More meatballs! This is an updated version of the classic British dish. Ottolenghi describes the key elements as “well-cooked meat, crisp pancake and velvety gravy.” He modified the popular dish by using ground pork in the meatballs. It was very hearty and rich.
The complete dish was time consuming to prepare, but the components can be made separately and ahead to save time, if desired. This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Yotam Ottolenghi. I modified the baking times.
Yield: Serves 6 to 8
Time: about 2 hours
For the Batter:
1cup/240 ml whole milk
2/3cup/160 ml India pale ale or another pale ale (I used Sierra Nevada)
2T Dijon mustard
1 3/4cups (225 g) all-purpose flour, sifted
1tsp kosher salt
For the Gravy:
2 T sunflower or canola oil
1 T (15 g) unsalted butter
2small onions (about 12 oz (350 g) total), halved and thinly sliced
3 T balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 T all-purpose flour
2cups/480 ml chicken stock
1/3cup plus 1 T/100 ml India pale ale
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the Meatballs:
7oz/200 g sourdough bread, crusts discarded and bread cut into 1/4-inch (1/2-centimeter) cubes
3/4cup/180 ml whole milk
1 1/2pounds/700 g ground pork
4oz/115 g pancetta, very finely chopped (I used a food processor)
1/2 onion or 1very small onion (about 3 oz/80 g), grated
1/3packed cup/20 g roughly chopped parsley
4garlic cloves, crushed
1 1/2teaspoons lemon zest
Kosher salt and black pepper
6 T/90 ml sunflower or canola oil
Heat the oven to 475°F/240°C, preferably on convection.
Prepare the batter: Add the eggs, milk, beer and mustard to a large bowl, and whisk vigorously until foamy, about 1 minute.
Add the flour and salt to a separate large bowl, making a well in the center, and pour the egg mixture into the well, in about four increments, whisking lightly each time until the flour is just incorporated. Whisk until there are no lumps and the ingredients are just combined, taking care not to overwork the batter.
Set batter aside for at least 30 minutes, or while you continue with the next step.
Prepare the gravy: Add the oil, butter, onions, rosemary and vinegar to a 9-by-13-inch (23-by-33-centimeter) baking dish (tin)(Do not use pyrex/glass). Bake, stirring a couple of times during cooking, until the onions are thoroughly collapsed and browned, about 20 minutes.
Whisk together the flour, stock and beer in a bowl until smooth. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and a good grind of pepper, then pour flour mixture into the baking dish.
Return gravy to the oven and bake, stirring twice throughout, until the gravy is thick and rich, 20 to 25 minutes. Discard the rosemary sprigs and keep warm.
While the gravy is cooking, prepare the meatballs: Soak the bread in the milk in a small bowl and set aside until the liquid is absorbed, 10 minutes. Use your hands or a fork to break apart the bread into a lumpy mash.
In a large bowl, mix together the ground pork, pancetta, onion, parsley, garlic and lemon zest with 1 teaspoon salt and a generous amount of pepper. Add the bread and use your hands to knead the mixture until it is very well mixed. Shape into 12 large meatballs.
Spread 2 tablespoons oil across the bottom of a large roasting pan (tin), about 9-by-13-inches (23-by-33-centimeters) in size. (I used an enameled cast iron baking pan.)
Add the meatballs and bake for 7 to 10 minutes, or until some of their liquid has been released. Transfer the meatballs to a baking sheet (tray) lined with paper towels to absorb any excess moisture. Pour the liquid released from the meatballs in the roasting pan directly into the gravy, and then wipe the roasting pan dry.
Add the remaining 4 tablespoons oil to the meatball roasting pan and return to the oven until very hot and beginning to smoke, about 7 to 10 minutes.
Working as quickly as possible, pour the batter into the pan (it should bubble around the edges) and then add the meatballs and 2 rosemary sprigs. Return to the oven immediately and bake for 15 minutes.
Reduce the temperature to 400°F/210°C (don’t open the oven!) and bake for 20 to 30 minutes more, or until golden and well risen. (If you want, near the end of baking time (when the custard is set), you can sneak the gravy into the oven to rewarm during the last 5 minutes of baking.)
