|Pomegranate Short Ribs|
Everyone has a different idea of what they want to put into their stomach before the fast day of Yom Kippur. Henry, for example liked a big steak and baked potato, and our friend Peter requested boiled beef. Now, boiled beef is not something I have included in my repertoire, so searching for a recipe, I found this one, from Melissa Clark in the NY Times. I especially liked the idea of the pomegranate in this one, because it has a symbolic meaning to Jews, for whom the many juicy seeds represent the 613 commandments in the Torah. I love the idea of serving this dish before The Day of Atonement. I wish all my readers a meaningful fast, and, the wish that we all be sealed in the book of life.
Braised Flanken with Pomegranate
4 pounds flanken ribs
1/2 teaspoon salt, more to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, more to taste
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 medium carrots, peeled and diced
3 medium celery stalks, diced
2 leeks, white and light green parts, cleaned, quartered lengthwise and chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 shallot, chopped
1/2 cup pomegranate juice
1/3 cup dry red wine
2 cups chicken stock, or as needed
3 thyme branches (see note)
1 rosemary branch
1 bay leaf
3 whole cloves
1 1/2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses (optional)
1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro.
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Season meat generously all over with salt and pepper. Heat a large ovenproof Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sear meat in batches until dark golden, 3 to 4 minutes a side. Transfer meat to a platter.
2. Add oil to pan and sauté carrots, celery, leeks, garlic and shallot until vegetables are softened and slightly caramelized, about 5 minutes; season lightly with salt and pepper. Add pomegranate juice and wine, and cook, scraping browned bits from bottom of pan, until most of the liquid is evaporated, about 2 minutes. Stir in the stock, thyme, rosemary, bay leaf, cloves, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Return meat to pot. Liquid should reach halfway up sides of meat. If not, add a little more stock or water.
3. Cover pot and transfer to oven. Cook, turning meat every 30 minutes until fork tender, about 2 hours.
4. If you have time, let meat cool and chill overnight. The next day, remove fat from surface, then reheat over low heat. Stir in the pomegranate molasses if using, and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and cilantro just before serving.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings.
Note: You may wrap herbs and cloves in cheesecloth before adding to pot; remove before chilling or serving.
Herb Mashed Potatoes
Scrub a couple of pounds of new potatoes, fingerling, or yukon gold potatoes, put in a pan with water to cover and cook until a knife pierces the potato easily.
Reserve about a cup of the cooking water.
Mash the potatoes roughly and add a good drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper. Continue mashing, adding the cooking water (or milk, cream, or soy milk) till smooth. Before serving, stir in a handful of chopped fresh herbs like parsley, chives, lovage, thyme, or celery tops. Keep warm until serving.