potato salad is, the Accidental Locavore is not a huge fan of potato salad with either mayo or hard-boiled eggs. When I saw this from the NY Times, it looked like a nice change from my go-to French potato salad. Serves 4:

Accidental Locavore Potato Salad With Lemon and MintPotato Salad With Lemon and Mint Recipe

  • 2 pounds small waxy white or yellow potatoes, roughly about the same size
  • Juice of 1 lemon, more for serving
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, more as needed
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup thinly sliced scallions, white and light green parts, more for serving
  • ¼ cup torn mint leaves, more for serving
  • ¼ teaspoon Aleppo pepper, more for serving

Cut the potatoes in half, or quarters if they’re large. Put potatoes in a large pot with enough salted water to cover by 1”. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until potatoes are just tender, about 15 minutes.

In a bowl, whisk together lemon juice, salt and olive oil.

Transfer hot potatoes to a large bowl and toss with dressing, scallions, mint and Turkish pepper. Let cool to room temperature. Just before serving, top with additional lemon juice, scallions, mint and Aleppo pepper.

My verdict: Easy and good! Will they take the place of the French potato salad? Probably not, but how can you compete with bacon (and bacon fat)???

If you don’t have Aleppo, or ¼ teaspoon of some exotic pepper (because it’s soooo worth it to go out for 1/4 teaspoon of anything), just use freshly ground black pepper.

Other herbs to consider would have to include sage, rosemary and tarragon – essentially anything fresh.

I always cut the potatoes before boiling.  It saves time, both in cooking and in waiting for them to cool enough to cut. However, you must start the potatoes in cool water. Otherwise they’ll never cook evenly all the way through and especially with potato salad, you don’t want them mushy on the outside.

What’s your favorite potato salad?

 

 

 

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