I love one-pan dishes! This dish is made in the oven using one baking dish. It was also easy to prepare. 🙂 I modified the recipe due to personal preference- and to incorporate ingredients that I had readily available. I included all of the options in the recipe below.
This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Ali Slagle. I modified the proportions and oven temperature, used celery instead of fennel, and added carrots. I also substituted sweet Italian pork sausage for hot sausage and green lentils for brown lentils. The vinegar was essential to the finished dish.
Yield: Serves 6
4 celery stalks, diced or 1fennel bulb, cored, cut into 1/2-inch wedges through the root, plus 1/4 cup fresh fennel fronds
4 large carrots, diced
1 T extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds bulk hot or sweet Italian pork sausage (or fresh Italian sausages, casings removed)(or a combination)
3cups chicken stock
1 1/2cups green or brown lentils
4 to 8garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1fresh rosemary sprig
1-2tablespoons sherry vinegar, white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1/2cup fresh parsley leaves, plus more for serving
Heat the oven to 425°, preferably on convection.
In a 9×13-inch baking pan or baking dish, gently toss the celery and carrots (or fennel wedges) with the olive oil to coat. Season with salt and pepper. (I used a ceramic baking dish.)
Roast until vegetables are golden brown underneath, about 10 minutes for fennel or up to 20 minutes for carrots and celery. (Fennel will not be tender at this point.)
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, use your hands or a spoon to mix the sausage with the egg until combined. Roll the mixture into 16 (1 1/2-inch) meatballs.
Add the chicken stock, lentils, garlic and rosemary to the roasted vegetables. Stir to combine, then season with 3/4 teaspoon salt.
Place the meatballs in the lentil mixture, drizzle the meatballs with olive oil, then roast until the meatballs are browned on top and lentils are tender, 25 to 30 minutes.
Transfer the meatballs to a plate. Discard the rosemary sprig, then stir in the vinegar, parsley leaves and fennel fronds, if using (reserve a few fronds for garnishing, if desired). Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Spoon the lentils and any braising liquid onto shallow bowls and top with the meatballs.
Garnish with additional parsley leaves and fennel fronds, if desired.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day-Eve! I hope that this post finds you healthy and able to use this self-quarantine time to bake.
I typically make a sweeter version of soda bread to serve for breakfast on St. Patrick’s Day. This savory version was a nice change. It was reminiscent of the rosemary biscuits that my husband and I enjoy at our annual anniversary dinner at Volt in Frederick, MD. I loved that it incorporated whole wheat flour.
This recipe is from Midwest Made: Big, Bold Baking from the Heartland by Shauna Sever. I used coarse salt and decreased the baking time. We ate it with salted Irish butter. It was wonderful- very moist and tender.
Yield: One 8-inch loaf
2 cups (256 g) all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled, plus more for dusting
It is hard to relay deliciousness when looking at a bowl of “green!” This healthy soup was beyond delicious. Similar to the soup in my last post, this soup also gets its creaminess from puréed potatoes. I also loved that it was loaded with greens and herbs and also incorporated farro (one of my favorites) as a bonus.
This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Melissa Clark. I used a combination of olive oil and butter, homemade turkey stock, and Trader Joe’s 10-minute farro. I also left the potato peels intact and increased the amount of garlic. Yum!
Yield: 6 servings
4 T unsalted butter or olive oil (I used 3 T butter & 1 T olive oil)
2leeks, white and light green parts, chopped
2celery stalks, diced
6garlic cloves, finely chopped
3rosemary or thyme branches
1pound tiny potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces (unpeeled)
1quart chicken or vegetable stock (I used homemade turkey stock)
1 ½teaspoons coarse salt or fine sea salt, plus more as needed
½teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1cup farro (I used Trader Joe’s 10 minute farro)
1pound baby spinach (about 20 cups)
1cup cilantro leaves and tender stems (or use dill)
1cup parsley leaves and tender stems
Juice of 1/2 lemon, plus more for serving
extra-virgin olive oil, for serving
flaky sea salt, for serving
Aleppo, Urfa, Turkish or other red-pepper flakes, for serving
grated Parmesan or pecorino, optional, for serving (I used Parmigiano-Reggiano)
Melt the butter and/or heat the olive oil in the bottom of a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat.
Stir in the leeks and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.
Stir in the garlic, thyme/rosemary and bay leaves; cook 1 minute more.
Stir in the potatoes, stock, 2 cups water, 1 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium and simmer, partly covered, until vegetables are tender, 30 to 40 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add farro and cook according to the timing on the package until just tender, about 20 to 30 minutes. Drain.
Discard thyme/rosemary branches and bay leaves from the soup pot.
Add spinach, cilantro and parsley, and simmer uncovered until very soft, 5 to 8 minutes.
Using an immersion blender, purée soup until smooth. (Alternatively, you can purée the soup in batches in a blender or food processor.)
If necessary, adjust the consistency. If the soup is too thick, add a little water. If it’s too thin, let it simmer uncovered for another few minutes to thicken.
Stir in lemon juice and more salt to taste.
Stir in farro.
To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and top with a drizzle of olive oil, a few drops of lemon juice, flaky salt, red-pepper flakes and a little grated cheese, as desired.
I love using a rotisserie chicken short cut to make a delicious weeknight meal. This sauce in this wonderful dish reminds me of another one of my favorite weeknight dishes using gnocchi.
It was recommended to eat this meal with crusty bread to sop up the sauce (yum!) so I made Portuguese rolls– a great choice. 🙂 I also served it with roasted potatoes which was completely unnecessary, but pleased my husband.
This recipe was from From COOK90: The 30-Day Plan For Faster, Healthier, Happier Meals By David Tamarkin, via Bon Appétit. Fabulous!
4 oz bacon (about 4 slices), sliced crosswise ¼” thick
2 shallots, thinly sliced
⅓ cup dry white wine (I used Pinot Grigio)
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tsp finely chopped rosemary
1 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes
1 cup chicken stock, plus more, as desired to adjust sauce consistency
½ tsp Kosher salt
¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 rotisserie chicken, cut into 8 pieces (breast meat halved)
1 bunch curly kale, ribs and stems removed, leaves torn into bite-size pieces (I used a 10 oz bag of kale)
crusty bread, for serving, optional
Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or skillet with a lid over medium. (I used a large enameled cast iron pan.) Cook bacon, stirring occasionally, until starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Add shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until shallots are softened and bacon is brown and crisp, 8–10 minutes.
Add wine, garlic, and rosemary to pot. Cook, stirring, until wine is reduced by half, about 1 minute.
Add tomatoes along with their juices, broth, salt, and red pepper flakes and bring liquid to a boil.
Nestle in chicken, skin side up. Top with kale, cover pot, and cook until kale is wilted, 5–7 minutes. (I added the kale in 2 batches, adding the second layer after 5 minutes.)
Stir kale into sauce and continue to cook, uncovered, until chicken is warmed through, about 5 minutes more.
I am in love with kabocha squash- it is just so creamy and sweet. This dish may be the ultimate autumn casserole. It was a little bit involved to prepare but the results were worth every minute.
This recipe was adapted from Bon Appetit, contributed by Claire Saffitz. I slightly modified the proportions and method. Fabulous!
4 to 6 servings
1 small to medium kabocha squash
7 large garlic cloves
3 6-inch-long rosemary sprigs
½ cup heavy cream
freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch Tuscan kale (I used a 10 oz bag), ribs removed and torn into 1-2″ pieces (about 8 cups)
2 medium shallots
1 pound fresh pork sausage, such as sweet Italian (about 4 links)
2 cups crumbled cornbread, from a 6×4 inch piece
2 T unsalted butter
1 T olive oil
Bake cornbread. (I used Trader Joe’s Cornbread Mix.) Set aside to cool.
Position a rack in center of oven; preheat to 400°, preferably on convection.
Cut off stem end of kabocha squash and rest on cut side. Cut squash in half. Scoop out seeds and stringy innards with a spoon; discard. Cut squash into 1″-thick slices. Using your knife, slice off the tough peel and layer of light green flesh beneath.
Smash the garlic cloves with the side of the knife and remove peel.
Combine squash, garlic, rosemary sprigs, heavy cream, and ¼ cup water in a medium saucepan. Season generously with salt and pepper and bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat. Cover pot and reduce heat to low. Simmer until squash is tender and easily mashes when pressed with the back of a spoon, 20-25 minutes.
Meanwhile, grasp stem end of each kale leaf. Starting at stem, slide your other hand along length of leaf to strip leaves. Repeat with entire bunch; discard stems. Tear leaves into 1″–2″ pieces (you should have about 8 cups).
Peel 2 shallots and thinly slice crosswise.
Use the tip of your knife to prick the sausages all over in several places.
Crumble cornbread into coarse crumbs (you should have about 2 cups).
When squash is tender, remove saucepan from heat. Uncover and pluck out rosemary sprigs, leaving leaves inside pot. Transfer entire mixture to a medium bowl (reserve saucepan) and mash with the back of a spoon or a potato masher until no distinct pieces of squash remain. Season with salt and pepper.
Wipe out pot with paper towels and heat over medium. Add butter and heat until melted. Add shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 4 minutes.
Add kale to the pot, a couple of handfuls at a time, stirring to wilt between each batch, and cook until leaves are dark green and wilted, about 3 minutes; season with salt and pepper.
Transfer to kale to the bowl with squash, then fold to incorporate.
Heat the olive oil in the same saucepan over medium and add sausage. Cook, turning once, until browned on both sides (they won’t be cooked through), about 6 minutes. Transfer to cutting board and let cool for a few minutes (reserve saucepan again and do not pour out fat from sausages–you’re going to use it one more time).
Meanwhile, using a rubber spatula, scrape squash and kale mixture into a shallow 2-qt. baking dish and smooth top. (I coated the baking dish with cooking oil spray.)
Cut sausages crosswise into 2″ pieces and nestle into top of squash mixture, spacing evenly.
Heat the drippings remaining in the saucepan over medium and add cornbread crumbs. Cook, stirring, just until crumbs are evenly coated in fat. Scatter cornbread crumbs over squash mixture; season with more salt and pepper.
Bake gratin until crumbs are toasty and brown and sausages are cooked through (you can insert an instant-read thermometer into center of sausage to check if registers 140°, or just cut into one with a knife), about 15 minutes.
My husband is not partial to brothy soups. Making this one required some convincing, but I was able to win him over by the inclusion of pasta and potatoes. By the way, he loved it. 🙂
This wonderful soup recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by David Tanis. I increased the onions, garlic, and kale, and added fresh lemon juice. I also used my homemade turkey stock. We ate it with a green salad, of course, and sliced sourdough baguette. It was surprisingly filling! Absolutely delicious too.
Yield: 8 servings
3tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, more for garnish
2cups+ diced onion (I used 1 1/2 large onions)
1cup diced carrot
1cup diced fennel or celery
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1large thyme sprig or 1/2 tsp dried thyme
5 large garlic cloves, minced
2tablespoons tomato paste
parmesan rind, optional
3quarts/12 cups chicken broth, vegetable broth or water (I used 2 quarts of homemade turkey stock and 1 quart of chicken stock)
2pounds medium-size starchy potatoes, such as Yukon Golds or russets, peeled (if desired) and cut in 1-inch chunks (I skipped peeling the potatoes)
6 to 8ounces kale or chard, stems removed, leaves sliced across into 1/2-inch ribbons (about 6-7 cups total)
½pound dried pennette, orecchiette or other small pasta
juice of 1 lemon
1tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary or marjoram, for garnish
freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish
In a large, heavy soup pot or Dutch oven, heat the 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. When it shimmers, add onion, carrot and fennel, stir, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until softened and golden, 5 to 10 minutes. Adjust the heat to prevent vegetables from browning or scorching.
Stir in bay leaf, thyme sprig, garlic, paprika tomato paste, and parmesan rind (if using), and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add broth, potatoes and a large pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a brisk simmer. Cook until potatoes are cooked through but still firm, 12 to 15 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings.
Stir in kale and pasta and simmer another 10 minutes, or until greens are well cooked and pasta is done. (Soup can be made up to this point, without the pasta, cooled and refrigerated for up to 3 days.)
Add the fresh lemon juice and stir to incorporate.
Ladle soup into bowls, and sprinkle with chopped rosemary and Parmesan. Drizzle each serving with a teaspoon of olive oil, if desired. Pass extra Parmesan at the table.
Note: If making ahead of time, do not add the pasta until reheating.